Nonprofit marketing is the use of marketing methods to communicate an organization’s message, encourage donations, and call for volunteers. It helps raise awareness, draw people’s attention, and invite new volunteers to join a community.

In this article, we’ll unveil how nonprofit marketing works and how to create a marketing plan for a nonprofit. We’ll also invite you to explore nonprofit marketing strategies and tips to improve the effectiveness of your organization.

How does nonprofit marketing work?

Calling for donors and volunteers might be challenging for nonprofit organizations. That’s why their teams develop and incorporate various marketing techniques and strategies. They help communicate their mission and attract the public's attention to solve the problems they raise effectively. Nonprofits create logos, websites, blogs, ads, and work out media campaigns to connect with the target audience and hook their attention. Marketing campaigns empower them to convey the main ideas and causes to get the right people involved. As a result, an organization can increase its list of volunteers and people ready to provide donations.

Nonprofits start with establishing awareness among people about their organizations and actions. This way, they can reach a broad audience and introduce its causes. Afterward, organizations’ employees implement different techniques to promote a cause or service and educate donors, volunteers, and other people about the nonprofit’s work. Nonprofit communities encourage donations by hosting fundraising events or conducting campaigns. Organizations need nonprofit marketing to draw attention to fundraising initiatives and donations, call for volunteers and drive social change.

Now that you know how nonprofit marketing works, let’s figure out how to create a marketing plan for a nonprofit.

How to create a marketing plan for a nonprofit?

Creating a marketing plan for a nonprofit requires the same amount of time and marketing effort as a business. However, this step is essential for building awareness and engagement. Moreover, a detailed marketing plan helps put systems to place and deliver your marketing content. Let’s find out how to do it effectively in five steps.

  1. Identify your key goals. Your plan should bring you towards achieving your key objectives. That’s why you need to outline them. Strategic, actionable, and attainable goals will help you determine what measures to take. Your objectives should be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely). For instance, the organization that prevents environmental abuses cares about endangered species and raises environmental awareness can determine the following goals: create one post per week to update people on the issue of ecological abuses and endangered species worldwide; boost website traffic by 20% within six months, educate people about the nonprofit organization to bring environmental awareness, start posting one article per week next on May, 30.
  2. Strive to understand your audience. Charities and nonprofits target multiple groups. They include constituents, customers, volunteers, and donors. To approach all audience segments effectively, you should understand the needs of each group. Since each segment will differ, it’s critical to develop a unique marketing strategy. Once you create a buyer persona for each group, you’ll be able to figure out how to approach these people and encourage engagement. For example, if you have an animal shelter, you’ll need to come up with different messages for donors and volunteers. Your email copy can’t be the same for different segments.
  3. Work on your message. Your key messages refer to the information your audience will hear, share, and remember. They reflect your organization’s mission and causes and show your importance. Creating relevant messages will help you unite marketing efforts and reach key audiences. Your messages should be consistent but vary depending on the recipient. A message to volunteers will encourage them to join the community and help homeless animals, while a message to donors will encourage them to donate. The community should do it to achieve a common good — to improve the welfare of homeless animals.
  4. Develop a relevant marketing strategy. Choose the marketing channels you want to use to reach your audiences. Consider leveraging email marketing, influencer marketing, conducting online and offline events, and selecting the preferred communication platforms. Before using these channels, you need to do some tactical planning. Find out what to do with the tactic you choose to appeal to the audiences, the time and place of these marketing efforts, budget, team, and alignment with the organization’s key goals.
  5. Evaluate the performance. Once you start implementing your marketing strategy, consider analyzing its performance. This way, you’ll be able to unveil the things that work and don’t work properly. After identifying the weaknesses of your marketing strategy, you need a change. To determine problems, pay attention to the key performance indicators. For instance, if you use email marketing, check out the email open rate. If you implement video marketing, you need to find out the number of views.

Now that you know the steps, it’s time to explore the strategies.

5 Nonprofit Marketing Strategies

We’ve prepared a list of five nonprofit marketing strategies that will help you bring awareness and attract more people to the cause. So, let’s dive in.

  1. Leverage email marketing. Sending a couple of emails to contact your donors or volunteers isn’t enough. Email marketing is more powerful than you think. You can call for volunteers or donations with a weekly email newsletter of your new content and monthly emails, including donation needs. As a result, you’ll boost awareness and engagement. Consider using an all in-one-marketing solution. SendPulse enables you to set up a series of emails thanking subscribers for joining your community. Besides, you’ll be able to create email campaigns with updates about your organization, needs, and news and schedule their sending.
  2. Consider content marketing. As a nonprofit organization, you should educate people about your mission and values. You can do it with content marketing and blogging. Bring valuable materials to your website, share posts, and create videos. This information will help you bring in new subscribers, volunteers, donors, etc. Often, nonprofit organizations have limited human resources and budgets, yet you can always find a way to share your main goals in a blog. Repurpose your content to save your resources. Consider creating infographics, including a short version in emails with a link to the full article, using visuals from blogs for social media networks, etc.
  3. Use public speaking. People behind your organization are essential for making your audiences trust your nonprofit. If people trust these opinion leaders, they will dedicate time and donate money to your organization to contribute to economic or social change. The best way to introduce your team to the audience is by using public speaking. Tell people a powerful story to the audience not acquainted with your organization to communicate the things you do to save other people, animals, environment or contribute to the safety of our planet.
  4. Think of social media. Social media marketing is increasingly popular among nonprofit organizations because it can demonstrate an organization’s personality and engage with the audiences directly. To successfully incorporate this strategy, you need to share news about your nonprofit, recruit volunteers, fundraise, and increase brand awareness. Make sure that your social media posts are consistent and relevant and include your key messaging.
  5. Build a website. A nonprofit’s website is a source of information for your audience. It includes the principles you stand for and things people can help with. Besides, your site should include event information, videos, photos, and other resources that bring people awareness.

Now that you know the strategies, it’s time to unveil the tips.

3 Nonprofit Marketing Tips

If you are looking for ideas to make the most of your nonprofit marketing, consider 3 tips below.

  1. Nurture donors with email campaigns. Email marketing is a perfect channel for nonprofits and a donor engagement tool. With email campaigns, you’ll be able to get in touch with people interested in supporting your organization either by providing donations or help.
  2. Craft engaging content for your website. Write compelling and engaging copy for your website, emails, and social media. Every word and phrase can make a difference and encourage people to participate in your community and bring change to our society. Your new ideas, volunteer stories, and actions should be short and clear so that people can understand the main purpose of your organization.
  3. Consider multi-channel marketing. Once you have your key messages and content schedule ready, organize a system of follow-ups for your website, social media, email, phone, etc. Since people use multiple platforms for communication, you need to show your presence. If you don’t manage to communicate your message via phone, you can always send an email or a message on Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, or other communication channels and find out whether it was opened.

Congrats, now you can apply your new knowledge to create an accurate marketing plan for your nonprofit. Hope our strategies and tips will also come in handy when you decide to increase the effectiveness of your charity work.


  1. This article defines the term and unveils how to create a nonprofit marketing plan.
  2. In this article, you’ll find 7 great ideas for nonprofits.
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