In the digital age, nonprofit organizations, like all businesses, need to market online to succeed, from attracting potential supporters, organizing nonprofit fundraising to keep supporters involved and more. But marketing a nonprofit can differ from marketing a for-profit business. Instead of trying to increase sales, nonprofits need digital marketing to raise awareness, funds, and involvement.
Digital marketing, with its myriad channels and tools, is crucial to the success of a nonprofit. When you know what resources are out there and how to use them effectively, you can use digital marketing to increase your positive impact in the real world.
Why marketing can be tough for nonprofits
Even if you are on top of your online marketing from day 1, this aspect of running a nonprofit can be tough. Digital marketing success as a nonprofit starts with understanding what you’re up against, so that you can overcome challenges like:
- Small marketing budgets: Because nonprofits tend to put as much of their budget as they can towards the cause they support, it can be difficult to dedicate a portion of that money for marketing.
- Inexperienced marketing staff: Much of nonprofit work is done on a volunteer basis or by a small staff of people who wear multiple hats. This means that knowledge of marketing strategies will be spotty or non-existent for many nonprofits.
- Difficulty with outreach: Due in large part to the previous 2 challenges, it can be difficult to reach your audience as a nonprofit. And it doesn’t help that the audience for a nonprofit isn’t often a specific demographic. This makes the task of generating leads with interested individuals even more difficult.
- Inconsistent contributors and strategy: Because much of a nonprofit’s workforce can exist in the form of volunteers or employees working for comparatively low pay, there can be a high turnover, inconsistent workflow and output, and a lack of experience. It can also mean that strategies are inconsistent due to a lack of necessary communication and unpredictable output.
- Poor audience engagement and retention: It’s difficult to work in a nonprofit, but it’s also difficult to support one. With everything else going on in their lives, nonprofit engagement is often not a priority for the average person, even if they feel strongly about the cause. This creates a constant battle for client retention.
By being aware of these common issues, nonprofits can create a plan that succeeds in spite of them.