It is Important to Have a Marketing Strategy for Your Not-for-Profit?


What is not for profit marketing and how does it work?

Not for profit marketing refers to actions and techniques that allow organisations to communicate their message, seek funds, and recruit volunteers. The planning of a media campaign to expose the organisation to an outside audience, as well as the production of logos, slogans, and copy, are all part of not-for-profit marketing. The purpose of not-for-profit marketing is to gain the attention of potential volunteers and funders by promoting the organisation’s purpose, ideas, and outcomes.

For starters, not for profit marketing can be challenging since ideas and causes need to be communicated sensitively; hence require more effort to promote and sell than commercial items and services. On the plus side, not-for-profit organisations have something that business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) marketers sometimes lack: a clear objective, an appealing cause and in most cases, a heart-warming story to share.

The value of creating a marketing strategy.

It is important for your organisation to have a marketing strategy as it becomes the lighthouse for your marketing efforts. Having a strategic approach to target marketing activities will make the impact of your marketing dollars more effective than just haphazard marketing. Some benefits of a marketing strategy are listed below:

  1. To concentrate your team’s efforts on broadening their reach and raising community awareness – Marketing assists you in disseminating your message and inviting people to give to your cause, attend events, and volunteer. It also allows you to connect with others who may be interested in your cause but have not yet heard about it. This implies that your marketing efforts, particularly those on your website and social media platforms, should be meticulously designed so that you have the best opportunity of establishing your not-for-profit as a genuine organisation to those who are considering donating.


  1. To give your team critical information and clarification – To create a not-for-profit marketing plan, you must consider your marketing objectives, your audience’s communication needs, your organisation’s brand, your budget, the marketing channels you want to employ, and the responsibilities your team members will play in your marketing strategy. As you plan for a specific fundraising or a broad marketing push, determining each of these components may bring essential clarification and insight for your team.

Steps for creating a not-for-profit marketing plan. 

As you go through this section, keep in mind that each of these procedures should be tailored to your organisation’s particular requirements. Each organisation is unique, and you are the expert on your target audience. Make sure you’re thinking about your objective, audience, and goals at all times.

  • Establish Your Objective – You’re more likely to lose sight of what you want to accomplish with your marketing campaign if you don’t define a particular aim for it. As you publish information throughout many marketing platforms, it’s simpler to become diverted and harder to stay on course. I propose that you start by looking at data from a similar campaign or event from the prior year. 
  • Determine who your target market is – Your marketing strategy should be tailored to a certain demographic. You can choose to target existing or former supporters, possible new supporters, or a new group that might be interested in your cause and willing to assist you achieve your goals. We propose segmenting your current audience once you’ve determined who you want to reach. This entails categorising your audience into groups based on shared qualities or traits. You may categorise your audience by age, gender, giving preference, giving history, or type of donation. 
  • Choose Your Promotional Pathways – It’s time to determine the marketing channels you’ll utilize during your campaign once you’ve set a clear objective, feel like you genuinely understand what your donors need from you, and have a strong handle on your budget. For example, you may decide that running a few television/radio advertisings, sending direct mail appeals, and sharing blog articles are the best ways to get the word out about your impending event. 
  • Implement Your Strategy – You should be able to utilize your marketing strategy to lead your team throughout the campaign once you’ve created one. Check your document frequently to ensure that you’re meeting deadlines, achieving your goals, and remaining within your budget. As you dive into the complexities of your marketing and fundraising initiatives, your marketing strategy will keep your team organized.
  • Analyse the results for the following year – Take advantage of the chance to collect relevant data that you can use to guide future marketing initiatives as you progress through your marketing plan. The data you track will differ slightly depending on your campaign. We recommend that you keep note of the following:
  1. The campaign’s highs and lows.
  2. How effective have you been in achieving your objective?
  3. What factors led to your success or failure?
  4. What were the most effective marketing channels?
  5. What role did team members have in your success and what can they do to help you be even more successful in the future?

Following are three not-for-profit organisations, where we can learn and apply some of the concepts to have a successful content marketing campaign.


  1. Charity: Water – When charity: water celebrated its fifth anniversary, they launched a campaign to thank all of their supporters for helping them fund the $42 million required to start 4,282 water projects for 2 million people in need. They thanked their fans with an Internet video and encouraged their employees to be creative. Charity: Water provided its employees the freedom and opportunity to create material that would help them connect with their fans.
  2. Make-A-Wish – The Make-A-Wish Foundation, which began in 1980 by assisting one youngster in becoming a police officer, today fulfils a new child’s wish every 40 minutes in the United States. Make-A-Wish has given youngsters the opportunity to meet Michael Jordan, make professional music videos, and travel overseas. Make-A-Wish broadcasts all of its video wishes on YouTube, posts all granted wishes on its website, and posts information on Facebook and Twitter.
  3. Department of Health (England): The Awkward Conversations Projects – While the Department of Health isn’t exactly a typical not for profit, its YouTube video campaign, The Awkward Conversations Project, might teach other organisations a thing or two. Many popular YouTube vloggers were enlisted by the Department of Health to create films about unpleasant themes for teens, such as sex, alcohol, and other methods to live a healthy lifestyle. The Department of health’s effort, according to E-Consultancy, yielded some impressive results:
  • Nearly four million people watched the 10 videos.
  • A click-through rate of 7.4 percent for a pre-roll campaign (versus. YouTube’s 1.5 percent guideline).
  • On the day of upload, all of the videos were in the top 50 most popular on YouTube.

Not-for-profits also have lower marketing resources than for-profit companies, so they garner less attention on social media. Budget limits may make content marketing much more challenging, although having a clear objective can make captivating storytelling much simpler. Not-for-profit causes, such as social concerns, the environment, and healthcare, for example, are significantly more amenable to captivating narrative than most businesses or services.

One of the most difficult aspects of non-for-profit marketing is persuading people to give to a cause without receiving anything in return. Many not-for-profits, on the other hand, are discovering that social media may assist with this since it allows people to quickly express why they are contributing and urge friends and family to do the same. This is akin to word-of-mouth marketing in several ways. Social media fosters collaboration and provides users the illusion that they are actively making a difference in topics that matter to them.