Just like many for-profit businesses, nonprofit organizations need inexpensive ways to make money and round up supporters. In order to provide the much needed funds and services to their beneficiaries, nonprofits need to be creative and they absolutely have to promote themselves. For struggling nonprofits, it’s time to think like a businessperson. It’s time to hit the ground marketing.
Unfortunately, just like other start-ups, after (and probably even before) the inception of a nonprofit, there’s not much money lying around for advertisements and launch parties, and no one is donating to an organization they don’t know about.
Despite there being over one million nonprofit organizations currently active in the United States, many people struggle to come up with even three of them off the tops of their heads. Fortunately, there are inexpensive and sometimes free ways promote a lesser known nonprofit organization, if taken seriously.
Many people scoff at the idea of using social media as a marketing tool, but it is 2013, and choosing to be blind to social media is like shooting a business in the metaphorical foot. Considering there are about half a billion Twitter users and over one billion Facebook users, never before has there been an easier way to quickly get information out to the public.
Due to the possibility of an enormous audience, nonprofits need to make sure that their information is timely, consistent, and captivating; not annoying. There is such a thing as information overload, so quality over quantity should be the focus.
While this can be included in the social media section, people who have successfully created popular viral videos know this can be an undertaking all its own. Creating video content that reaches far and wide and speaks to more than one target market isn’t easy, but it’s also not costly.
For instance, think back a couple of years to the videos that put bullying in the forefront. They consisted of young people sitting in front of their cameras, holding up posters that described their situation without them having to say one word.
Those videos pull at the heartstrings, and though they weren’t intended for a specific organization, many people turned to actual organizations to help. Remember that viral videos don’t just have to be somber. A hilarious video can do just as much to get an organization in the public eye.
Recently, I was informed by the editor of a popular local magazine that their stories are reserved for experts and nonprofit organizations. Plain and simple: getting familiar with local newspapers, magazines, newsletters, etc., is extremely important in the marketing of an organization. Typically media outlets that focus on the goings on of a single community are more than happy to help organizations within the community.
Having press releases, event coverage, and stories about organizations and/or the members of them published are just a few of the advantages that nonprofit organizations can gain by aligning with local media.
It may seem counterproductive, but donating to another nonprofit can be a great way to be seen by an audience already known to be comprised of generous, concerned citizens. When larger nonprofits hold events that include auctions or raffles, create a basket for them. No nonprofit organization will deny extra donated items needed to bring in money. Plus, it’s always been said: give a little to get a little.
Business is business, and whether an organization is selling canned good or trying to gather them to feed hungry families, it needs to see marketing as a vital part of operations. Marketing equals visibility, and visibility is key.
Enjoy this article? Subscribe to my page by clicking the Subscribe button to keep your place in the nonprofit in-crowd.