The Guide to Nonprofit Marketing [2021]


The Guide to Nonprofit Marketing [2021]

The nonprofit sector plays a significant role in tackling some of the biggest issues in our society. This sector in the UK has been exponentially growing every year.

As per Statista 2020-21 survey, “There are just over 169 thousand charities operating in England and Wales as of January 2021, an increase on the previous year of around 1.75 thousand.”

While all charities are nonprofits, above numbers may be even more for nonprofits.

Nonprofit Marketing is one such aspect that most nonprofits often overlook. It’s equally important as it is for any other business. Hence, it is in the best interests of any nonprofit to make the best use of top marketing strategies to effectively communicate with your targeted audience who truly cares and intend to support your cause.

Majority of the nonprofits have limited marketing budgets with a small team but do a lot. However, the good part is if you plan well and stay organised, you can do effective marketing for less.


What is Nonprofit Marketing?

Nonprofit marketing refers to the use of marketing tactics and strategies by nonprofits to achieve their organisational objectives such as raise awareness, acquire new donors, increase community engagement, attract volunteers, become a thought leader etc.

How is Marketing different for a Nonprofit Organisation?

Unlike any other business, the target audience of nonprofits is different, as there are many groups like donors, volunteers and supporters. Secondly, the challenge to attract and convince the audience to donate money without any tangible benefit in return requires a different marketing approach.

How to create a Nonprofit Marketing Plan?

Follow these 7 steps to create an effective nonprofit marketing plan for the coming year, quarter or month:

  1. Do a self-assessment audit
    Keep reviewing your skill sets, resources, marketing strategies, volunteers / donors list, finances etc at regular intervals. Identify potential gaps by outlining how you got started, what worked or what didn’t, what changes you did and what impact it created then.

  2. Define your nonprofit’s marketing goals
    It’s important to convert your organisational objectives into SMART marketing goals.

    E.g. SMART Goal #1 : By the end of this year, our blog traffic will see an increase by 20%, if we will regularly post on topics addressing social issues and increase our posting frequency from 2 posts per week to 4 posts per week.

  3. Research on market trends
    It’s quite obvious that marketing trends will keep on changing periodically and hence it’s important for nonprofits to keep a key on not-for-profit sector marketing statistics, what tactics and strategies are driving better results, what new tools / features you can try for the next campaign etc.

  4. Know your audience
    First thing that you need to do is to create a buyer persona (a semi-fictional representation of your ideal supporter, donor or volunteer). It will help you to figure out about their interests, what they care about, their limitations etc. Once you know who you are talking to, messaging becomes easy and targeted.

  5. Define your messaging
    Ensure all your email scripts, call scripts, social media posts, landing page copies etc to be consistent and aligned to each of your buyer persona. Messaging should be such that it links up their interests with your cause and how their contribution can help in fulfilling it.

  6. Create your marketing strategies
    After you have completed above all steps, it’s time now to create a comprehensive marketing strategy for your nonprofit which will include

    • What marketing strategies / channels to use for which goal(s)?

    • What exact activities to be done for each marketing channel?

    • Who will be responsible for these activities? How & When will it be done?

    • What will be key performance indicators (KPIs) for each channel?

    • How much do you plan to spend behind each marketing channel?

    • Any specific or additional requirement that’s required in executing new marketing strategies?

    Below are top marketing strategies for nonprofit organisation used worldwide:
    • Search Engine Optimisation
    • Paid Advertising
    • Social Media Marketing
    • Content Marketing
    • Email Marketing
    • Print Marketing
    • Influencer Marketing
    • Event Marketing
    • Video Marketing
    • Public Speaking
    • Webinar Marketing


  7. Measure your marketing performance
    The success of your marketing plan largely depends upon the marketing performance analytics. KPIs for each channel are reviewed and compared with campaign goals to help figure out what worked, what failed entirely and what needs to be further optimised. This further helps in revising your marketing strategy and uncovers untapped opportunities.

10 Top Marketing Tips for Nonprofits for Covid-19

  1. Depending upon your marketing budget, existing & target audience, campaign goals, available time and staff, pick your marketing channels and create a winning strategy.

  2. Look for proven marketing strategies and implement them to help convert your one-time donors into recurring givers.

  3. Make some investment in a few digital marketing tools that can save your time and money. Get your staff trained (or learn from Youtube videos) to maximise its potential.

  4. Use storytelling as a marketing tool to engage with donors, build meaningful relationships with your audience, create trust and credibility and help your nonprofit stand out.

  5. Ensure that your messaging is consistent across all channels to resonate better with your audience and get them to act.

  6. Make active use of engaging images and videos to effectively engage, trigger emotions and response.

  7. Be sure that your website, landing / donation pages, emails etc. are mobile and tablet friendly

  8. Don’t forget to collaborate with other nonprofits and social influencers to share ideas and spread the word about your cause.

  9. Keep your donors, volunteers and supporters informed with all your latest news, events and campaigns at regular intervals.

  10. Stay focused on social impact. Be optimistic and continue to communicate your story despite depressing headlines and negative news.


Happy Marketing!



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