How to Market Your Nonprofit Like a Pro

As a fundraising communications consultant, clients often ask me how they can market and promote their nonprofit organization more effectively. They want to reach more people, raise more awareness, and generate more support for their cause.

I always tell them marketing is more than just selling a product or service. It’s about telling a story, creating connections, and inspiring action. It’s about sharing your mission, values, vision, and programs with the world in a way that resonates with your audience and motivates them to join you.

But how do you do that?

How do you craft a compelling message that stands out from the crowd and makes an impact?

How do you design and execute a successful marketing campaign that uses the right tools and channels for your goals and budget? How do you measure and improve the effectiveness of your marketing efforts?

In this blog post, I’ll share some of the key points I learned from an online course, Marketing Your Nonprofit, by Linda Kissam, a professional writer and nonprofit consultant. It covers the basics of marketing, such as common terminology, concepts, and techniques, as well as the specific marketing challenges and opportunities nonprofits face.

I took this course waaay back in 2016, and it helped me adapt my marketing knowledge to nonprofit audiences. This course might be for you if you’re new to a nonprofit marketing role.

Here are some of the tips I learned from the course that you may find helpful:

  • Set clear and measurable marketing goals and objectives that align with your organization’s mission statement and address the needs of donors, members, customers, and stakeholders. For example, you may want to increase your donor retention rate by 10% or attract 100 new volunteers for your upcoming event.


  • Find and communicate your organization’s unique niche, image, and brand in the market, and differentiate it from competitors and other nonprofits. For example, you may want to emphasize your organization’s impact on the community or showcase your testimonials from satisfied customers or beneficiaries.


  • Develop a comprehensive marketing plan that incorporates the six P’s of marketing: product (what you offer), public (your target audience), price (cost of your service or product), place (where folks can access your product or service), production (how efficiently you can meet the demand for your product or service), and promotion (conveying your image and motivating people to respond). For example, you may want to offer a free trial of your service or create a referral program that rewards your loyal customers.


  • Design and execute a successful promotional campaign that uses various tools and channels, such as advertising, public relations, publicity, sales, word-of-mouth, social media, and events. For example, create a catchy slogan or logo for your campaign, or host a webinar or workshop that showcases your expertise.


  • Create compelling messages that highlight the benefits and features of your product or service, appeal to your audience’s emotions and values, and inspire them to take action. For example, you might use storytelling techniques or testimonials to illustrate how your product or service can solve a problem or fulfill a need for your audience.


  • Measure and improve the effectiveness of your marketing efforts by using various methods and tools, such as market research, surveys, focus groups, feedback forms, analytics, and testing. For example, track how many people visit your website or sign up for your newsletter after seeing your ad or receiving your email.


  • Encourage creativity and innovation in marketing by sharing best practices, case studies, and resources from successful nonprofit marketers. For example, follow some blogs or podcasts featuring nonprofit marketing tips.

These are just some key points you’ll learn in Marketing Your Nonprofit. You’ll find the course through the University of Waterloo’s Online program. If you want to learn more or enroll, click here: Marketing Your Nonprofit.

I hope you found this blog post helpful. If you have any questions or comments about nonprofit marketing, please feel welcome to drop them in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading.

Here’s to taking your marketing skills waaay up!



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