Ask Mr. Marketing: Marketing your nonprofit

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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.

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