Why Developing a Marketing Strategy for a Non-Profit is Important 

Mar 2, 2018

Developing a marketing strategy for a non-profit organization varies greatly from the standard business marketing plan.  

Creating and maintaining a plan may seem daunting, but never fear, we’re here to help develop an effective strategy for non-profit organizations.

When marketing, it’s crucial that you be true to yourself. Define your mission, and do not lose sight of it. Be honest, and make realistic promises that you can and will deliver on. This will help you gain an advantage over those who aren’t true and use marketing for the sole purpose of sales, regardless of the information they’re providing.

Get the most out of your non-profit marketing efforts by developing a well thought out, organized and strategic marketing plan.

Read on to learn some key steps to help get you started!

Think of Yourself as an Organization

Take a look at where your organization’s current marketing plan is, if there is any at all, and where it can be improved.

  • Can you audience be more defined?
  • Can your content be more tailored?
  • Should you be spending your advertising budget on social media or another outlet?

Define Your Audience

Make sure that your audience is clearly defined so that you know who exactly it is that’s being marketed to.

In a non-profit, the primary target audience would be donors and beneficiaries and the people in charge of them. The secondary audiences would include local businesses or people in the community.

Think about other things that could define your audience such as:

  • Demographics: This can be type of education,a financial situation, what generation, home environments, life events, politics, employment and relationship status.
  • Interests: Interests can range from business, entertainment, fitness, hobbies, technology, fashion and much more.
  • Behaviors: Behaviors can range from buying activities, charitable donations, what media is being seen, traveling, etc.
  • Location: Your audience can be a state to a city within that state to a neighborhood within that city.

Now that your audience is clearly defined, map out what’s being said to them.

What’s Your Messaging? 

Take into consideration the most effective types of messaging that will help raise awareness about the problem your non-profit is looking to solve. It’s also important to consider how exactly that will engage your target audience.

  1. Do you have a tagline?
  2. What’s your mission or vision statement?
  3. What’s your non-profit’s elevator pitch?

Through different media platforms, you can determine how effective your messaging is. 

Define and Create Your Channels

First, know which channels your non-profit already uses and how often are they being used.

The rise of social media has greatly aided in the creation of marketing strategies for businesses and non-profits alike.

Some potential channels that could help you are:

  • A clean, well produced organized website
  • Social media marketing (through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram ads)
  • Special events to raise awareness throughout the community

Tips for Developing a Marketing Strategy for Your Non-Profit

Here are some tangible tips a non-profit can use in their newly developed strategy:

Content Marketing | Tell Your Non-profit’s Story

In order for anyone to get involved, it’s important that they feel a need to get involved or an attachment in someway through the content you create. Content marketing is something that is extremely prevalent in the marketing world today.

Content is king for just about any business, but even more so for the nonprofit region. Nonprofit marketing is all about telling their story and creating emotional ties. That’s why it’s crucial that your nonprofit’s story is shared through all of the previous established channels. Each in their own creative, appropriate ways.

Partner with Local Businesses and Brand

Consumers like to feel as though they’re spending their money in a meaningful way. Brands and local businesses alike recognize this and are constantly looking to get involved in some fashion through taking corporate social responsibility. This is great news for nonprofits! It creates an opportunity for nonprofits to partner up and create/run co-marketing plans that help benefit both.

Be Seen and Heard

The phrase, “It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know” is extremely prevalent in many facets of life, especially in business. Networking and building relationships are an asset for all businesses, but even more-so for nonprofits as they most likely do not have as big of a budget to spend on marketing. Sponsoring and attending events, taking advantage of public speaking opportunities and just being involved and heard throughout your local community are all great ways to not only be seen, but create a chance for your nonprofit to be heard.

Create a Narrow Niche

One of my favorite sayings that really reigns true is, “The riches are in the niches.”

While it would be nice to reach everyone through your nonprofit, it just isn’t feasible as there are many limitations that accompany being too broad as an organization. There are, however, benefits that come along with creating a narrow, well defined niche that your nonprofit is very good at. These include:

  • Establishing credibility and a sense of expertise in the field since the specialization of the nonprofit is so small.
  • Connecting on a deeper level with the target market as more specialized niches seem to lead to more engagement from customers.
  • Creating more clarity for your nonprofit. Whether it’s big picture tasks or day-to-day ones, having a clearly defined goal and niche will rid of any clutter or distractions.

Chestnut Mountain Ranch | Intern’s Experience 

Chestnut Mountain Ranch (CMR) is a Christ-centered safe haven for boys and families in crisis and a place for family restoration, where boys can enjoy school again and can experience positive family values.

Chestnut Mountain Ranch

This year, a team from InnerAction Media, is helping CMR develop a marketing plan. This strategy includes:

  • Content creation
  • Social media and audience engagement
  • Brand recognition

“I am excited to work with CMR. I love what they do and hearing about the inspiring stories from the boys at CMR,” said Sophia Darmelio, an intern at IAM. “I am happy to be a part of the team that is helping bring awareness about the awesome things CMR is doing to Morgantown.”

InnerAction Media | Developing a Marketing Strategy for West Virginia Businesses

InnerAction Media is a digital marketing agency that believes in developing marketing strategies for many industries including:

  • Healthcare
  • Engineering
  • Law
  • & many more

 Want to learn more about Chestnut Mountain Ranch? Click here.

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