A Simple 7-Step Guide for Creating a Nonprofit Marketing Plan
Do you have a nonprofit marketing strategy? Many nonprofit organizations feel uncomfortable with calling outreach “marketing.” But that’s essentially what it is. In order to continue whatever good work you’re doing, you’ll need funds and other kinds of support. How can you go about doing that? Here’s how to make a solid nonprofit marketing plan in seven simple steps:
- Start With a Self-Assessment
Before you look forward, you need to look back. Who are you reaching currently? Are the channels you’re already using working for you, or not? Be honest — it’s better to start over now than try to hold onto things that aren’t effective.
- Set Goals and Objectives
Define your nonprofit’s long-term goals, and then set more concrete objectives that will lead you there. Remember that objectives need to be specific in order to be actionable; if one of your goals is to grow every year for the next five years, an attached objective should lay out targets to hit every single year.
- Clarify Your Unique Value
Before you can reach out, you need to look inward at what makes your organization unique. This process is called “differentiation.” If you’re having trouble putting it into words, ask someone who already supports you from the outside (a volunteer, a donor, etc.) why he or she is supporting your organization, rather than another one. If youreally can’t come up with something that differentiates your organization, it may be time to put marketing on hold until you’ve done some strategic planning and reshaping.
- Craft an Inspiring Message
How can you create a message that resonates with your target demographic? That’s hard to sum up in a paragraph, but you can start with the helpful CRAM method: crafting messages that are connecting, rewarding, actionable and memorable.
- Select Your Channels
Deciding how to distribute your message may be the hardest part of creating a nonprofit marketing plan. Keep two things in mind. First, don’t underestimate the power of social media. A full 74% of Internet users are on social media sites, and while you might not get a $100,000 donation as soon as someone starts following your page, there is real power in that kind of engagement. Second, target and personalize your messages as much as possible. List brokers can provide you with telemarketer calling lists, direct mailing lists and email lists for more qualified leads. Think it won’t make much of a difference? Take a look at these stats: Personalized emails get a 14% higher click-through rate and a 10% higher conversion rate, and relevant emails bring in 18 times as much revenue as broadcast ones.
- Define and Assign Work
Now it’s time to put it all into action — that means actually breaking down the work into tasks and assigning responsibilities.
- Measure and Adjust
You can’t improve your efforts if you don’t know how you’re doing. Look at key metrics on a regular basis and adjust as necessary.
Is this an improvement over your current nonprofit marketing plan? Join the discussion in the comments.