You could run an incredible non-profit organization but if no one knows about it then it really isn’t beneficial. Your organization will struggle to raise awareness about your cause, recruit more volunteers, and bring in donations. Lack of donations will cause your non-profit to become stagnant and it will begin spiraling down and eventually hit a dead end.
Since a non-profit organization runs on private donations, you need to be able to reach the donors to gain revenue for your cause. Digital Marketing is one of the best options to increase awareness about your organization. If your resources are tight and your team isn’t that big then this marketing guide will help you bring awareness to your organization.
What Is Non-Profit Marketing?
Digital Marketing for a non-profit isn’t much different from marketing for profit organizations. At its core, non-profit marketing involves using different marketing strategies to heighten the awareness of your organization’s cause and mission, attract more active volunteers and solicit donations for your purpose.
A Review Of The Present Challenges
The Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 has distorted almost all aspects of life and it has affected business and non-profit organizations in all spheres. We certainly observed the impacts on how non-profits organizations operate. Non-profit organizations faced three major challenges:
- Scarcity Of Funds
Economic hardship is one of the most difficult challenges that nonprofits face. A lot of businesses shut down during the pandemic and those that didn’t were also significantly impacted and this created a lot of financial strain on non-profits that rely on donations and paid memberships to survive.
- Remote Work
Remote working became the norm and the number of people working remotely increased significantly, which forced multiple organizations to switch to the remote working models. Due to this, many non-profit organizations have seen a shortage of volunteers.
As resources for non-profit organizations became sparse so non-profit organizations are constantly having to compete in a space where people are less inclined towards volunteer activities and charity.
Why Do Non-Profit Organizations Need Marketing?
- Raises Awareness Of Your Cause
Non-profit marketing boosts your organization’s awareness and helps compel action. A non-profit organization is also a brand and as such it requires raising awareness. Marketing for a non-profit helps spread the word about your business and supports your cause.
- Recruiting Volunteers
Nonprofit marketing raises awareness and at the same time also helps recruit more volunteers. Volunteering is one of the key aspects of non-profit organizations and marketing can help bring in more helping hands.
- Helps Raise Funds
Funding is crucial for a non-profit organization to thrive. As the awareness about your organization increases, the potential of funding also increases.
- Promotes Your Cause
While funding and volunteers are important for your non-profit organization, people also need to know about your cause, the services you are providing. The more people know about your cause, the more people you can help.
Non-Profit Marketing Strategies
- Social Media Marketing
Both profit and non-profit organizations can benefit greatly from social media. Social media is not only free but it gives you a platform to showcase your cause so that you can engage more followers and supporters. You can use social media to share all the vital news and information regarding your organization, recognize your donors, fundraise, recruit volunteers, and improve awareness of the organization.
- Event Marketing
It is one of the most effective forms of marketing for non-profit organizations. It lets you connect with your community, gain more support for your cause and also raise funds. Events are a great way of impacting people. Events like marathons inspire physical activity and also bring an entire community of people following the same cause together. While creating an event choose a convenient platform where more people can register to join your event. Create a web page for your event and if it’s a fundraiser, then have very clear call-to-actions and promote your event through as many channels as possible.
- Email Marketing
Email Marketing is an impactful marketing tactic that is really beneficial for non-profit organizations. Through email marketing, your organization can maintain regular communication with your supporters and donors. You can send content like newsletters, appeals, messages of thanks, etc.
Crowdfunding is a very effective method to raise funds from a large group of people for your cause. Crowdfunding can help non-profit organizations get meaningful engagement and spread the word out about their initiative. It also helps expand the donor base and impacts the overall funding of your campaign. Although a fairly new concept, by implementing
- Video Marketing
Video contents are always a great idea and they are a fun way to present your message in front of people. People tend to remember visual content more than texts and you can use this to your advantage. Videos are easy to personalize and they evoke empathy in people, videos can be educational and they are shareable as well.
Having a website for your non-profit organization can be really beneficial. The website can be the digital base where you offer all the important information about your organization, its mission, and how people can participate in your campaigns. You can also include digital assets like a blog, videos, event information, etc on your website. Also, a website can serve as a platform where you can implement SEO strategies as well.
- Content Marketing
Blogging and content marketing can be valuable assets for your business. Through content marketing, you can educate people about your cause and mission, and since it’s shareable, it can act as free PR and at the same time it can also be used for Search Engine Optimization. You can also repurpose your content for different uses like using it for newsletters and then use a shortened version for emails, or use the content for infographics.
Tips To Create A Marketing Plan For Non-Profit Organizations
- Define Your Goals
By setting goals and objectives for your organization, you can use a structured marketing plan to achieve your goals. Once you have defined your goals, you can use social media marketing campaigns that align with your objectives, share weekly newsletters, host quarterly events to acquaint people with your organization.
- Understand Your Audience
A non-profit organization has to target a group of demographics like customers, constituents, donors, and volunteers, and as such, the marketing is a bit different from marketing for profit organizations. A CRM is used to target audiences of different groups and by separating the contacts into lists and tags, you can conveniently send personalized messages appropriate for different groups.
- Craft Your Key Message
The next step is to craft key messages for your business that you want your audience to know, share and remember. A key message can keep your organization aligned towards a primary goal, it simplifies your marketing process, as the team always knows what they are working towards and it also helps organize the marketing efforts for different audiences.
- Create Marketing Strategies
Once the goals are defined, the audience is identified and key messages are crafted, it is time to develop the marketing strategies. A lot of the time, many organizations jump the gun by implementing different marketing tactics without defining a goal or crafting a key message. This stops you from getting the expected results. Once you have followed all the above steps, then only choose your strategies so that you can have more tactical planning that drives results.
- Define Your Budget And Timeline
When applying the marketing strategies, you also have to set a budget and a timeline prior to it. Allot a specific budget for each marketing activity that you are planning to implement and at the same time create a calendar so that you can stay on track with your marketing endeavors.
- Analyze The Performance
Any marketing effort that you implement won’t perform immediately and it is okay. Analyze the marketing efforts regularly to get an idea of what is working for your organization and what is not. Check the measurable parameters for each marketing strategy to get an idea of its performance. For example, if you are conducting an email marketing campaign then the measurable parameter is the number of emails opened, for social media, it is the likes, comments, and shares, for the website it is page views.
Tips To Boost Your Non-Profit Marketing
- Follow A Multi-Channel Approach
As a non-pon-profit organization, you have to reach different groups of audiences from potential donors, supporters to volunteers, and to do so, you cannot just focus on a single channel of marketing. You need a multi-channel approach to target your audience. Consider the nature of the content you are going to share, the platforms each group of targeted audience uses, and then choose the channels for marketing.
- Use Visual Storytelling
The more visual your content will be, the more vivid you can keep it and evoke emotions in your supporters. Take your time when creating the visuals so that it reflects a powerful message that the audience can resonate with.
- Use Infographics
Infographics are a great way to broadcast your message to your audience. It lets you present all the important information about your organization in a fun, visual way. Since visual elements process quickly in the brain, infographics can be used to raise awareness about important issues and make them last in memory.
Marketing Traps To Avoid
- Lacking Expertise
When implementing digital marketing efforts, it is important that you have a working knowledge of all the tools, techniques, and platforms. Without the right knowledge, you can invest in marketing strategies without seeing any results. It is better to trust a digital marketing agency with the industry-working experience to handle the marketing for your non-profit organization.
- Not Measuring Performance
One of the many benefits of digital marketing is that you can measure the results. If you don’t track your results then you won’t be able to determine what is working for your business and the areas of improvement.
- Marketing Without A Sound Strategy
For launching any marketing campaign you need to have a solid strategy in place. Before starting any campaign, create outlines for short, medium as well as long-term goals, so that you simply do not implement campaigns without any careful thinking only to find it is not beneficial for your non-profit.
Investing in digital marketing can help non-profit organizations to connect to their potential donors and supporters and spread awareness about their cause.
Summary: Non-profit marketing helps non-profit organizations to secure funding, earn the support and also expand the organization.