Unlike many businesses, nonprofits face some unique challenges when it comes to marketing. Although many assume that updating a webpage and sending out a newsletter is sufficient, getting the most out of your organization takes much more. Nonprofits need to develop strong relationships with donors, volunteers and even the media in order to pursue its mission effectively. And to do this, they must have a strong marketing campaign.
In this article we discuss five of the best tips on how to effectively and easily market your nonprofit.
Know Your Organization
Yes, it does seem obvious. However, just like any product or business that is being marketed, it’s crucial that the ones doing the marketing fully understand what they are marketing. And because nonprofits often fulfill specific and particular missions, gaining a true understanding of the organization is even more important.
What is the nonprofit about and what purpose is it trying to fulfill? How large is the organization? Where is the organization located and does it have multiple locations? Why was the nonprofit created, and did its current purpose grow organically as the organization evolved? Who is involved and what type of funding is the organization seeking?
Many of these questions may have already been answered, but how clear are they and have they changed? Without a complete and comprehensive understanding of the organization, a marketing campaign cannot be fully developed to the greatest extent. Take some time to fully understand your nonprofit before you embark down the marketing road.
Target Your Audience
Aside from understanding your organization, knowing your audience can be just as important. Marketing a nonprofit is different from other types of marketing in that your organization is targeting multiple groups, including volunteers, donors, and constituents. Understanding each of these personas is crucial to developing a successful marking plan.
An easy method for organizing your different audiences is using a CRM to segment each group, then tailoring marketing strategies to meet the respective group’s goal. By separating contacts with tools such as tags and lists, you can then easily send marking messages to the appropriate groups.
Use Online and Offline Tools
Online marketing tools are some of the most effective way to create a comprehensive and successful marketing plan. Developing a full responsive website, creating a strong database to plan marketing initiatives, and integrating social media are just a few ways you can leverage the internet to help showcase your organization. Additionally, utilizing analytics tools such as Google Analytics to track website traffic and digital marketing campaigns can help you recognize where your marketing plan is thriving, and where it could use some help.
However, many marketing teams go straight to online options and skip valuable offline tools at their disposal. Recent studies show that direct mail is the second-most used medium (57%), tied with social media, and offline marketing pulls a higher response rate than any digital direct marketing medium. Utilize both online and offline tools to gain maximum exposure of your organization.
Set Measurable Goals
As we briefly mentioned above, tracking data on your marking campaigns can be very beneficial to show how well (or not-so-well) you are doing. However, unless you have initial goals that you need to meet, you will not have a benchmark upon which you can compare the data you are tracking.
Having measurable goals provides you with a way to evaluate what is working and what needs to change. These goals should be practicable and realistic, and should make sense for your organization and its mission. Some goals may include donor/member retention, new donors/members, yearly initiatives you want to achieve, email and direct mail sign-ups, etc.
Once you set your goals, the marketing team can determine how the organization will measure progress toward reaching them.
Track & Showcase Your Results
Aside from providing the mission and benefits of your organization, it’s equally important to show potential donors or volunteers show successful your organization has been in the past. By providing tangible results for viewers to see you are showing that your amicable goals are realized by a large audience.
Success stories motivate current members to stay involved, attract new members, and even create an interesting angle for media coverage. Share information about your fundraising successes, the people or places that have benefitted from your organization’s work, or other distinct measures of success.