Why Marketing Nonprofits is More Important Than You Think

Contrary to popular belief, the end goal of marketing nonprofits shouldn’t solely be to raise money. While

fundraising is undoubtedly a critical component of marketing your nonprofit, it’s far from the be all and end all. Your nonprofit is just like any other business – its success hinges on brand awareness, brand positioning, community engagement and more. As such, a thorough understanding of the myriad functions marketing nonprofits performs is paramount. Read on to learn about the numerous roles your marketing strategy needs to fulfill:

Clear-cut brand positioning 

Strong brand positioning – the way you tell the world who you are, why you exist, and what your mission is, is incredibly important. Every single nonprofit is unique, yet many fail to use marketing to clearly differentiate themselves from the competition. This excerpt from an article on Charity Channel elaborates: “...positioning designs an organization’s image and value offer so that its customers appreciate what the organization stands for in relationship to its competitors.” Put differently, by marketing your nonprofit; you give potential donors an ironclad reason to support your cause.

Creates brand awareness 

The livelihood of your nonprofit rests largely on the shoulders of your supporters. But if no one knows about your organization, staying afloat is almost impossible. A strategic, targeted marketing strategy ensures that the people who’re most likely to become donors or advocates for your cause are not only acutely aware of your nonprofit but can easily lend their help – whether donating goods or cash, volunteering their time or campaigning for your cause.

Facilitates continuous community engagement 

To ensure that your existing donors continue to support you, your marketing strategy should ensure frequent engagement with existing and potential donors. This can take the form of a monthly e-newsletter, frequently updated social media accounts, events and the like. The most successful brands are those whose marketing strategies prioritize an ongoing relationship with their customers (in this case, donors).

Starts a conversation 

The recent worldwide ‘Women against Trump’ marches – which saw five million women (and men) take to the streets of multiple cities – is a powerful example of how a simple conversation can catapult a cause into the global zeitgeist. Ideally, marketing a nonprofit should not only generate publicity for a cause but be able to galvanize the resulting interest into action.

Establishes an emotional connection 

Possibly one of the most crucial functions of marketing nonprofits is that (if done correctly) it forges a connection with your audience via a thread of emotional motivating factors. All relationships are founded on an emotional connection, and when it comes to your nonprofit, being able to evoke a desired emotion is the difference between someone who’s moved enough to support your cause and someone who’s not. 

The acquisition and retention of donors relies on a marketing strategy that fulfills all of the above.

To help your marketing team in their efforts, download our (free) eBook, entitled 10 Questions to Ask Your Marketing Team About Donor Acquisition Strategies.

You can access it here