Generating revenue. Retaining donors. Effective fundraising. Operating costs.
Money is one of your top concerns as a nonprofit administrator. Because you’re trying to do more with less, you might be wondering whether your efforts are truly making an impact on your nonprofit’s cause.
Remove your doubt with a solid marketing strategy. A marketing plan will enable your small team to raise awareness and funds more effectively. Let’s discuss why marketing is necessary for nonprofits and tell you which tactics will save your organization time and money.
Marketing for Nonprofits
Marketing is not just for commercial businesses–it is for your nonprofit organization too!
The tactics and nonprofit marketing strategies you use will mirror those of for-profit companies. One difference: you will need to be more mindful of your financial and human resources. Systematic and strategic marketing will amplify your cause by reaching the right people, allowing you to focus on your operations and growth.
Marketing is essential for the success of your organization and the advancement of your cause. Here are the top 5 benefits of marketing for nonprofits.
Apple. Nike. Amazon. Though you might not sell a product or service as they do, your nonprofit is still a brand. Through their marketing, they raised awareness, becoming household names. You might not be on the same scale as these big brands, but you do need marketing so the right people know about your organization and cause.
Marketing is a channel to communicate your needs to your supporters. They cannot know how much their contributions matter to your cause without it. It is easier for you to make the ask and for your supporters to give when you use the same marketing tools as businesses.
Could your organization function without volunteer help? Maybe. Could your organization function effectively without volunteers? Probably not. When you need extra pairs of hands, marketing can help you get the word out and connect you with volunteers willing to give their time and labor to support your cause. Over time, your dedicated volunteers will build awareness for you through word-of-mouth. They may even become financial donors!
When donors give to your nonprofit, they want to know how you’re using their gifts and about your organization’s stability. Their donations are an investment in your nonprofit and your cause. To keep your donors, you must regularly communicate what your nonprofit is doing and how their financial support makes a difference.
This is especially important if your nonprofit provides services or other resources. If you are not actively promoting your organization, how will the people you are trying to serve find you?
Now that you know why nonprofits need marketing, let’s explore the tactics that will make the biggest impact without busting your budget.
3 Ways to Boost Your Nonprofit Marketing Strategy
Not all marketing tactics are created equal. Some are essentially free, while others require an ongoing financial commitment. And some perform better than others for certain business models or target audiences. Here are the top 3 nonprofit marketing strategies that pack the biggest punch.
- Direct Mail – Technology has not killed direct mail (AKA snail mail). In fact, the proliferation of email makes this tactic all the more effective, in part because it creates a sensory experience email can’t. Maybe this is why 41% of Americans look forward to checking their mailbox!
- Recipients can flag your emails as spam, keeping them from ever hitting their inboxes again. The deliverability of your direct mail is more reliable than email. While email filters may stop your emails from being read, your direct mail will be read or skimmed by 42% of recipients.
- Supporting a cause is very personal. The majority of people view direct mail as more personal than digital communication. Direct mail is a meaningful way to show your donors you honor their support. Connecting with them in this way has the potential to strengthen their commitment to your organization and cause.
- According to Marketing Charts, direct mail has a return on investment of 29%. Though the upfront cost of direct mail print services may be higher, you’re more likely to net support than through other means.
- Print Materials – Print marketing includes brochures, pamphlets, flyers, and posters. One of the greatest things about print marketing is its tangibility. It creates a memorable experience in a way digital marketing cannot.
- Printed materials can be read and digested on the readers’ schedule. They’re also often kept longer and displayed, allowing more people the opportunity to read them.
- Social Media – As of this year, 90% of Americans actively use social media. It is a FREE medium you can use to check all the boxes in your nonprofit marketing strategy. You can use it to build awareness of your organization, fundraise (Facebook and Instagram make this easy and convenient), recruit volunteers, communicate the state of your operations, and advertise your services.
- Since the majority of Americans are social media users, odds are you and your team have experience posting and engaging on different platforms. Many social media channels have native tools you can use in content creation as well. It’s possible to be successful on social media without a dedicated social media manager or a digital marketing partner, which means more savings for you.
- Our primary recommendation is to start with your target audience in mind and stick to your key messages. When you know who you are trying to reach and which platform they are on, you can focus your efforts and make better use of your time. Do not spend hours creating content for TikTok if your audience is not there. Key messages make your marketing even easier because you already know what to say in your social media posts. And if you have more than one person posting on behalf of your organization, key messages will keep your content consistent.
If you want to grow your nonprofit and further your cause, you must have a nonprofit marketing strategy. A marketing strategy will help you focus your resources on the tactics with the greatest impact so you can achieve more with less.
Direct mail, print materials, and social media are 3 of the most effective tactics for nonprofits with tight budgets and small teams. Use them to build brand awareness, fundraise, connect with volunteers and donors, and advertise.
McAdams Graphics has provided direct mail printing and mailing services for over 35 years. Click here to learn more about how our services can help your nonprofit marketing.