Marketing for Non-profits: Putting the Pieces Together

nonprofit direct marketing putting the pieces togetherThe changing face of marketing has certainly had an impact on non-profit organizations over the past few years. And while non-profits have their unique set of challenges when it comes to getting their message out to donors and constituents, many of the issues they face are similar to what their for profit compatriots face.

Over the last few years we’ve heard many of our nonprofit clients voice their concerns about how to do marketing in an increasingly online world. As we talk with them about their marketing challenges we hear comments such as:

  • I’m doing social media, but I don’t know if its’ really helping increase donations.
  • There are SO many channels to choose from—how do I know what works?
  • Email is a lot cheaper than direct mail, but it doesn’t seem to be working as well—what’s wrong?
  • I keep hearing about pURLs generating crazy responses for OTHER companies and organizations, but they aren’t working for me.
  • I just need a proven system or plan for integrating all these marketing channels.

One of the things that we tell our non-profit (and our for profit) clients is that marketing isn’t an “either/or” proposition. It’s not about finding the one tool that will magically work in your situation. Your constituents are different. What works for one segment of your audience may not work for another segment. And if a significant portion of your audience is older, they may not respond as well to some of the newer social media tools.

It’s important to remember that new marketing tools are still just tools. Make sure your message is clear and concise. Make sure you have clear objectives for every marketing effort—and that those objectives are in sync with one another. Then look for ways that you can coordinate your efforts so that they give you multiple opportunities to get your message out—and get responses.

Getting those responses is key. Bear in mind that different segments of your constituency may prefer different methods of response. Some may want to call. Some may want to send a written response. Some will want to go online. Adapt your communication to and from your constituents to what works best for them. Use all the pieces of your marketing puzzle to get the best possible results.

What are your biggest marketing challenges in the non-profit arena?

By the way, if you’re looking for help integrating the various components of your nonprofit marketing plan, you won’t want to miss our free webinar on Cross-Channel Marketing for Non-profits on December 8.