Marketing Your Non-Profit: Is It “Nice” to be Needy?

Many non-profit groups shy away from marketing because they believe it’s not nice to state your cause and then ask for money. Let that idea go.

Re-direct your mind to a new way of thinking. Good marketing actually helps your donors understand and appreciate the value their donor dollars have. Good marketing illustrates the need and then asks for help to fill that need.

For example, a foundation that raises money for safe housing for low income families, could illustrate a day-in-the-life of a family living in sub-standard accommodations. As a foundation, you know the need is real. So make it real for your donors.

Who is the target audience for this message? Research similar organizations in other cities and find out to whom they direct their marketing. Develop a prospect and donor database and continually tailor it for use in special mailings, telephone requests, and invitations to events. Always remember to invite your key donors to key events. Forgetting about them is a sure way to lose them.

Good marketing tools are critical. A clean logo, effective tagline, descriptive brochures that detail the need, and a simple website that allows people to understand your cause and easily donate to it, are critical.

Don’t forget social media that includes Twitter and Facebook. These are very effective, low cost ways to reach your donor market.

Yes, nice people ask for money. Make sure every marketing piece you create asks for donations. And make it simple to donate. Online donations are always easiest for most people, but some like to send a cheque or walk into your office and hand it to a real person. Everyone has their own comfort zone, so make sure you offer a variety of ways to accept donations.

Know your financial goals! Make sure you know how much you need to raise before you start and share it with the whole fundraising team, from staff to volunteers. A sure way not to reach a goal is not to have one.

Your cause is a good one. Let the world know.


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