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Guide To Putting Together A Nonprofit Marketing Plan

Author: Adie M.
Nonprofit marketing plan

The success of most things in life comes down to planning. The world of charity marketing is no exception. 

While the process of putting together a nonprofit marketing plan can get quite complex, it ultimately boils down to five main steps. These are setting your goal, researching marketing trends and current affairs, identifying your target audience, determining your budget, and choosing your marketing channels. 

Follow these five steps, and you should run into no major difficulties putting together a successful marketing plan. 

5 Steps To Create An Effective Nonprofit Marketing Plan 

1. Set Your Goal 

Before you can put together a marketing plan, you need to have an idea of what you are working towards. 

Don't make the mistake of underestimating the power of good goal-setting. It prevents you from losing sight of what you are trying to achieve with your marketing efforts. 

The best goals are those that conform to the SMART acronym. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. 

Here is a rundown of how to make your goal SMART. 

  • Specific: Try and choose one particular thing to focus on. If you get too vague or focus on too many things, it becomes a lot harder to achieve your goal. 
  • Measurable: You need to be able to measure the progress you have made towards meeting your goal, and identify when your goal has been met. Make sure there are metrics and indicators you can use to help you do so. 
  • Attainable: Your goal needs to be attainable. If it is not, you are setting yourself up for failure from the get-go. While you want to push yourself, your goal must be realistic, or else it does not serve its purpose. 
  • Relevant: Your goal needs to be aligned with your overall mission.
  • Time-based: You must give yourself a deadline for when you want to achieve your goal. Without a date in mind, it becomes easy to lose momentum and focus.

2. Look Into Current Affairs And Marketing Trends 

It's a good idea to take some time to research what is going on in the world. See what is happening in the news, and which marketing trends are dominating the industry. Look at what marketing techniques other similar nonprofit organizations are doing. This will give you a good indication of what works well. 

Remember, a good marketing campaign is up-to-date and relevant. If you can connect your marketing with current affairs, it is a good way to get a lot of exposure and reach a wide audience. 

Women who work for Nonprofit

3. Identify Your Target Audience 

Identifying and catering to your target market is one of the main ingredients for a successful marketing campaign. 

You should do this early on in your efforts to put together a marketing plan. This is because your target audience will impact different parts of your marketing plan, like which marketing channels you choose to use. 

Once you have identified your target audience, it is a good idea to segment them into different groups depending on different characteristics. 

For example, your target audience might be new donors. You could then divide this audience according to their age, and approach the age groups differently. 

It is also a good idea to use donor personas. A donor persona is a fictional representation of your target audience or segment of your target audience. It's best to give them a name and always keep them in mind when you are making marketing decisions. 

4. Determine Your Budget 

When you are in the world of non-profit, you really have to manage your funds carefully. Every dollar counts, and you don't want to be wasting money that could be better spent elsewhere. 

Therefore, it's a good idea to determine your marketing budget while you are putting together a non-profit marketing plan. 

This will prevent you from overspending, and guide you toward marketing channels that will give you the biggest return on your investment. 

Be specific about your marketing expenses and how you will allocate your budget. This will decrease your chances of running into unexpected expense issues down the line. It also makes it easier to get stakeholders and board members on board! 

5. Choose The Best Channels To Reach Your Audience 

Now you know your target audience and budget, it's time to decide on the channels you will use to reach your audience. 

There are so many different channels you can use. Each comes with its pros and cons, and you should spend some time deciding on which channels would work best for you. 

Here is a rundown of some of the most popular channels: 

  • Social media: Social media is one of the most popular digital marketing channels for a reason. There are so many different social media platforms, and many of these provide multiple ways for you to market your Non-Profit Organization. Look into which social media platforms are most used by your target market. If you don't have the budget for paid advertising, you can at least set up a profile and post content for free. 
  • Email marketing: Emailing is a great way to get hold of many different types of supporters. It is especially good for donor retention, as you can send out personalized emails to previous donors. 
  • Google Ad Grant: The Google Ad Grant program is a great marketing tool. It provides free advertising for up to $10 000 a month for eligible NPOs. 

Two women working on laptop

Final Thoughts 

And there you have it! The basics of non-profit marketing planning. The importance of this planning cannot be stressed enough. It is crucial to successful marketing, which in turn is crucial for fundraising. 

Good planning boils down to good goal setting, researching your target market, marketing trends, and current affairs, budgeting, and choosing the right marketing channels. Get these right, and you should have no problems planning a successful marketing campaign for your nonprofit organization.