The Ultimate Guide to Nonprofit Marketing in 2021

Each advertising and marketing staff is challenged to do extra with much less — particularly nonprofit organizations. Usually instances, sources are tight, and groups are small. Sound like your group?

We wish to assist. That’s why we created this nonprofit advertising and marketing information. Your group may not function for revenue, however it could actually nonetheless worth from the site visitors, funds, and consciousness advertising and marketing brings in.

Bookmark this information for later and use the chapter hyperlinks beneath to leap round to sections of curiosity.

Free Access: A Guide to Nonprofit Inbound Marketing

Inbound Advertising for Nonprofits

Your nonprofit group probably takes up all of your time, and constructing a advertising and marketing plan would possibly seem to be an added duty that’s simply not value it.

We’re right here to persuade you in any other case. Inbound marketing is all about creating precious experiences which have a constructive affect on folks and your corporation.

Inbound advertising and marketing for nonprofits may help you appeal to new supporters in your trigger, join to precious donors, have interaction your constituents, and encourage your neighborhood.

Boost your organization’s awareness and compel action. See firsthand how HubSpot can transform your nonprofit organization.

This is how else nonprofit advertising and marketing may help.

Nonprofit advertising and marketing raises consciousness.

Your nonprofit group is a model, due to this fact it’s worthwhile to increase consciousness identical to another enterprise or firm. Advertising raises consciousness of your model, and model consciousness spreads the phrase about your group and your general trigger.

Nonprofit advertising and marketing raises funds.

Nonprofit advertising and marketing and nonprofit fundraising go hand-in-hand. The extra those that find out about your group, the extra potential funding you’ll be able to usher in.

Nonprofit advertising and marketing drives donor memberships and recurring donations.

Many nonprofit organizations provide donation memberships and month-to-month giving applications, like this one from Charity: Water. These applications are precious as a result of your group doesn’t should fundraise so actively and so usually, and so they can truly assist you increase more cash — the average monthly online donation is $52 ($624 per yr) in comparison with the typical one-time present of $128.

Advertising your nonprofit will get your trigger in entrance of contemporary eyes and informs your donors about how they will constantly contribute.

Nonprofit advertising and marketing recruits volunteers.

Nonprofit advertising and marketing is not only for funding — it additionally drives manpower (and woman-power!) to your group. No matter trade or measurement, all nonprofits profit from volunteers, and advertising and marketing your group may help usher in new fingers.

Furthermore, volunteers are twice as likely to donate as non-volunteers.

Nonprofit advertising and marketing promotes your companies.

Consciousness, funding, and volunteers are integral to your nonprofit, however what concerning the goal of your group? What concerning the folks, animals, or trigger you are serving to? Advertising may help with that, too.

The extra individuals who find out about your nonprofit group, the extra folks you’ll be able to assist.

These are only a handful of causes it’s best to put money into advertising and marketing (significantly inbound advertising and marketing!) in your nonprofit. Now, let’s talk about tips on how to construct a nonprofit advertising and marketing plan so you can begin bringing in new funds, volunteers, and constituents.

Crafting a nonprofit advertising and marketing plan may not be too completely different than a for-profit advertising and marketing plan, nevertheless it’s debatably extra vital. Rising consciousness and constituent engagement with out exhausting your hardworking staff requires approaching your advertising and marketing systematically.

That is the place a nonprofit advertising and marketing plan comes into play. Placing methods in place to supply and distribute your advertising and marketing content material permits you to concentrate on working and scaling your nonprofit.

This is tips on how to create a profitable nonprofit advertising and marketing plan.

1. Outline Your Advertising Targets

Your nonprofit advertising and marketing plan exists to rework your group’s mission and big-picture goals into strategic, actionable targets.

For instance, for example one in every of your goals was to guard the welfare of animals in your neighborhood (like one in every of my favourite native rescues, ALIVE Chicago). I would ask you to brainstorm three to 5 advertising and marketing concepts to advance that goal.

Some methods you could possibly use advertising and marketing to advance that goal embrace:

  1. Create and publish content material that educates your neighborhood on the state of animal welfare.
  2. Submit on social media about your group and the animals you might have for adoption.
  3. Ship a weekly e mail e-newsletter sharing your content material, adoptable animals, and volunteer wants.
  4. Host a quarterly occasion with instructional sources, foster coaching, and adoption alternatives.

Subsequent, I would ask you to show these concepts into SMART targets. Let’s use thought primary for instance:


Educate the neighborhood on the state of animal welfare by producing one weblog put up per week.


Improve site visitors by 15%.


Our weblog site visitors elevated by 10% final yr once we upped our publishing frequency to twice a month. A 15% enhance in site visitors with a 100% enhance in manufacturing appears attainable.


A rise in weblog site visitors will enhance consciousness of our group, educate the neighborhood, and alert extra folks of our adoption alternatives — thus, saving extra animals and bringing in additional funding.

Well timed

We’ll begin producing one put up per week and the beginning of subsequent month.

SMART Aim: By the beginning of subsequent month, our weblog will see a 15% enhance in site visitors by rising our content material manufacturing from two posts per 30 days to at least one put up per week. This enhance will enhance consciousness of our group, educate the neighborhood, and alert extra folks of our adoption alternatives — thus, saving extra animals and bringing in additional funding.

See how I turned the organizational mission right into a advertising and marketing goal, after which right into a SMART purpose? SMART targets are particularly vital when it comes time to investigate and measure your advertising and marketing efficiency (which we speak about later), so you’ll want to end this step earlier than transferring ahead in your nonprofit advertising and marketing plan.

Download your free marketing goal-setting template here. 

2. Perceive Your Viewers(s)

Nonprofit advertising and marketing is completely different from different varieties of advertising and marketing as a result of your group is probably going concentrating on a number of teams: constituents, prospects, volunteers, and donors.

It is crucial to outline and perceive every of those audiences (a.ok.a. purchaser personas) as a result of your advertising and marketing will differ primarily based on who you are speaking to. (We’ll get into key messaging subsequent.)

For instance, following our animal shelter instance from above, an e mail concentrating on donors may have completely different messaging than an e mail calling for volunteers.

One straightforward approach to manage your completely different audiences is using a CRM to segment the different groups. By separating contacts with tags and lists, you’ll be able to simply ship advertising and marketing messages to the suitable teams.

3. Craft Your Key Messages

Key messages embody the data you need your audiences to listen to, bear in mind, and share about your nonprofit group. Crafting these earlier than you use your advertising and marketing is vital for a number of causes:

  • Key messages maintain your group aligned. Irrespective of who’s doing the advertising and marketing, you will be assured the identical factor is being mentioned and promoted.
  • Key messages simplify your advertising and marketing. With these created forward of time, you already know what you are going to say in your advertising and marketing messaging.
  • Key messages assist manage your completely different audiences (as we talked about above). As a nonprofit group, you are probably speaking to donors, volunteers, constituents, and your neighborhood … extra personas than a typical for-profit enterprise. Growing key messages for every of your audiences informs your staff and your advertising and marketing to be sure you’re concentrating on the suitable teams.

Persevering with with our animal shelter instance, here is a take a look at how one can craft a key message for various audiences.

Key message: We defend the welfare of animals in our neighborhood via training, adoption and fostering, and animal advocacy.

  • For adoption prospects/constituents: By adopting or fostering, or by alerting us of animals in want, you’ll be able to assist us defend the welfare of animals in our neighborhood.
  • For volunteers: We defend the welfare of animals via round the clock animal care and advocacy.
  • For donors: You possibly can assist us defend the welfare of animals by donating to help animal care, advocacy, and adoption promotion.

All of those key messages have the identical goal and undertone, however they differ barely relying in your viewers. Collectively along with your nonprofit group’s mission, imaginative and prescient, and targets, these messages will assist successfully talk and market your group’s wants and goal.

Download Now: Free Brand Building Guide

4. Select, Plan, and Create Your Advertising Methods

Many entrepreneurs bounce proper to this step — creating and publishing numerous advertising and marketing techniques. Advertising encompasses way more than an commercial, weblog put up, or occasion. With the intention to execute efficiently, you should full all the steps previous to this.

Now that you have established your targets (what you need), your key messages (what you are going to say), and your viewers (who you are going to say it to), you’ll be able to decide your advertising and marketing techniques (how you are going to say it).

Advertising techniques consult with channels like e mail advertising and marketing, social media, occasions, and extra. We have devoted a whole part to those advertising and marketing methods — examine them intimately beneath.

No matter which tactic you select, you’ll want to conduct thorough planning earlier than and as you execute on it. Listed here are some inquiries to ask your self as you put together:

  • What’s going to you do with this advertising and marketing tactic?
  • When will these advertising and marketing actions happen?
  • Why is that this tactic vital?
  • Who shall be liable for these actions?
  • How a lot will we plan to spend?
  • How does this tie to our group’s advertising and marketing targets?

Tactical planning is an integral a part of your general nonprofit advertising and marketing plan. The way you strategy your advertising and marketing methods and the way they affect your group is simply as vital as the way you execute on them.

Earlier than you hit the bottom operating on any of those methods, make certain your staff has a stable recreation plan and a full understanding of it.

5. Analyze Your Advertising Efficiency

Your advertising and marketing in all probability will not carry out completely from the get-go. That is OK. Routine reporting and evaluation assist you determine what’s working and what it’s worthwhile to change.

As you select and set up your advertising and marketing channels, take note of the measurable performance indicators for each. Here’s a list of examples from our list of marketing strategies below:

Marketing Strategy Performance Indicator
Email marketing Email opens
Event marketing Ticket sales
Video marketing Video views
Social media Shares and comments
Website Page views
Public speaking Referrals
Content marketing Subscriptions

Remember the goals you defined in step one? The point of measuring your marketing performance is to stay aligned with those goals.

You can track these performance indicators using tools like Google Analytics, HubSpot, and the analytics instruments constructed into Facebook, Twitter, and different social media websites.

If what you wish to measure earlier than you begin advertising and marketing your nonprofit, you will know precisely what to search for — and tips on how to decide success and affect — when your advertising and marketing is in play.

You’ve got created your nonprofit advertising and marketing plan. Now, let’s speak about tips on how to execute that plan with actionable advertising and marketing methods.

Many of those nonprofit advertising and marketing methods will overlap, like sharing your weblog content material on social media or releasing an occasion invite over e mail. These strategies can and ought to be utilized in tandem, however we suggest introducing every technique slowly so your staff would not overwhelm itself.

In truth, we acknowledge that your nonprofit is probably going working with a small (however agile!) advertising and marketing staff. For that reason, all through these sections, we’ll suggest suggestions for doing extra with much less. Finally, although, do not hesitate to outsource your nonprofit marketing where needed.

Nonprofit Email Marketing

You might be using email sporadically to call for volunteers or confirm an online donation, but that’s not enough. Email marketing is a highly effective marketing resource, especially for nonprofit organizations. Why? It’s personal and powerful.

Here are a few ways to leverage email marketing to reach all of your audiences:

  • Send a weekly newsletter with your newest content, updates about your organization, industry data, and volunteer needs.
  • Send monthly emails with donation needs and opportunities.
  • Set up an email sequence for new subscribers thanking them for joining and educating them on your organization.
  • Set up an email sequence for new donors thanking them for their contribution and sharing how else they can support your organization.

Also, don’t forget to put information on your website about how to subscribe to your email list. Nonprofit organization Acumen does an amazing job of this by placing subscription alternatives on their homepage and of their essential menu.

Acumen's nonprofit newsletter promoted in the footer of their website

👉🏼Nonprofit advertising and marketing tip: Automate as a lot as attainable. Email marketing automation (like HubSpot) saves treasured time and power in your staff and will be the important thing to growing your email list, donations, and memberships. You can even automate an e mail sequence triggered by web site customer habits indicating a excessive degree of curiosity, comparable to downloading instructional content material.

Click here to download our free beginner's guide to email marketing.

Nonprofit Occasion Advertising

Occasion advertising and marketing is likely one of the best (and pleasing!) methods to develop consciousness of your group, join along with your neighborhood, increase funds, and garner help in your trigger.

PAWS, which stands for Pets are Price Saving, is one other native animal rescue that I am a fan of. They maintain a PAWS 5K race each summer time to lift consciousness and funding for the group.

PAWS Chicago 5K nonprofit marketing event page

One of these occasion impactful for a number of causes:

  1. It evokes competitors and bodily exercise. Runners increase cash for the group and take part within the run.
  2. It brings folks in the neighborhood collectively to have a good time the group and convey consciousness to the PAWS trigger.
  3. It gives PAWS a channel to advertise their companies and adoptable pets.
  4. It is enjoyable to attend and be part of! Many individuals go to the occasion to help runners, play with canine, and easily be part of the enjoyable — all whereas supporting and sharing PAWS.

From fundraisers to auctions to competitions, there are a lot of completely different sorts of occasions you’ll be able to manage to market your nonprofit group.

Nonprofit Video Advertising

Whether or not they’re consuming content material for work, college, or enjoyable, folks favor video content material. As a nonprofit group, video advertising and marketing is a surefire approach to garner curiosity and help from all of your audiences.

Listed here are a number of causes that video may help you market your nonprofit:

  1. Video is visible. We process visual content 60,000 times faster than written content material. We additionally bear in mind extra content material, longer.
  2. Video is private. It evokes empathy and feelings, which might’t be mentioned about different varieties of advertising and marketing.
  3. Video is instructional. Many organizations want to teach their communities on their causes to be able to garner consideration and funding. Video may help you try this.
  4. Video is shareable. 92% of consumers on mobile will share videos with others. Customers love sharing movies, particularly those who encourage and resonate with them.
  5. Video is attention-grabbing. 60% of individuals are report that video is a media they devour totally. Maintain your guests, followers, and supporters engaged and with video.

→ Access Now: Video Marketing Starter Pack [Free Kit]

The Girl Effect, a nonprofit that works to empower ladies worldwide, is a superb instance of video advertising and marketing. The group’s homepage is a video, which captures guests’ consideration instantly. Furthermore, whenever you click on “See extra,” the positioning opens an informative video telling you all about The Woman Impact.

The Girl Effect's nonprofit web page that uses video marketing

Nonprofit Social Media Advertising

Social media is a extremely common advertising and marketing technique amongst nonprofits. Not solely is it free, nevertheless it gives an avenue for organizations to point out their model personalities and interact with their followers and supporters.

Listed here are some methods to make use of social media in your nonprofit advertising and marketing, as impressed by a HubSpot examine of 9,000 nonprofits:

  • Share information about your group and trigger
  • Enhance model consciousness and recognition
  • Fundraise
  • Recruit volunteers and staff
  • Acknowledge donors, staff, and volunteers

Do not forget to make use of the important thing messaging you crafted in your nonprofit advertising and marketing plan to maintain your social media posts constant and focused. Additionally, take advantage of every platform to advertise your group, such because the Donate button on Fb.

HubSpot buyer FIRST, which stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Expertise, is a nonprofit group that works to advance STEM (science, know-how, engineering, and math) training amongst kids.

FIRST makes use of social media in many various methods, comparable to utilizing Fb to put up movies, information, fundraisers, and critiques — in addition to making use of the Donate button. The group has amassed nearly 100,000 followers.

FIRST's nonprofit Facebook page with Donate button

👉🏼Nonprofit advertising and marketing tip: Curate content material from volunteers, prospects, supporters, occasion attendees, and donors. Implementing a user-generated content material (UGC) marketing campaign not solely lessens your workload, nevertheless it additionally acts as robust social proof. To enact your UGC marketing campaign, put out a name for constituent tales, photographs, and movies. Create a hashtag that folks can use to provide you with a warning of recent UGC.

Additionally, let curation instruments give you the results you want. Use Google Alerts and social monitoring instruments to provide you with a warning when your group, hashtags, or related matters or key phrases are talked about. This gives alternatives to supply UGC, get inspiration for brand spanking new subject concepts, and take part in related conversations.

Nonprofit Web site

Each nonprofit group ought to have an internet site. An internet site serves as a digital dwelling base in your group and consists of vital info — what you stand for and the way guests can take part and assist.

Your web site additionally homes vital property like your weblog, social media streams, occasion info, movies, and extra … mainly the remainder of your advertising and marketing methods. Lastly, your web site serves as a approach to intrigue, encourage, and interact your audiences.

Nonprofit group (and HubSpot buyer) American Nursing Association (ANA) is an instance of a corporation with an impressive nonprofit web site. The positioning clarifies the ANA mission, shares information and academic content material, and informs guests tips on how to get entangled via memberships, occasions, certifications, or donations.

ANA's nonprofit website

Nonprofit Public Talking

It is mentioned that people buy into other people, not products. The identical will be mentioned about nonprofit organizations. If customers imagine within the folks behind your group, they’re probably to purchase in your trigger and donate cash or time.

The most effective methods for customers to get to know your management staff, to not point out unfold the phrase about your trigger and group, is public talking. Whether or not you communicate at a neighborhood occasion of 100 folks or a multi-day convention with hundreds, the affect is identical: telling a robust story to actual individuals who might not but find out about your trigger.

charity:water founder Scott Harrison spoke at INBOUND18. Whereas he shared some concerning the conception and group of the nonprofit, he largely talked concerning the those that his group helps — and the way the viewers can help the mission. Harrison not solely moved the viewers of hundreds but in addition successfully marketed the charity:water goal and model.


Nonprofit Content material Advertising

Content material advertising and marketing and blogging are precious advertising and marketing property for any nonprofit group. This is why:

  • Content material educates your audiences about your mission, trigger, and trade information and traits.
  • Content material (and search engine optimisation) usher in new guests, subscribers, donors, and leads.
  • Content material is shareable and serves as free PR amongst your audiences.
  • Content material will be repurposed and made into several types of media, saving your advertising and marketing staff treasured time and power.

Making a nonprofit advertising and marketing weblog is not at all times straightforward. Groups are short-staffed, budgets are low, and time is treasured. Fortunately, there are many methods round these running a blog challenges, comparable to sourcing story concepts from volunteers, donors, and prospects in addition to implementing an editorial calendar so you’ll be able to plan forward.

Certainly one of my very favourite nonprofit organizations known as Blurt Foundation, a UK-based group that exists to extend consciousness and understanding of despair and help those that battle with it. There’s numerous false impression and misunderstanding round despair, so Blurt Basis makes use of their blog content and other content resources to teach constituents and supporters. In addition they incorporate these content material property into their emails, social media posts, and on-line retailer.

Blurt Foundation's nonprofit Resources page as a content marketing example

👉🏼Nonprofit advertising and marketing tip: Save time and sources by repurposing your content material. Content material is an appreciating asset that you may reuse and re-promote time and again. Repurposing content material to create new advertising and marketing property prices far lower than creating totally new content material.

Define all of the methods you could possibly repurpose the content material you produce. For instance, you could possibly create the next listing in your weblog content material:

  • Brief model to be used in emails or newsletters with hyperlink again to full put up
  • Group with associated posts for report
  • Two to 3 visuals photographs to share on social
  • Infographic with put up info
  • Response piece to authentic put up

Since you are not going to advertise and distribute each bit of repurposed content material instantly, your content material pipeline is rarely empty.

Check out HubSpot’s free nonprofit content today.

Strengthen Your Advertising, Promote Your Trigger

Elevate your hand in case your group has to continually do extra with much less. 👋🏼

If that appears like your group, we suggest you employ this information to construct a nonprofit advertising and marketing plan ASAP. Your group may not function for revenue, however it could actually nonetheless worth from the site visitors, funds, and consciousness that systematic advertising and marketing brings in.

And never solely will these actions and techniques assist promote your group, however they will take a precious load off the backs of your staff and volunteers — releasing them as much as dedicate extra time to your trigger and constituents.

Editor’s notice: This put up was initially printed in June 2019 and has been up to date for comprehensiveness.

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