How to Market in a Non-Profit Business

How to Market in a Non-Profit Business

Deskera Content Team
Deskera Content Team
Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Marketing is one of the most challenging parts of any business. Non-profits are not exempt from this challenge. It's possible to rise above the usual grind of getting donations and focus on building genuine, sustainable relationships.

Your non-profit marketing should be different from others because your audience is different. Consider social media and digital, but also ways to attract people they wouldn't usually come across.

Non-profit marketing doesn't mean you can't market your organization effectively. You have to be clever about it.

  • Figure out which platform works best for your non-profit marketing strategy
  • Write a marketing budget and employ non-profit marketing effectively
  • Start with the essentials. Focus on providing value before you ask for anything in return through non-profit marketing
  • Grow organically and think out of the box with your campaigns of non-profit marketing
  • Use social media for direct support in non-profit marketing
  • How to make the most out of online donations in non-profit marketing?
  • Choose the most cost-effective non-profit marketing tactic

Figure Out Which Platform Works Best for Your Non-Profit Marketing

When you're starting a new non-profit, one of your first questions should probably be, "Which platforms will work best for us?" Applying the lean startup methodology to any new project is a good idea; it's not just for tech startups.

If you're creating a non-profit to help people with a specific problem, use a lean process to figure out where the best place is for you to focus your resources. Conduct interviews or surveys with potential users and ask where they go for information about that particular topic.

The first step to creating a marketing plan is figuring out which platform will work best for your non-profit. To do this, look at how you can reach your target audience.

You have three primary options for non-profit marketing: media, face-to-face interaction, and digital/online outreach.

It's essential to understand which platform will work best for your non-profit marketing and how this can be achieved. If you want to get an idea out there about your cause, then going on social media will be the most fruitful way of doing this.

This is because social media will give you a wider reach and allow you to give others a voice about the issue. However, if you want to raise money or get support from others about your cause, there are other ways of doing this, such as meeting people in person or asking them directly online if they would like to make a donation or join your cause.

Write Up a Marketing Budget and Employ Non-Profit Marketing Effectively

Marketing is an essential part of any business, and non-profits are no exception. Non-profit marketing typically has a mission they want to support. However, many in the non-profit marketing sector fail to market effectively or do not have a marketing budget or plan that they have put into place.

If you are in charge of non-profit marketing, there are many things that you can do to help your organization gain more visibility and attract more people interested in supporting your cause. Non-profit marketing needs to be carefully considered because there are some differences between marketing for a for-profit business and marketing for a non-profit corporation.

In a non-profit business, no one is accountable for results. The organization focuses on the mission, and the marketing department focuses on communicating the mission. But it doesn't have its budget and so isn't held accountable for delivering results.

The result is that the non-profit marketing department , often times, isn't motivated to deliver results. And, in retrospect, can't because it doesn't have a budget of its own. So it just does what comes naturally: communicate the mission. That's probably a good idea anyway, but it's pretty much beside the point as far as marketing goes.

In any business, the most important things are the revenues from selling your product and the expenses you have to make to sell it. If your revenues are more significant than your expenses, you make a profit. In a for-profit business, the difference between revenues and expenses is called "the bottom line."

There is no bottom line in a non-profit marketing business, but there is still an essential difference between revenues and expenses. If your revenues exceed your expenses, you have extra money at the end of the year that you didn't have initially.

"Revenue," in this sense, can be anything you get from selling your product: money from sales of products or services; contributions from donors; fees from clients; fines from offenders; rents from tenants; etc. For some kinds of businesses, it may be more relevant to think in terms not of revenue but instead of "income," which refers to whatever comes in during each year (including income received by other businesses owned by the same organization).

Start With the Essentials and Use Non-Profit Marketing as the Secret Ingredient

Non-profit marketing is about starting with the essential things you do and figuring out how to sell them. It's not about making a big splash. It's not about getting rich.

Non-profit organizations sell things—food, housing, transportation, health care—or offer services people want. They are businesses, but they are different from for-profit companies in some critical respects.

  • First, they have no shareholders. That means their income does not go to shareholders or shareholders' heirs. The revenue goes to the non-profit organization's employees, or most of it does. That's very different from for-profit businesses, where most of the income goes to the owners or their heirs
  • Second, suppose most of the organization's income goes to employees or volunteers rather than owners or heirs. In that case, it is easier for employees or volunteers to buy things that the organization sells. That means that buying small quantities is cheaper than buying large amounts—and that means that you can't just buy lots of stuff and sell it at a premium price. There has to be enough volume for you to make money selling at all
  • Third, there are more opportunities because it is easier for employees or volunteers to buy what is sold by non-profits than by for-profit businesses

Focus on Providing Value Before You Ask for Anything in Return Through Non-Profit Marketing

Non-profit businesses are often set up to provide a service that the government or someone else is not already providing. That kind of business has its problems, but there is no reason to do it in a way that makes your customers think you are asking for money.

You have to offer something valuable before you ask people to pay for it. Otherwise, they won't pay. You can give them whatever you want them to have, but they won't understand why you are asking for money until they see the value.

It is possible to be too generous with your freebies. For example, if you have a website, one cheap trick is to have the content available for free for anyone who wants it, but then put ads on the page that shows how much more people will get if they buy something from you.

People who work in non-profits tend to be so busy doing good things that they fail to provide value to the customer, making customers want to buy their product. Some people think that "non-profits" are different from other companies and that it doesn't matter if non-profit businesses fail.

Non-profit marketing can be just like other businesses, and they need to do what other companies do. If you're selling a product, the customer wants value, and if you don't give it to her, she will find someone who does. The only difference is how you get paid: in a business model, you make money by selling the product; in a non-profit marketing model, you give things away.

Grow Organically and Think Outside the Box With Your Campaigns in Non-Profit Marketing

Organic growth is the result of good marketing and good product. A lot of businesses try to grow by spending money on advertising. But most people don't want to buy what the ad is selling, so it doesn't work very well.

Many businesses try to grow by spending money on salespeople, but that's even worse than advertising because most people don't buy what you're selling, either.

Many consulting firms specialize in this, but if you're a non-profit, it's almost impossible to get the same kind of attention.

Companies don't usually want to know what you do or how you do it. They don't want to think out of the box. They want things to be simple so they can get on with making money. But if you're into non-profit marketing, you have to think out of the box because there's no money in the box.

So you have no choice but to be creative. You have to start from scratch and come up with a way of getting attention that's different from what people expect. You have to think up new ways of telling your story that others haven't thought about before.

Organic growth results from developing a good product and then getting people to tell their friends about it.

Use Social Media for Direct Support in Non-Profit Marketing

Social media is a great way to get the word out about your organization's work, but it's also an incredibly effective way to raise money directly.

This kind of direct support is an underutilized resource in non-profit organizations. It's easy to focus on promoting your cause rather than fundraising because you don't have a staff devoted to raising money. But you can't afford to.

By using social media for promotion and direct support, you can extend your social network and reach out to new donors. And you can even use social media as a low-cost tool to gauge awareness of your cause and help you target your future promotional campaigns.

Marketing is about making people aware of you to come to you for direct support. Marketing includes the use of social media, things like creating Facebook pages, tweeting links to your blog posts, and posting inspirational memes on pinterest.

Direct support is a necessary form of funding for non-profit organizations. Don't underestimate the importance of face-to-face interactions with donors.

The lesson here is that "marketing" isn't just about using social media to blast out your message to as many people as you can reach. Non-profit marketing is also about having a personal relationship with your donors to feel personally invested in what you are doing.

Instead of saying, "we need to use social media to reach new people," think about how you can use it to enhance and strengthen your relationships with current supporters and potential supporters.

How to Make the Most Out of Online Donations in Non-Profit Marketing?

The internet has made it easier to be a non-profit organization. It allows you to reach out to more donors and create more awareness.

What are the ways of doing so? You can start with creating a website for your organization. You are not required to hire an expensive web developer or designer, as there are many free templates that you can use.

You can also create a blog for your non-profit marketing, where you can post information about your organization and the causes you are fighting for. Many people will be interested to learn about what you are doing and may become donors. And don't forget to include pictures! They will make your website much more attractive.

Another way is by creating social media accounts for your non-profit organization. This will help you spread the word about what you are doing and raise awareness of the various causes that you support. If possible, include links in your posts to your website or blog, which will allow people to find out even more about your organization.

It's a common problem for non-profit marketing in organizations: they have a lot of potential donors but not enough money to reach them all.

This is particularly irritating because it is unusual for a charity to have a broad range of supporters with various interests and income levels. Usually, it's the opposite: some people have more money than others, but they all think the same things are important. This means that the most valuable donors are likely to be those who cost the most.

So how can you find those most valuable donors? At first glance, it seems like you'd need some costly marketing campaign with a high probability of success.

Choose the Most Cost-Effective Non-Profit Marketing Tactic

The most cost-effective non-profit marketing tactic will be a function of three variables: the size of your budget, the size of the relevant population, and the tactic's effectiveness.

If you have a small budget but a large potential audience for your non-profit marketing, one way to get the most bang for your buck is to use a tactic that allows you to reach a large number of people at little cost per person. For instance, if you're trying to bring in donations, rather than spending $100 on an ad in The New York Times, spend $100 on buttons that say "Donate $5" and give them out at shopping malls.

If you have a small budget and a small potential audience, you might try very cheap tactics per person but don't reach many people.

For instance, if you're trying to raise awareness about the existence of your non-profit organization among teenage girls in rural America, it might be cheaper to buy an ad in Seventeen than to purchase T-shirts and distribute them in high schools where they'll end up in landfills.

There's no magic formula for finding the right balance between these three factors; there are too many unknowns.

Non-profit Marketing is always about making choices. If you're selling, you must choose between advertising and salespeople. If you're hiring someone, you must choose between salary and benefits. If you're buying something, you must choose between quality and price.

If your goal is to make money, marketing seems straightforward; pick the choice that costs the most. But if your goal is to do good, choosing the most expensive option may not be suitable.

How Deskera Can Assist You?

Whether you are a sales manager or running your own business or even running a non-profit, there are tons of duties and responsibilities that you have to fulfill. Using the Deskera CRM system, you can manage your contacts, leads and sales deals. You can use the CRM system to manage all customer data and manage your leads, sales negotiations and deals.

Doing so will help you to save the time taken in transferring customer data between the different systems. Having a good CRM system will help you manage your financial and sales reports and be prepared to kick-off your meetings.

Deskera can also assist you with real-time updates about your business like cash flow status, customer satisfaction, inventory management, sales, purchases, purchase orders, customer tickets, customer satisfaction, managing leads, revenues, profit, and loss statements, and balance sheets.

Moreover, it would also help in integrating sales methodology across different platforms onto one system so that you have a consolidated list for email campaigns, leads management, and sales pipeline to mention a few.

It will also help you to sync between your orders, payments, taxes, refunds, product variants, sending out invoices and reminders, facilitating invoice management, and even undertaking follow-ups and advertisement campaigns.

Such a consolidated platform will help you to improve your sales through building effective sales compensation plans and also facilitate faster and well-informed decision-making. It will help you in strengthening your opportunities and being braced for the threats.

Deskera books and Deskera CRM will also be able to ensure the highest customer satisfaction and thereby an increase in net revenues and net profits.

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Wrapping Up

Most non-profit marketing doesn't even try to market themselves, and most of those that do try focus on one marketing activity. That often gives them the worst of both worlds: they don't get much reach and spend a lot of money.

Most of the time, it is better for a non-profit to use many tactics than just one.

Key Takeaways

There's no one best way to non-profit marketing. However, there are some excellent places to start.

  • Start by defining your target audience. Are you marketing to people who love animals? Or to people who love music? Are you selling to college students or seniors? Your audience is the group of people you're trying to reach with your message.
  • Make your message clear and compelling. What problem do you do solve? Identify your mission and make it clear why people should support it. Get specific about how people will benefit from what you do; make sure what you offer provides real value for them.
  • Don't be afraid to get creative with your message. The best statements are the ones that resonate most strongly.
  • In non-profit marketing, it is all about spreading information: how many people can we reach, and how effectively can we share our message with them?
  • Non-profit marketing must choose its tactics not by cost but by its effectiveness in creating what it wants: more donations and more publicity for its cause.

At Deskera, we consistently strive to aid and facilitate non-profit marketing with our efficient marketing channels and support staff.

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