Marketing for your non-profit can be challenging, and unfortunately, some organizations fall into the pitfalls.
If your marketing simply consists of semi-regular website updates and an annual benefit, then you are letting important opportunities pass you by. Consistent marketing is the key to maintaining and even growing your non-profit. Learning how to market effectively does not have to be complicated; there are easy strategies that you can implement to reach more people, educate them and create more support for your non-profit.
Why Does Marketing Matter?
Even the most altruistic organizations will suffer without marketing. How can you do any good if no one has heard about you? You should be trying to cultivate strong relationships with donors, volunteers and the public. Marketing allows you to spread your message by gaining more exposure. You can bring in more donors and revenue by alerting the public to important events and news.
Where Should I Begin?
All marketing efforts should be ongoing as consistency is key. Before you can market your organization, you first need to know who you are trying to reach and what you need them to do in response. What demographics does your organization have the most appeal to? Once you know who your audience is and where you can find them, you can begin to hone your marketing efforts and tailor them properly. You may find it useful to look up other similar non-profits and see what they are doing in terms of marketing and whether it is effective.
The next step is to decide what you are trying to achieve. This then allows you to create goals for your non-profit, and it gives you a way to gauge whether or not your marketing is effective. For example, your goals could be donations, revenue, website visits or signups.
Start with your marketing materials. Any interaction you have with the public is an opportunity to market. This is why you need to create effective marketing materials. They should be branded and include things like your organization’s accomplishments, services, and, most importantly, how they can get involved. You can design your own graphics if you are confident in your design skills, or you can outsource to professionals.
When you have the aesthetic side down, it is time to come up with your social media approach. It is almost impossible for any organization to get by without it. It can also provide a great opportunity for exposure and to build more revenue. Identify the platform where your target audience spends the most time and start there. You can connect with people around the globe and really expand your reach.
Next, the website. This is a key aspect of your internet presence. Your website is where people will go to learn more about your non-profit. Make sure your website is up to date and mobile-optimized. Include things like the history of your non-profit, your future goals, any relevant news, success stories and information on how and where to donate or volunteer.
Encourage your donors and visitors to sign up and subscribe to emails and newsletters. Build up your database and put your marketing materials to good use. Regular communication is essential for convincing people to get involved or donate (or to keep donating as the case may be). Utilize emails, phone calls, texts, invitations, and newsletters to keep subscribers up to date with what is going on with your non-profit.
One of the best methods that a non-profit can use to market themselves is advocacy marketing. The people that your non-profit help can become excellent spokespeople. The success stories show the good that your non-profit does, and it humanizes your efforts. Of course, previous donors and visitors can also help in these efforts, so make sure that you are applying basic customer service principles to your interactions with them to keep them happy and onside. Givebutter has more information about advocacy marketing, and they also have a plethora of amazing fundraising tools that you can use to boost donations.
Don’t forget the media. Media coverage can help to build a stronger brand recognition for your non-profit. So, share your expertise with reporters or news outlets who are looking for sources or sound bites on world issues. In addition, send out press releases outlining your non-profits achievements. This can greatly improve your engagement.
Lastly, remember that non-profits do not always have to be solo endeavors. Forming strategic partnerships can further expand your reach. Look for people or other organizations who share in your mission and appreciate your message. They could be other non-profits, volunteer groups, businesses looking for philanthropic projects or even government agencies. It does not have to be a competition. Helping other non-profits allows you both to better help others.
Marketing is vital for the success of almost any business endeavour today; this is where some non-profits go wrong, they do not think of their organization as a business, but it should be. The same basic principles apply, and if utilized properly, they can aid in your success.