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A Beginner's Guide to Nonprofit Marketing

Almost every nonprofit organization struggles with developing a marketing plan when low resources, personnel, and expertise are a reality. It can be difficult trying to advance an organization when you are following a strict budget, without wiggle room. We understand that you are working for a great cause, and that these organizations need help in finding creative solutions to their marketing goals. Nonprofit organizations have the ability to market their cause in a way that will increase donations, volunteers, and structural growth. Ultimately, our goal is to allow nonprofit organizations to grow awareness while dispersing the hard work needed to create a successful institution.

Many marketing experts within nonprofit organizations are volunteers or are not getting paid as much as a typical corporate position, so we understand that an in-depth marketing strategy may seem like a waste of time to your mission. But in order to grow, it is vital to follow the below steps and incorporate them into your organization's marketing efforts. Adjust this plan for every association, and grow your incredible organization.

  1. Create Marketing Goals: Ask yourself a few basic questions about your organization. What do you want to achieve? What are you lacking? What type of resources do you have access to? How can you gain additional resources? We know you are limited, so create SMART goals that will help your organization to understand the common marketing mission.

    1. Specific: Develop a specific goal for the marketing team or individual. For instance, the goal can be to post on social media three times a week or send a blog post via email once a week.

    2. Measurable: Find a way to measure the success of the goal. The goal to post more on social media may ideally produce a 20% increase in engagement and 100 more followers by the end of the month. Your goal also may be funding based, or to increase volunteers in a specific county by 15 people.

    3. Attainable: Keep your goals reasonable for the size and resources of your nonprofit organization. Many marketing experts will seek last year’s statistics and create growth by five or ten percent more. Be sure to consider the current economical and social climate of the organization.

    4. Relevant: Every goal should be relevant to the overall mission of the organization. In other words, these goals should not be random or out of place. They should increase awareness and cultivate genuine growth.

    5. Timely: As always, it is necessary to develop a timeline for every goal or they may fall through the cracks. For example, start posting on social media next week in order to ensure the anticipated increase in engagement by the end of the month.

  2. Determine Effective Marketing Channels: To decide on which marketing channels will result in success, take a moment to understand the audience. Consider who will realistically volunteer or donate funds to best understand where these individuals are. Do your research on where specific demographics seek this information and engage with nonprofit organizations. Check out our last blog post to find free solutions to advanced market research.

  3. Analysis: To continue advancing an organization, every marketer understands that proper analysis is the other half to a successful marketing strategy. You can begin this analysis by looking at past marketing efforts and how successful they were. Research what campaigns and which marketing channels created the most success. Understand the shortcomings of past marketing strategies, and make the appropriate changes.

Pinpoint the goals of your nonprofit organization, and find a way to reasonably achieve them. Create SMART goals, understand the proper marketing channels, and continue doing thorough analysis of each campaign.


Daniel James Consulting is a Full-Service Business Consulting Firm based in New York that designs solutions tailored specifically to the needs of your business in order to ensure you achieve continued success by designing, developing and implementing plans, metrics and platforms, be it a one-man operation, non-profit, startup or large organization. Our packaged solutions or a la carte selections include Website Design, Marketing & Advertising, Search Engine Positioning, and Graphic Design. Business Management Solutions are also available for companies of all sizes. For more information please


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