Written by Christine Rahill, Impact Coach and Nonprofit Consultant
How can my nonprofit better prioritize and plan our marketing?
The one thing in common at many nonprofits is that staffers wear lots of hats. One thing that seems to fall through the cracks is marketing. Maybe you don’t have a budget for it or maybe your small team just doesn’t have the skill set to market your organization like a pro, so how can you prioritize and plan for marketing?
Many nonprofits have this issue, especially smaller ones with small staffs. The best time to start planning for your marketing is when you’re making overall plans for your organization for the year.
Create a marketing plan by starting to think about which target audience you want to reach for each of your programs and events. The audience might be donors, volunteers, grantors, the business community, the general press, or others. Then you decide on the best strategy to reach those target audiences. These strategies might include communication by newsletter, e-mail, press release, social media, personal invitation or personal note. Website updates should always be included as part of your plan so you continue to drive your audience there to learn more about your organization and consider making a donation.
Once you design the strategy for each of your communications, you’ll want to be sure to assign the responsibility to create and distribute the communication throughout the year. If you don’t have a marketing team, consider tapping your volunteers and board members. You might find someone with a communications skill set that can handle some of your outreach. You could also outsource your communications work for much less than it would cost to hire and train a new staffer.
Hopefully, there will be some unexpected successes that you want to share as they arise, like a large grant award or major gift. Once you have that marketing process in place, you can easily add any milestone into the process.
It is also important to work success stories into your marketing plan. Client success stories are very powerful and go a long way to helping move volunteers and donors to action and support. You should identify several clients whose experience tells the story of how your work is fulfilling your mission. These clients become your brand ambassadors and, with proper coaching, can also tell their stories in video testimonials, newsletters, blog posts and at your events.
These easy steps can truly help your nonprofit work marketing into the plan.