Both nonprofit and for-profit organizations around the world depend on marketing to communicate with their donors or customers. Strong marketing allows organizations to create meaningful touchpoints with new audiences. One of the reasons marketing is such a powerful tool is that it’s highly adaptable to your organization’s needs.
Without marketing, it would be very difficult to connect with the people who share an interest in your nonprofit’s mission. Cultivating that base of support is essential. Donors, volunteers, and mission ambassadors are the foundation of a successful nonprofit.
Let’s get started by discussing how nonprofits can use different marketing channels to reach their audiences.
What is nonprofit marketing?
Nonprofit marketing is using marketing strategies and campaigns to raise awareness, reach existing and prospective donors, and fundraise to help an organization further its mission.
Marketing can be carried out through a variety of media channels. Social media platforms, email, and video ads are a few ways messages can be distributed online. The internet is one of the most common ways to reach supporters, but don’t discount the value of other channels as well. Nonprofits also find success running campaigns through other channels like direct mail, radio ads, or print ads. The specific channels you choose to employ depend on your audience and your goals for the campaign.
The most effective way to leverage marketing is by creating one integrated marketing strategy so your organization can reach its supporters across a variety of channels. This approach is also helpful for pinpointing the channels your supporters use the most.
What are the benefits of nonprofit marketing?
While marketing can be a significant investment of time, effort, and funding for many nonprofits, it also provides a wide variety of benefits to both the nonprofit and those they serve. Let’s dive into a few reasons marketing is valuable.
Nonprofit marketing can help:
- Spread awareness. Nonprofit marketing spreads awareness of a nonprofit’s mission, its brand, and the specific ways it furthers its mission. It’s a chance to directly communicate what your organization does and why. Just increasing the number of people who are aware of the organization can attract new donors and volunteers, and this is especially true when considering the international reach of digital marketing.
- Raise funds. More awareness means an organization has a better chance of attracting new donors and volunteers, increasing an organization’s ability to meet its fundraising goals. Marketing is also a useful way to engage current donors and volunteers, motivating them to continue to support your organization. Promoting a specific fundraiser through sending an email or by posting on social media to existing followers is one example of how you might make the most of your nonprofit’s marketing efforts.
- Promote programs. Marketing doesn’t just reach the donors and volunteers who help further your nonprofit’s mission. It can also be used to directly reach potential beneficiaries the organization might be able to help. Marketing materials can contain information about specific programs and how those in need can take advantage of them
Intentionally crafting a marketing strategy for your organization sets your organization up for success by giving you the means to attract and retain supporters.
How can organizations get started with nonprofit marketing?
Don’t let getting started with nonprofit marketing overwhelm you. Gaining a better understanding of your audience gives you the tools to implement a valuable plan. To kick off a successful nonprofit marketing campaign, there are a few key steps to follow:
- Research. Organizations should make sure they understand important internal and external factors before planning a marketing campaign. This involves analyzing the current market landscape as well as looking into peer organizations to understand their strengths and weaknesses. As part of this evaluation, nonprofits should also take stock of their existing donors’ traits to create a better constituent experience through a more personalized marketing experience.
- Define a target audience. After researching their existing donors, nonprofits should compare this donor data against their goals in order to choose a target audience that is interested in their cause. This is a good way to spur an organization’s expansion and growth.
- Develop strategies. Choose strategies that resonate with your nonprofit’s chosen target audience. Determine which channels will suit your target audience and choose which mediums will speak most to them. Consider methods such as emotional photos or videos, impactful statistics, and storytelling.
- Create the campaign. During this step, your nonprofit should create concrete deliverables that align with the strategies you outlined earlier in the campaign. This might mean creating pieces of direct mail or graphics for social media, for example.
Consider working with a marketing agency that specializes in helping nonprofits. Partnering with an agency with knowledgeable staff and years of expertise in marketing can help you create a strong marketing campaign that will deliver impactful results.
Meaningful Nonprofit Marketing
Nonprofit marketing is an essential part of maintaining and growing a nonprofit. It allows organizations to reach their intended audiences, leading to more donors, volunteers, and supporter engagement. Organizations should take the time to learn more about their field and intended audience so they can use that information to create a robust strategy and meaningful marketing campaign.
This valuable tool is accessible to almost every organization. Nonprofits of any size can use marketing, which might look like launching a free social media campaign or working with an agency to market on every available channel. Marketing at any capacity can help your organization grow and reach new supporters.
- Nonprofit Catalog – Read up on more nonprofit essentials by exploring our Nonprofit Catalog.
- Using Both Online and Offline Fundraising Strategies: 5 Tips – Learn more about how multichannel marketing can aid your fundraising efforts.
- Placing Your Constituents in the Center of Your Omnichannel Program – Gain more insight into how to steward and engage your nonprofit’s constituents.