7 Quintessential Ingredients for Marketing a Non-Profit Organization.
Recently, I heard a person say that a better name for non-profit organizations is “for purpose” organizations. I really like that! As the late Peter Drucker reflected, “the bottom line of any non-profit is changed lives.” Just imagine where our world be without hospitals, churches, relief organizations and the like. Despite all their goodness however, there is one thing that non-profits are terrible at, marketing!
Marketing is the process of bringing who you are to the market. It includes brand items like your logo, your website and your Facebook page, but also general things like what you wear to work and how you tell your story.
The following 7-step marketing process will help you think through and plan a great marketing foundation for your non-profit organization. Before spending money on advertising and publicity, make sure these foundational elements are in place.
Master checklist for marketing a nonprofit organization:
1. An Active Board
2. Consistent Brand
3. Responsive Website
4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
5. Monthly Email Campaigns
6. Customer Relationship Management
7. Social Media Strategy
FUNDAMENTAL 1: AN ACTIVE BOARD
In the ©How to Plant a Business consulting model, I liken the strategic plan of an organization to the trunk of a tree. It holds everything together. Following this analogy, the board of directors are like deep roots, they provide connection to the necessary resources and nourishment to keep the organization healthy.
The first step of marketing any non-profit organization is intentional involvement by a active board of directors.
The A-C-T-I-V-E Board Member
A – ATTENDS ALL MEETINGS
a. The input of every board member is critical for protecting and promoting the vision of the organization.
C – CONTRIBUTES FINANCIALLY
a. Lots of board members will join for “status” or “fun”. You want board members that put their skin in the game.
T – TIME & TALENT CONTRIBUTION
a. In addition to financial contributions, board members should be actively engaged in providing time and talent towards:
I – IDENTIFIES TARGET PARTNER
a. Board members should always be on the lookout for potential target partners.
V – VALUES SHARED
a. A board member must deeply believe in the values of the organization.
E – ENCOURAGES THE TEAM
a. It’s easy for board members to point out what’s going wrong, but genuine board members encourage rather than discourage.
FUNDAMENTAL 2: CONSISTENT BRAND
Brand is how you make people feel. Lackluster quality in any of the following items will greatly diminish the ability of an organization to transfer enthusiasm and confidence towards its mission. When was the last time that anyone at your organization asked, “How does our website make people feel?”
Any organization serious about growing beyond their immediate circle of friends needs to consider building a brand that is viable in the marketplace.
Fundamental Brand Necessities
a. The logo should be clean and uncluttered.
b. The logo must be designed by a trained artist.
c. The logo should work equally well in both black and white and color variations.
d. The logo should be easily discernible at small sizes.
e. The logo should be cause appropriate
WELL DEFINED COLOR PALETTE
a. An organization should use up to 5 defined colors to be used in all print and digital media design. Not more than 5!
a. Professional head shots for all board & staff
b. Cause specific photography representing those you serve
c. No “fake looking” people
PROFESSIONAL “BUSINESS SET”
b. Business Cards
c. Stationery & Thank You Cards
WELL DEFINED COMPANY VOICE
a. Pre-established print and graphic design principles
b. Pre-established communication and personality guidelines
WELL DEFINED ELEVATOR SPEECH
a. Simplifying the story of your organization, empowering your board and team members to create a lasting impression of your cause in a a very short period of time.
WELL DEFINED MARKET POSTURE & TALKING POINTS
a. Ability to present core capacities and unique abilities of your organization.
Your website is the place where potential partners develop assumptions about your organization. It allows you to share your brand and your story with potential partners twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
In light of the fact that most people are now searching the internet on a mobile device or tablet, having a responsive website is critical. A responsive website allows people to access your organization on any device.
Fundamental Email & Website Necessities
REGISTERED WEBSITE DOMAIN
a. Example: www.yourorganization.org
b. Secure Doman – “https vs http”
–Helps in Google searches
WEBSITE HOSTING – RENTING SPACE ON THE WORLD WIDE WEB
a. Dedicated or shared hosting on a reputable service
EMAIL & CALENDAR APPLICATIONS
a. You email should include your website domain in your email address.
b. Your email should allow you web access from anywhere.
a. Must be designed by a trained artist & programmer.
b. Must be easy to use with simple navigation.
–Every page has a point.
–Every page transfers enthusiasm and confidence.
–Every page is a “know page”, “go page”, or “do page.
c. Must be responsive.
–Works flawlessly on smartphone
–Works flawlessly on iPad & tablet
–Works flawlessly on laptop & desktop
a. Ability to receive donations securely
FUNDAMENTAL 4: SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
When someone is looking for information about your cause, will they find your organization or someone else?A website has greatly diminished value if it is not properly optimized for Internet search.
Properly setting up your website to be found by your target audience is critical. This process is called SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Fundamental SEO Requirements
a. Discover what key words people are actually searching for.
DEFINE A KEYWORD OR KEY PHRASE PER PAGE
a. URL, title, paragraph, images, metadata, & page text must include that keyword.
MONTHLY MONITORING & UPDATING AS NECESSARY
a. SEO maintenance and updates
FUNDAMENTAL 5: MONTHLY EMAIL CAMPAIGNS
Despite the ever-increasing amount of Social Media usage, people still want to receive emails from people and organizations they care about. Having a strategy to inform and remind your partners of your cause is critical to any marketing strategy.
Fundamental Email Blast Requirements
MONTHLY EMAIL CAMPAIGN HOSTING
DEFINE MONTHLY CAMPAIGN MESSAGE & ASK BASED ON EITHER:
a. Vision Message – Share about the change that can be!
b. Mission Message – Share about the actions you are taking to bring change!
c. Values Message – Share about the core principles that influence why you do what you do!
MONTHLY EMAIL CAMPAIGN COPY WRITTEN
MONTHLY EMAIL CAMPAIGN DESIGNED
MONTHLY EMAIL CAMPAIGN MEASURED & REPORTED
FUNDAMENTAL 6: CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT
A customer relationship manager (CRM) allows you to keep track of important facts and donor information as your organization grows. It also provides a platform for keeping track of your marketing campaigns.
Fundamental CRM Requirements
CRM USED TO COPY IMPORTANT DONOR INFORMATION
CRM USED TO TRACK YOUR DONATION LEADS AND OPPORTUNITIES
CRM USED TO TRACK CAMPAIGNS
FUNDAMENTAL 7: SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
Social Media is the vehicle that allows you to share the values and priorities of your organization with a large audience. Social Media provides a “low cost probe” to determine and implement messaging that is effective before spending large dollar amounts on publicity and advertising.
Social Media is the outlet that allows you to “feed your tribe” with stories and engagement opportunities.
Fundamental Social Media Requirements
DEFINED SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS FOR ENGAGEMENT
SOCIAL MEDIA POSTING STRATEGY
a. Ex.: Motivational Mondays, Testimonial Tuesdays, etc.
SOCIAL MEDIA CHAMPION
a. Exemplifies the values of the organization.
b. Effectively represents the organization’s voice.
SOCIAL MEDIA LANDING PAGE DESIGN
- If you have more than 30 of these fundamentals covered, you are a marketing genius! (or working with one) Go and teach others how to impact lives!
- Less than 30? You need some marketing help! Call today, we can help! 615-969-3546