Ask Mr. Marketing: Marketing your nonprofit

By Rob Weinberg

What’s a good way to market my nonprofit?

Diane Philips

Nonprofit organizations must understand the constant need to justify their existence. That requirement can be helped by solid, consistent marketing.

Now recognizing that most nonprofits have little money, I’m assuming by “good” you mean both low-budget and effective. With that approach in mind, here are a few thoughts to get you started:

•Have a website that tells your story. This should include your vision, events, and ways folks can donate and get involved. Present your board members (with links to their respective websites to provide them with potential business opportunities).

•Maintain a blog. Blogs are a good way to attract attention, with the only cost being the writer’s time. Once you commit to doing a blog, though, post an entry at least once each week to maintain an active presence with your audience.

•Social networking. Post blog and event information and other items of interest on a regular basis. Talk things up before they happen, then provide pictures, results, and stories after the fact.

•Send publicity to local media. Online, print and broadcast outlets all want to hear from you about events and other news, and it keeps your group visible.

•Network. Attend chamber of commerce events, Kiwanis breakfasts, Rotary lunches, and similar outings with an eye toward spreading the word far and wide. Always carry a brochure, flier, or business card for anyone who wants more information.

•Speak out. Lots of groups (Rotary, Kiwanis, San Vicente Valley Club, etc.) regularly seek public speakers. Put together an enthusiastic 20 minute presentation that tells your tale. Avoid “Death by PowerPoint.”

•Fill in. Business Network Exchange members sometimes need help filling their seat for missed meetings. Pass the word that you’re available to help out.

•Promote to your members. Developing a “Bring a friend” program for your current members should help introduce like-minded individuals to your group at a very low cost.

•Promote to the public. Offering 2-for-1 deals, drawings, and high visibility sales promotions can help you expand your audience at little or no expense.

Good marketing can make all the difference for any organization. Commit to these efforts for a year and I’m certain your group will become stronger.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

Mr. Marketing publishes a free monthly newsletter available to marketers of every stripe. Sign up at www.askmrmarketing.com.

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Posted by Karen Brainard on Jul 6 2013. Filed under Ask Mr. Marketing, Business, Columnists, Columns. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

1 Comment for “Ask Mr. Marketing: Marketing your nonprofit”

  1. Kay

    Diane,

    You may also want to begin "church-surfing". Many successful nonprofits rely heavily on a multitude of faith-based service projects for fundraising or in-kind donations. This is also an excellent way for you to really get to know the heart of your community and your supporters. Most of your donors will be in giving mode when they come thru your doors and you will see them at their best, so its important that you understand what drives that.

    Youth groups from high schools and churches are an absolute must for marketing your NP.

    Kay

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