The challenges of nonprofit marketing.

Nonprofit organizations aren’t like other types of organizations. Driven not by profit, their ultimate goal is to win supporters for that cause. And to do that, they need exposure. But spend too much on PR and advertising and they risk alienating donors. It’s a delicate balancing act. But here’s how to approach the challenges in nonprofit marketing to maximize exposure and still do the most good.

The message is unclear or poorly defined.

This is a huge challenge for many nonprofits – they haven’t properly defined their strategy, which makes it difficult to find donors. You need to find a way of framing your particular cause as not only relevant, but important. Don’t take a shotgun approach to marketing. Narrow your target audience down to the people who can help you the most and those most likely to do so.

The message is difficult to remember or doesn’t stand out.

Nonprofits rely on inspiring and motivating others. As such, it’s important that your marketing focus not so much your organization, as on the goal you’re trying to achieve. Reinforce this goal with slogans, marketing materials and branded items that relay your message. For example, an organization that seeks to feed hungry children may be well served by giving away lunchboxes with their logo and tagline. Donors will remember the goal every time they break out their lunch. And they’ll also remember there are hungry people they could be helping.

Donors feel underappreciated

People like giving because it makes them feel good. They like the feeling of making a difference in the world, whether it’s by volunteering or financially supporting a worthy cause. Make sure they know how much your nonprofit values them with gestures of appreciation. A jacket emblazoned with your logo will show them you care, while also helping spread the word about your cause. Ball caps, pens and other smaller gestures are great too.

No one ever said nonprofit marketing was easy. But by taking these things into consideration,  they can more effectively spread their message. And that means doing more good.