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5 Marketing Techniques for Nonprofits

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Is your goal to more effectively market your nonprofit? Your nonprofit is similar to a for-profit business in that selling your cause is one of the most important parts of your development. Potential donors are the lifeblood of nonprofits – without them, your organization can’t survive.

As a nonprofit, your central focus should be marketing to potential donors. Donor-centric development is possible through targeted marketing specialized to appeal to donors’ passions, beliefs, and motivations.
Here are five marketing techniques that will help you develop a donor-centric campaign.

1. Create donor personas. When creating a donor persona, you must first think about the demographics of your ideal donor. Who is this person? Where do they live? What is their income? Their age? Marital status? This information will give you a much clearer picture of who your target is and how to engage them.

2. Craft a Unique Value Proposition. A Unique Value Proposition (UVP) does exactly what its name suggests. It describes the exclusive, continuous value your donors will gain by supporting your cause. Specifically, it answers two questions:

  • What makes your cause unique and worthy of support?
  • How is supporting your nonprofit beneficial for both your prospective donors (either individuals or businesses) and for the community?

Your UVP should speak to your target audience, focus on a return for investment, and emphasize sustainable, continued value. A UVP can help you shape a powerful message to attract the right supporters. That message then has to be brought to potential donors.

3. Take to social media. A study done by the Content Marketing Institute found that 92 percent of nonprofits are using social media, blogging, email, and video for their marketing efforts. Social media provides a great opportunity to share the story of your cause. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter can help educate the online community about your mission and the impact of your work, and generate web traffic. The same can be said for blogging, email outreach, and video. Take advantage of these platforms to connect with supporters and drive donations.

4. Put your cause in their mailbox. Believe it or not, direct mail still plays an important role in nonprofit development. This is especially true when targeting Baby Boomers, with 40% donating in response to direct mail solicitation (Blackbaud). Direct mail items, including invitations, “save the date” cards, and special announcements, put something personal and concrete into your supporters’ hands. They not only provide tangible reminders of upcoming events, they also encourage greater commitment by asking the recipient to RSVP.

5. Stay updated. A clean, up-to-date database is the lifeline of all nonprofit organizations. Any development campaign generates a tremendous amount of data about prospects, donors, and ongoing projects – which can quickly become an overwhelming tangle if not carefully managed. A few simple planning and maintenance tips can help shape that mountain into a powerful and useful tool.

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