Marketing for Nonprofits: Why You Need a Strategic Marketing Plan

Nonprofit marketing plansMarketing can be a challenging subject for nonprofit organizations.  Some nonprofits are reluctant to spend resources on marketing or don’t fully understand what a marketing campaign can do for them.  Others simply lack the finances or time to put into marketing.  In a recent survey of nonprofits, 39% of respondents said that marketing is not a strategic initiative and 81% said that they do not have a strategic marketing plan.  Despite the perceptions, marketing for nonprofits is a necessity.

Successful fundraisers know that donors are more likely to give when they understand the need, see the impact an organization is making on that need, and believe that the organization is a trustworthy steward of those needs.  When asked to identify the most significant issues facing their nonprofit, the top three responses were communicating the organizations impact (81%), lack of awareness of the cause (62%), and lack of awareness of the organization (56%).  Respondents also indicated that they highly valued various forms of marketing—direct mail being the only exception—but most organizations lacked a strategic plan to use their communication channels effectively. That translates into missed opportunity.  Developing a strategic marketing plan helps nonprofit organizations communicate a unified message across a variety of fronts, including public relations, social media, volunteer communications, and fundraising appeals.

The ability to communicate a focused message gives organizations a competitive edge.  70% of nonprofits also indicated that they had raised their fundraising goals for 2013.  With the nation’s economic forecast still uncertain, that means nonprofits will continue competing for donors and resources.   Those organizations best able to communicate the need, impact, and trustworthiness of their organization will be best positioned to connect with the hearts and pocketbooks of those willing to engage.

Firefly Marketing  & PR can help your organization develop a strategic marketing plan and implement it in a way that best suits your strengths.  Contact us to learn more about how Firefly can help you communicate your message.

Q:  What strategies have been most effective in communicating your organization’s impact?

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