Marketing a non-profit organization is a completely different animal than marketing a profit business. Profit companies typically use marketing tactics that appeal to a need or want their target audience, but not for profit to appeal to their audience on a more emotional level in exchange for donations. Non-profit organizations need to use creative forms of marketing and advertising, especially in times of economic turmoil, if they want people to open their wallets. Some profitable ideas for non-profit marketing success have been listed below.
1. Think like a business and use the holiday to start. When you send out marketing be sure indicate exactly what the donations are used for and what each contribution amount could for the organization. During the holiday season, using the term “gift” instead of “contribution” can be very effective.
2. Retention is the key. Keep open lines of communication with existing donors. Send them newsletters and updates regularly. Do not be afraid to keep asking them for money. Maintaining good relations with repeated administration is much more efficient than marketing to prospective donors.
3.Use social media. Facebook and Twitter are not just good tools for businesses. They are equally effective in creating a voice for the non-profit. More importantly, when someone makes an online donation, be sure to include social sharing buttons so they can post on the subject of the social networking site. In fact, the gift is marketing for you when they press the Share button. In some cases, this can be a viral effect.
4. Say thank you for all the donations you receive. This should be a no brainer. Good customer service is not just about money making business. People like to feel appreciated. This really should be number one on the list.
5. Plan events and sell sponsorship. Fundraising events are a great way to create awareness for charitable causes and oftentimes the cost of these events can be offset by selling sponsorships to local businesses. The local companies pay to have their business advertised on the event, and the non-profit organization uses the money from sponsorship to pay for the fundraising event with proceeds left over to give to their organization.
6. Network, network, network. Just like any other business, success depends largely on who you know. The more people know about the organization of non-profit, the more donations you will get. Take advantage of community events and other charity events to network with people who could be potential donors.
Marketing a non-profit organization is not a simple task. Implementation of these ideas are just beginning to increase awareness of the charitable cause. Similar to commercial companies are marketing companies that specialize in marketing to organizations.