Marketing is one of the most significant functions for any organization, whether it’s a nonprofit or for-profit business. It is an effective tool to build a company’s reputation, develop and maintain relationships with the audience, and to keep the conversation going. Communicating your mission, vision and values to your target audience in the right way and at the right time is a challenging task for any organization.
MARKETING GROWTH HACKS FOR NONPROFITS
by Wright Collective
However, marketing always seems much more challenging to nonprofit organizations for a variety of reasons:
Time: Small nonprofits usually use an in-house marketing team, which can end up overloading a single person with many tasks.
Budget: Nonprofits tend to shy away from spending on marketing, feeling guilty allocating money that doesn’t directly go to the cause it serves.
Lack of knowledge: Some organizations would like to enhance their marketing efforts, but can be hesitant to take the first steps and possibly anxious about new technology.
Underestimating the power of marketing: Some board of directors don’t understand how marketing can impact fundraising and awareness goals.
Since development and programming in nonprofit organizations are critical processes, nonprofits usually struggle and hesitate to prioritize marketing without realizing the benefits of a strong marketing strategy.
A well developed strategy can help organizations:
Stay on top of their audience’s minds
Spread awareness of their mission and goals
Connect with and reach a wide range of supporters
Reach potential donors who may turn into repeat givers.
The must-do’s in marketing for nonprofits.
DON’T PUT MARKETING BEHIND THE TABLE:
Traditionally, nonprofits tend to tread carefully when it comes to how they spend donated funds. Consider carving a small room in the budget for marketing to amplify your voice and reach more people. Show them who you are, what you do, and why they should support you, and more importantly, how to contact you.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE:
As a nonprofit, you’re selling impact and good feelings to your audience. It’s challenging to target a specific segment in the nonprofit world. Most of the time you’ll find multiple segments interested in your cause, but you have to PRIORITIZE! Be super clear and precise in communicating your information so people don’t feel overwhelmed.
UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF DIVERSITY:
Many don’t know the importance of building a diverse and multicultural team. Practicing inclusivity within an organization can integrate cultural knowledge into your marketing efforts. Multicultural marketing is aimed at different cultural audiences, it acknowledges the difference in perceptions among consumers with different cultural backgrounds. This can be a door for expansion opportunities if each diverse group is successfully engaged.
WEBSITE FIRST AND FOREMOST:
Your website should be the first destination you direct people to. Think of it as the display of a brick and mortar store. You need to grab the attention of the visitors from the first sight so they don’t walk away. Inspire, inform and reach new visitors by creating engaging web content. If your budget is tight, prioritize your website, it’s the front door of your online presence.
Aside from the website, build a unique and strong presence on social media platforms. Cultivating a presence on social media can grow a nonprofit’s supporter base and help reach potential donors. Promoting your cause or services on social channels can show identity, communicate effectively so supporters can develop a greater connection with your mission. If budget allows, consider investing in paid advertising and social promotions to reach a wider audience. Tag as many organizations and individuals as possible to maximize reach potential. Get your like-minded partners to share your posts and fundraisers with their circles to amplify your voice.
MAINTAIN RELATIONSHIPS WITH EMAIL AND SMS:
Email and SMS are great donor engagement tools, direct avenues to those who have shown interest in your organization. Keep your organization on top of readers’ minds by engaging subscribers with the latest news, events and initiatives. This will help readers connect and resonate with your mission better. An effective way to start building your email strategy is having monthly newsletters that reflect on the highlights and milestones you hit that month. Finally, don’t forget to get people out of their inboxes onto your website with a specific “Call To Action” in mind.
DON’T OVER DO IT:
Take it as a rule of thumb, quality is always better than quantity. Make sure your social posts and emails have a valuable message behind them that drives viewers to take action and interact with you.
BITE-SIZED INFORMATION IS KEY:
Entice your audience with a little bit of information, grab their curiosity, arouse their attention and most importantly direct them to your website to learn more.
CONSIDER AN AGENCY:
Don’t have time but have the budget? Consider hiring a marketing agency.
Outsourced marketing efforts can free up your valuable time and save you unnecessary costs in the long run. Hiring a third party agency can also step up your marketing game. You’ll get the perspective of experts who have been playing in the field for a long time, staying ahead of the competition with the latest trends and technologies recommendations. Welcoming creative and unique ideas into your organization can help you capture the attention of current and even new audiences, and spread the word about your efforts in a better way.
We worked with US-based marketing agency, cleodigital.com, a marketing firm for small businesses and nonprofits that hires women in developing nations. The Cleo team helped us rebrand as our identity evolved. A new look included better navigation on our website to help readers find the information they need quicker.
Watch the IG Live with Cleo Digital founder Lusine Demirchyan as we discussed “Marketing Tactics For NonProfits,” answered frequently asked questions and gave valuable tips.