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to help you accelerate your nonprofit's impact.

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Why Focus is the Foundation of Every Effective Nonprofit (and How to Find Yours)

The more focused your team is on why your nonprofit exists and the change you’re looking to drive, the better everyone will be able to direct their efforts to what really matters.

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Take the Nonprofit Health Assessment: Nonprofit Performance Measurement Begins Here

The Nonprofit Health Assessment is a simple 20-question survey that will help you get a sense of your nonprofit’s overall health by analyzing all the key elements of your organization.

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10 Commitments to Strengthen Your Nonprofit

The Nonprofit Impact Manifesto challenges everyone in nonprofit leadership roles to make 10 commitments that will allow their organizations to better work with and for the people they serve.

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The Moment for Change: Is Your Nonprofit Ready to Make a Bigger Impact?

Introducing The Nonprofit Impact System, a complete set of tools and approaches you can use to optimize every aspect of your nonprofit for maximum mission impact today and well into the future.

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Webinar: Nonprofit Resilience in The Face of COVID-19

The world has never needed the nonprofit sector more than it does today and COVID-19 is bringing that into even sharper focus.

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Successful Nonprofit Fundraising Appeals in the Midst of COVID-19

Since the government declared COVID-19 a national emergency, we’ve been closely monitoring how nonprofits are innovating their fundraising appeal. Here are some of the best fundraising appeals that we’ve seen this spring.

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Webinar: Effective Donor Communication Strategies During COVID-19

This webinar addressed strategies for nonprofits to connect with donors, cut through the communications clutter and keep their fundraising on track.

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Turning to Grantmakers During the Coronavirus Crisis

It’s time for nonprofits to turn their attention to how they might leverage institutional funders during the Coronavirus crisis.

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Webinar: Pull Off A Virtual Fundraising Event in the Age of COVID-19

If your nonprofit planned to host an in-person fundraiser, gala or similar gathering this spring or summer, the chances are likely that you've had to reevaluate your plans. You're not alone.

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Coping with COVID-19: How to Mitigate the Risk of Lost Fundraising Revenue

On last week’s webinar, when we asked the nonprofit leaders in attendance what they were most worried about right now, in light of COVID-19, “mitigating the risk of lost fundraising revenue” ranked as their number one response. That’s no surprise. With the virus gaining momentum in the midst of fundraising events season, thousands of nonprofits […]

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Webinar: COVID-19 and Your Nonprofit

It has been a challenging few weeks as nonprofits across the country navigate the fallout from COVID-19, and there are more tough times ahead. Your organization is likely facing difficult decisions about whether to change service delivery methods, cancel or reschedule upcoming fundraising events, resort to staffing and financial backup plans, allow remote work and paid time off, and more.

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Your Nonprofit’s Coronavirus Crisis Communications Checklist is Here

Is your nonprofit ready to effectively communicate with its stakeholders about coronavirus? This checklist can help.

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How to Acquire New Donors Online: The Ultimate Guide to Digital Donor Acquisition

Donor acquisition has gone digital. Learn how to find, acquire and nurture new donors online in this post.

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What Qualities Should I Look for in a Nonprofit Marketing Leader?

Nonprofit CMOs should have these five essential qualities to be successful in the social sector.

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Gathering Quotes and Testimonials That Demonstrate Your Nonprofit’s Success

Here’s how you can gather good quotes for effective nonprofit storytelling messaging and communications in a respectful and sensitive way.

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Let’s (Re)define Nonprofit Marketing

Marketing shouldn’t be a dirty word in the nonprofit sector, yet it often gets treated that way. At the end of 2018, Prosper Strategies put forward a new definition of nonprofit marketing that’s taken the sector by storm.

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How to Create a Guide to Strength-Based Communication for Your Nonprofit

Are you ready to begin building your own language and style guide to strength-based communications? Here’s how.

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What Every CEO Needs to Know about Stakeholder Engagement in Nonprofit Communications, Marketing and Branding

Here are a few critical ways that nonprofit CEOs should structure stakeholder engagement to improve communications, marketing and branding.

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2020 Nonprofit Stats: A Few Things That Might Surprise You About the Nonprofit Sector

2020 nonprofit stats prove that the size, scope and impact of the nonprofit sector is simply amazing.

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How to Use Content to Position Your CEO as a Thought Leader

Here's why your nonprofit's CEO should be a thought leader, and how you can start using your own content to help them become one.

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The Best Nonprofit Annual Reports from 2019

Looking for inspiration for your nonprofit’s annual report? Look no further. Here are some of the best reports from 2019.

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What to Expect from Prosper Strategies in 2020

2020 is going to be a big year for Prosper Strategies. Read this post for a preview of what’s ahead.

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What is a Nonprofit Brand Messaging Strategy?

If I asked anyone at your nonprofit to describe your organization in one sentence, would all of their answers be similar? 

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How To Write a Nonprofit Vision Statement That Will Shape Your Organization’s Future

Here’s how to get started developing a nonprofit vision statement to articulate the future your organization exists to create.

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The Nonprofit Rebrand Experience

If your nonprofit is rebranding, it should be done collaboratively. Bringing together different people and perspectives results in different opinions, which leads to both a more fruitful process and better outcomes.

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Six Last Minute Ideas for Giving Tuesday

November is already halfway over, and if you followed our end-of-year fundraising timeline perfectly, your campaign should already be well on its way.

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Three Reasons Your Nonprofit Brand Is Still “The Best Kept Secret”

I talk to five to ten nonprofit marketers a week, and one of the most common things I hear is, “If only people knew about our impact … we’re the best kept secret in __________.” Some of you even say, “I just can’t hear the words ‘we’re the best kept secret’ anymore.”  So why is […]

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Combating Stereotype Porn and Poverty Porn With Asset and Strengths-Based Communications

Imagine a world where every nonprofit presents an accurate, strengths-based picture of the people and communities it serves. A world where organizations don’t feel that they have to show sad photos of children who are starving, use gut-wrenching video clips of animals who are sick, or tell endless stories of the despair and suffering of […]

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Are You Considering a Rebrand in the Year Ahead? Weighing the Risks and Rewards

For most nonprofits, the risks and rewards of rebranding are two sides of the same coin. As you’re thinking through the pros, cons, opportunities and challenges that come along with changing your organization’s name or identity, think about three areas that will be impacted most by a nonprofit rebrand: your organization’s brand equity, your revenue […]

Whitepaper: Nonprofit Marketing Budgeting – A How-to Guide

There is a right way and a wrong way to build and manage a nonprofit marketing budget. We've developed this whitepaper to help you through the process from start to finish...

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Language Matters in Nonprofit (and all) Marketing

A few months ago, I attended an event hosted by a nonprofit here in Chicago. One of the panelists was the Chicago Public School’s Chief Equity Officer, Maurice Swinney, and the discussion was about breaking the cycle of childhood trauma. As Swinney was speaking, he was correcting himself so that he was always using person-first […]

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How to Create an Effective and Efficient Nonprofit Marketing Department

I started my career as a nonprofit marketer in 2014. Since then, I’ve worked at traditional nonprofits, professional associations, and agency settings. Though my experience has been varied, there’s one thing I’ve found to be true no matter where I’ve worked: nonprofit marketers often get the short end of the stick.  If you think about […]

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How to Acquire New Donors Online: The Ultimate Guide to Digital Donor Acquisition

Donor attrition is a real problem at nearly every nonprofit organization I’ve ever collaborated with. Each year, some donors simply stop giving, choose to give more to other organizations, or simply “age out.” That’s why every organization needs a solid new donor acquisition strategy. If you don’t replace lost donors with new ones, your organization […]

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Avoiding Poverty Porn While Still Pulling Heartstrings

More than 50 percent of nonprofits receive a majority of their donations during the last quarter of the year. As you think about your end-of-year fundraising efforts, it can be easy to fall into the trap of creating messaging and fundraising campaigns that put your donors at the center. Too many end-of-year materials emphasize how […]

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How Your Fundraising Team Can (and Should) Work With a Marketing Agency

There are few situations more vulnerable than those when we ask for help. As professionals, it can sometimes feel like we’re expected to know how to do everything; asking for help, then, can feel almost like an admission that we can’t do our jobs. If you’ve ever felt this way, you’re not alone: 59 percent […]

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How to Leverage Storytelling for Fundraising Success

If you’re like me, you’ve been working in (or with) the nonprofit sector for your entire career. You’ve spent countless hours on Google, skimming headlines and articles looking for that silver bullet; that last piece of the puzzle that will help your fundraising campaigns take off.  But so far, it hasn’t — at least, according […]

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Determining Your Nonprofit’s Unique Value Proposition for Donors and Funders

Competition is a tough topic to tackle in the nonprofit sector. I agree with many experts who say there are simply too many nonprofits working on similar missions and confusing program participants, donors and the general public as they compete for attention, funding, and share of voice. I believe we can make far more progress […]

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Your Board’s Role in Hiring a Marketing Agency

We’ve talked about making the case for a marketing investment to your board. So now, let’s talk about what to do when additional marketing investment gets the green light, and your next step is hiring a marketing agency. What’s the best way to engage your nonprofit board in the decision-making and firm hiring process? So […]

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The Case for Engaging Diverse Stakeholders in Developing Your Nonprofit’s Brand

Who “owns” your organization? This question is not nearly as straightforward in the nonprofit world as it is in the for-profit world.  The short answer is the organization’s many diverse stakeholders.  Here’s how Judith E. Millesen explained the unique dynamics surrounding nonprofit ownership in Nonprofit Quarterly: “We all know that although a corporate board of […]

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Marketing vs. Communications vs. Storytelling

The nonprofit sector is full of jargon, silos, and the confusion that both create. Nowhere is this truer than in the marketing/communications/storytelling/fundraising arms of organizations, which seem to blur together and overlap more than almost any other area. Ask two different nonprofit professionals how these functions relate to one another, and you’re likely to get […]

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Why Marketing and Fundraising are Not the Same

At many nonprofits, marketing, communications and development are thought of as one in the same, and managed under a single department. At Prosper Strategies, we don’t recommend this, because these two functions are certainly not one in the same. That’s because marketing is much more than a tool for fundraising and development. Of course, you […]

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Talking to Your Board About Making a Marketing Investment

You have a marketing challenge and ideas for how to solve it. However, it’s going to require more resources, and more resources often means more budget. So how can you effectively talk to your board and make the case for additional marketing investment? Here are some suggestions: Make marketing a regular board agenda item The […]

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Webinar Recap: Build Better Partnerships Inside & Outside the Nonprofit Sector with Marketing

The power of networking cannot be overstated. A simple call, email or conversation over coffee can lead to partnerships and opportunities that could change the strategic or business trajectory of your organization forever. So what can you do to foster better partnerships for your organization? In our August webinar, Alyssa Conrardy discussed how to build […]

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What A Successful Nonprofit Marketing Strategy Partnership Looks Like

In this recent post, we discussed what a successful marketing implementation partnership between a nonprofit and an agency looks like, but implementation only accounts for about 50 percent of the work we do at Prosper Strategies. The other 50 percent is devoted to what we call “strategy.”  What is marketing strategy? Strategy is a nebulous […]

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What a Successful Nonprofit Marketing Implementation Partnership Looks Like

We know you have big ideas for how to spread the word about your nonprofit. Maybe you’ve even created a marketing strategy. But, if your organization is like many others, you are probably scrambling for the time or staff to actually implement your nonprofit’s marketing tactics. If that’s the case, you’ll likely turn to an […]

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How to Find the Right Marketing and Communications Agency for Your Nonprofit

It goes without saying, finding a marketing and communications agency for your nonprofit is an important decision, and it can feel like you have a lot on the line. However, the right partner can help build your confidence and internal credibility during the hiring process, while working with you to navigate the dynamics of decision-making […]

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Telling Compelling Nonprofit Stories with Video

Video is everywhere and it’s not going away anytime soon. Here are some numbers to prove it: According to Google, six out of 10 people would rather watch online videos than television. Hubspot estimates that 78 percent of people watch videos online every week, and 55 percent watch videos every day. A Facebook executive went […]

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What Your Nonprofit Needs to Do Now to Prepare for End-of-Year Fundraising Success

If you have anything to do with fundraising at your nonprofit, you probably don’t get as much sleep as you should during the last quarter of the calendar year. There’s nothing quite like last-minute appeal letter revisions, mailhouse deadlines and donor retention anxiety to keep you up at night, and for most organizations, the end […]

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Nonprofit Leaders on Building a Marketing and Communications Culture

Imagine a nonprofit sector where each organization has a culture centered around marketing and communications. We think it can be done. That was the topic of our recent Changemaker Conversation. The panel for June’s Changemaker Conversations included Dorri McWhorter, CEO of YWCA, Elisabeth Majeda, Director of Marketing at Chicago Symphony Orchestra and John Williams, Operations […]

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The Case for Your Nonprofit Advertising Budget

Nonprofit advertising is not “overhead” or a “waste of money” even though many donors — and sometimes board members — may initially think that’s the case. This is a challenge many organizations have to overcome when deciding whether to dedicate some of their marketing and communications budget to advertising. Nonprofit advertising serves a very important […]

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The Anatomy of an Effective Nonprofit Website: Part 4 – A Way to Donate

An effective nonprofit website doesn’t come together by accident. The best sites are the result of careful planning and intentional decisionmaking. As we’ve covered in past posts in this series, the most effective nonprofit websites include these four elements: A Well-Structured Homepage With Clear Messaging An Easy Opt-In Illustration of Impact A Way to Donate […]

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Webinar Recap: Take Your Nonprofit Marketing Leadership to the Next Level

Your nonprofit is only as strong as its leadership. That’s just as true in marketing and communications as it is in any other function. In our July webinar, Alyssa Conrardy sat down with Caitlin FitzSimons, Director of Marketing at OneGoal National, and Chloe Lahre, Director of External Affairs at OneGoal Chicago, and they talked about […]

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#GivingTuesday Secrets to Success

What will you be doing on December 3, 2019? If you’re like many in the social sector, you already know you’ll be knee deep in your #GivingTuesday campaign, hopefully watching the dollars roll in to support your organization’s mission. As most of you already know, #GivingTuesday is the annual, global day of giving that was […]

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The Components of a Successful Nonprofit Content Marketing Strategy

“Content marketing” is a far-reaching term that encompasses all of the written information you put into the world in an effort to educate your stakeholders and activate them in service of your mission. This content includes social media, blogs, emails, videos, case studies, white papers, op-eds and so much more. These tactics are crucial to […]

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The Anatomy of an Effective Nonprofit Website: Part 3 – Illustrating Impact

If you’ve been following along with our series on the anatomy of an effective nonprofit website, you’re well on your way to building a site that truly works. Here are the four essential elements we’re covering in this series: A Well-Structured Homepage With Clear Messaging An Easy Opt-In Illustration of Impact (read on) A Way […]

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The Ingredients of a Successful Rebrand

I recently wrote a post about the ingredients of a successful nonprofit marketing initiative. In it, I discussed ways to ensure communications projects stay on track and achieve maximum impact, which included: Establishing a communications committee, made up of individuals who can champion the work and provide diverse perspectives; Considering the time you’ll need to […]

Resource: Nonprofit Stakeholder Checklist

Your nonprofit is accountable to a diverse range of stakeholders. That's why involving your many different stakeholders any time you’re considering making a major change to the way you brand, market or communicate about your organization is so important.

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Webinar Recap: Make the Case for Marketing Investment at Your Nonprofit

During our June webinar on advocating for a strong marketing budget, Alyssa Conrardy, President of Prosper Strategies, was joined by Kevin Radelet, Executive Director of the Leukemia Research Foundation and Tabitha Upshaw, Chief Marketing Officer of Global Wildlife Conservation. In this blog, we share a recap of what they discussed.   This webinar centered on […]

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The Anatomy of An Effective Nonprofit Website: Part Two – An Easy Opt-In

Building a nonprofit website that really works is not as complicated as it might seem. As we shared in our last post in this series, there are just four essential elements every nonprofit site needs to succeed (this post covers  #2 of 4). They are: A Well-Structured Homepage With Clear Messaging An Easy Opt-In (read on) […]

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The Anatomy of An Effective Nonprofit Website: Part One – A Well-Structured Homepage

Why do some nonprofit websites succeed while others fail? It comes down to much more than beautiful imagery and clean, user-friendly design. In fact, there are four elements that every nonprofit website needs to have to achieve its full potential, and most organizations miss at least one of them. Over the course of four posts […]

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Four Ways to Level Up Your Nonprofit’s Email Marketing

You know how important it is to stay top of mind for your stakeholders and encourage them to take action, and email is just one of the many ways you can do that. But is your nonprofit using email to its full potential? There are some email strategies you’re probably already using, like sending regular […]

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The Role of Social Media for Nonprofits

Even the smallest nonprofits can make a big impact in their own communities with some strategic social media practices.

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What is Marketing and Fundraising Alignment and Why is it Important?

The for-profit world commonly uses the phrase “marketing and sales alignment” to refer to the relationship between the two departments, where marketing is responsible for lead generation and nurturing and sales is responsible for closing business. According to Salesforce: The new reality is that sales and marketing are continuously and increasingly integrated. Marketing needs to […]

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Quantify Your Impact: Measure Your Nonprofit Marketing

You’ve built a marketing strategy that aligns with your organization’s goals, and you’ve chosen what tactics you’ll use to put the strategy into action. Now, the real work begins: executing on your marketing plan and evaluating its success by tracking the metrics that matter most. The process of measuring nonprofit marketing metrics may seem daunting. […]

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What to Expect from Your Nonprofit Marketing Agency’s Research Phase

The key to effective marketing planning is strategic research. Learn what your nonprofit marketing agency should be researching to inform your strategy.

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What Questions Should I Ask a Nonprofit Marketing Agency?

Wondering what questions you should ask a marketing agency to determine if they’re a fit for your nonprofit? Here are 40 questions to ask and 6 to avoid.

Resource: Nonprofit Storytelling Checklist and Call to Action Creator

Regardless of your background or the culture in which you grew up, you’ve heard and told countless stories in your lifetime. As a nonprofit development or fundraising professional, you’ve leveraged storytelling into fundraising success before — and you can do it again.

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Your Nonprofit Marketing Strategy Blueprint

Many people confuse a marketing strategy with a marketing plan. This comes as no surprise because our entire nonprofit worlds are guided by an oxymoron: strategic plans. As confusing as this is, there is a difference between a strategy and a plan. Your nonprofit marketing strategy is the framework you’ll use to communicate about how […]

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Using Research to Inform Your Nonprofit Marketing Plan

Don’t build your nonprofit’s marketing plan in a vacuum. Use research to help make it as effective as possible. As you work to pull together a marketing plan that will help you achieve your organizational goals and overall mission, you should take a look at what other organizations in your space, or your ecosystem, are […]

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Is it Time to Call a Nonprofit Marketing Agency?

“Maybe we need some professional help.” Have you ever heard your colleagues (or yourself) say these words? Perhaps you’ve uttered them during the height of your busy fundraising season, or maybe they came out while you were banging your head against a wall trying to solve a seemingly unsolvable messaging problem that just keeps coming […]

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Webinar Recap: Develop a Marketing Plan That Moves Your Mission Forward

Did you miss our May webinar on developing a marketing plan with mission impact? Here’s a recap. Prosper Strategies co-founders Alyssa Conrardy and Lindsay Mullen walked through some of the most important sections of Prosper Strategies’ Essential Nonprofit Marketing Plan Template, including marketing goals and priorities, tactical selection and planning, and marketing measurement. They also […]

Resource: Nonprofit Marketing Measurement Dashboard

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The Ingredients of a Successful Nonprofit Communications Initiative

Your nonprofit has a new strategic plan, and one of the major objectives falls right into your marketing wheelhouse. Your nonprofit is renaming; you need to update your messaging to better reflect your mission; your organization has a major upcoming anniversary; or there’s finally a recognized need to develop a comprehensive marketing plan. When your […]

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What Makes Nonprofit Campaigns Go Viral

Every nonprofit marketer has high hopes for a viral campaign. We see the success of campaigns like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Movember (No Shave November) or the Human Rights Campaign’s equal sign profile pictures, and we envy that exposure. That’s because we know that the more eyes we can get on our organization’s messages, […]

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What Effective Nonprofit Marketing & Communications Looks Like – The Nonprofit Marketing Mastery Model

You know effective nonprofit marketing when you see it, but can you actually define what separates an organization that is extraordinary at marketing from one that is just average? It’s more than a sizeable budget, a killer social media strategy or some “secret sauce” that you can’t quite put your finger on. It turns out, […]

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Nonprofit Marketing Leaders on the DNA of Impactful Nonprofit Brands

Prosper Strategies recently hosted an intimate panel discussion on “the DNA of Impactful Nonprofit Brands.” At this Changemaker Conversations event, dozens of nonprofit marketing and communications professionals filled the room to hear what our guests from three organizations had to say. Our panel included Anthony Ruth from One Hope United, Jemilah Senter from Illinois Action […]

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How (Good) Marketing and Branding Can Save Your Fundraising

A few years ago, Gail Perry caused quite a stir when she published her post “Why Marketing and Branding Can Kill Your Fundraising.” She later changed the title, adding the word “(bad)” and clarified that she wasn’t demonizing all marketing––just bad marketing–– but not until she had riled up quite a few communications and marketing folks who disagreed with […]

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Should Your Nonprofit Rename? Do This First.

Often, when a nonprofit organization is questioning whether or not to rename, we recommend a brand perception study to help them understand external perspectives and align their internal stakeholders.

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Webinar Recap: Turn Your Stakeholders into Powerful Promoters for Your Nonprofit

This blog is a recap of the Prosper Strategies webinar with Amy Levner from KaBOOM!: “Everyone a Spokesperson: Turn Your Stakeholders into Powerful Promoters for Your Nonprofit.”

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The Valuable Fundraising Resource You May Not Be Tapping: Your Volunteers

Should you ask your organization’s volunteers for donations? Our answer to this question is a resounding yes.

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How Cohesive, Mission-aligned Marketing for Nonprofits Drives Social Change

Misconceptions in the nonprofit sector about the purpose and value of marketing are all too common. Many nonprofit leaders and their boards view marketing and communications as a “nice-to-have” line item in a budget, only necessary when fundraising or building awareness. But when marketing is well-aligned with your organization’s mission and goals, it can do […]

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Does Your Nonprofit Need New Key Messages?

While there are many reasons your organization might consider refreshing your messaging, here are a few of the most common we hear at Prosper Strategies.

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Should Everyone at Your Organization Use the Same “Elevator Speech”?

Brand consistency is important for a nonprofit organization, but it’s also important to allow everyone on your team to tell the story of your organization in a way that fits them.

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Webinar Transcript: Create Communication Cohesion at Your Nonprofit with Valentina T. Parissi, The Great Books Foundation

This transcript is from the March 6, 2019 Independent Sector & Prosper Strategies webinar, “Create Communication Cohesion at Your Nonprofit By Getting Your Team On the Same Page About Your Brand.”

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Does Your Nonprofit’s Brand Accurately Reflect Your Mission and Values?

What comes to mind when you think about the most successful brands in the world? Most likely, you think of big corporations like Apple, Google, Tesla and Amazon, but what about nonprofits American Red Cross, the World Wildlife Fund or NPR? We believe nonprofit brands can and should be among the most revered brands in […]

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Nonprofit Marketing Commitment #3: We Will Build Cohesion Internally and Communicate With Consistency Externally

Your staff, board members and volunteers are your best brand ambassadors. Are they presenting a consistent, yet personalized message about what your nonprofit does and why it matters? If not, it’s time to make Commitment #3 in the Nonprofit Marketing Manifesto, which says: We will recognize that to advance our mission we must build trust, […]

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What Your Organization Can Do Now to Take Your Marketing Impact to the Next Level

Have an even bigger marketing impact at your nonprofit by ensuring your brand is aligned with your mission and values, giving your stakeholders the tools they need to be your ambassadors and putting methods in place to measure the impact of marketing on your mission.

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Webinar Transcript: Build a Better Nonprofit Brand By Aligning With Your Mission and Values with Erin Walton, Resilience

This transcript is from the February 6, 2019 Independent Sector & Prosper Strategies webinar, “Build a Better Nonprofit Brand By Aligning With Your Mission and Values.”

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Three Reasons Why Marketing Furthers Your Nonprofit’s Impact

Marketing comprises every touchpoint you have with your audiences, it encourages those audiences to take action, and it communicates the good work you’re doing with the world.

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Nonprofit Marketing Commitment #2: We Will Develop a Strong Brand Image and Identity in Alignment With Our Mission and Values

Learn how to fully leverage the power of marketing for mission impact with Kristine Brown from Big Brothers Big Sisters and Danielle Veira of A Better Chicago

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Webinar Transcript: Leverage Marketing to Drive Social Change at Your Nonprofit with Big Brothers Big Sisters and A Better Chicago

This is a transcript of the January 9, 2019 Independent Sector & Prosper Strategies webinar featuring a Q&A with Kristine Brown of Big Brothers Big Sisters and Danielle Viera of A Better Chicago.

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Four Things Nonprofits With Amazing Marketing Do

When marketing for their organizations, the most successful nonprofits align marketing goals with strategic goals, are smart about social media, leverage the newest technology and understand their audiences.

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Nonprofit Marketing Commitment #1: We Will Recognize Marketing as a Tool for Driving Social Change

Learn how to fully leverage the power of marketing for mission impact with Kristine Brown from Big Brothers Big Sisters and Danielle Veira of A Better Chicago

Resource: Tech-Savvy Nonprofit Marketing Campaigns

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Webinar Transcript: The Nonprofit Marketing Revolution with Brian Frederick, ALS Association

Learn how Brian Frederick turned the viral Ice Bucket Challenge into sustained marketing to help propel the mission of the ALS Association.

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What to Do Now to Set Your Nonprofit Up for a Marketing Revolution in 2019

Make it your prerogative in 2019 to treat marketing as a necessary tool for achieving your organization’s mission.

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Is Your Nonprofit Ready for a Marketing Revolution?

Is Your Nonprofit Ready for a Marketing Revolution?

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How to Stand Out This Giving Tuesday

Don’t be like everyone else this Giving Tuesday. Here’s how to stand out.

Resource: Brand Alignment Survey for Nonprofit Marketing Teams

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Welcome to the Nonprofit Marketing Revolution

It's time for a marketing revolution. We believe in our Nonprofit Marketing Manifesto and its potential to redefine marketing.

The Nonprofit Marketing Manifesto

It's time for a nonprofit marketing revolution, and the Nonprofit Marketing Manifesto is your call to arms. Inside, you'll find 10 commitments that will reshape the way your organization thinks about marketing for mission impact.

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Brand Awareness is No Longer Enough to Keep Your Nonprofit Alive

It’s never been more difficult to run and sustain a nonprofit than it is today. Social sector organizations are constantly being called upon to do more with less, and there are numerous social, economic and political factors causing growing stress.

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An Honest Behind-the-Scenes Look at a Nonprofit Rebrand

As we noted in our recent blog on nonprofit renaming trends, many organizations are shifting from literal names to more evocative names that encompass a wider range of initiatives. Resilience is no exception. While it can be challenging to decide on a name or brand that perfectly encapsulates the image you want your organization to convey to the world, an evocative name and brand image can prove more flexible as your initiatives evolve over time.

Resource: 10 Questions to Ask Before Engaging in a Nonprofit Partnership

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Is It REALLY Time to Rebrand Your Nonprofit?

An effective rebranding process always involves activities intended to hear the contrasting voices of internal stakeholders and find common ground

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Why Are So Many Nonprofits Renaming?

There comes a time when many social sector organizations must ask themselves a difficult question: is going through a nonprofit renaming exercise necessary for our success, and possibly even for our survival? If your nonprofit is currently facing challenges like a disconnect between your name and your mission, or a misalignment between initiatives you want […]

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Aging Donor Base? Here’s What To Do About It

According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, baby boomers account for 41 percent of charitable giving. And as this demographic gets older, many organizations are worried about seeing a significant portion of their donor base dwindle. Does this sound familiar? Instead of focusing on what you may lose, start thinking about how to better communicate with […]

Ebook: The Ultimate Guide to Inbound Marketing for Nonprofits

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Social Enterprise or CSR? How to Differentiate Your Organization Through Marketing and Communications

Imagine if today, Coca-Cola announced a corporate social responsibility initiative directly within your social enterprise’s wheelhouse. How could you differentiate your company’s mission from their campaign? Whether social enterprise or CSR, you have to be able to communicate your benefits. Often, already-established for-profit companies will instill corporate social responsibility, or CSR, initiatives into their businesses […]

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Gathering Quotes and Testimonials That Demonstrate Your Nonprofit’s Success

What do you think is more likely to drive volunteers and donors to action: basic statements about the work your organization does, or true stories about the positive change you’ve created, straight from the communities you serve? Nine times out of 10, the answer will be nonprofit storytelling through first-person accounts of how your organization […]

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What We Learned From Talking With 20 Nonprofit Marketers About Their Nonprofit Brand Challenges

A few weeks ago, Prosper Strategies hosted a Roundtable Dinner on The Role of Brand in the Nonprofit Sector. Twenty-plus nonprofit marketing and communications professionals from a diverse range of nonprofit organizations across Chicagoland attended and discussed nonprofit brand challenges and opportunities they’ve encountered throughout their careers. Our panel included Phil Zepeda from the Robert […]

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Overcoming News and Compassion Fatigue to Break Through to Your Audiences

Today’s news cycle is never-ending, and it feels like every week –– or even every day –– there’s a new cause that needs support, and several organizations that are leading the charge. Dreamers are at risk of being deported; organizations and funds that support dreamers like United We Dream and TheDream.US need help. Women’s health […]

Resource: The Nonprofit Brand Scorecard

There is a right way and a wrong way to build and manage a nonprofit marketing budget. We've developed this whitepaper to help you through the process from start to finish...

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Four Takeaways From the Giving USA 2018 Report for Nonprofit Marketers and Communicators

Charitable giving in the United States is stronger than ever before. Has your nonprofit felt the effects? If you haven’t yet taken a look at the results of Giving USA 2018: The Annual Report on Philanthropy, we’re here to break down what the findings mean for nonprofit marketers and communicators like yourself. You may know […]

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What to Do Now to Prepare for Your End-of-Year Fundraising Campaign

I know, I know, it’s summer, and you’re enjoying the nice weather and change of pace that comes with this time of year. It feels strange to think about the holiday season right now, doesn’t it? But as I’m sure you know, a successful fundraising campaign plan requires a lot of preparation. The most proactive […]

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The Right (and Wrong) Way to Engage your Board and Staff in a Nonprofit Rebrand

If you haven’t already noticed the changes, you will soon. Over the last ten years, a record number of nonprofits have renamed and rebranded, and this trend shows no signs of slowing. Take, for example, the YMCA’s transition to The Y, America’s Second Harvest’s change to Feeding America and Child Abuse Prevention Services’ move to […]

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How to Choose the Right Inbound Marketing Tool for Your Nonprofit

Nonprofits and for-profit companies use marketing, especially inbound marketing, a little differently. B2B or consumer-focused companies may employ inbound marketing tactics to encourage potential customers to buy a product or service. As a nonprofit, your primary goals are likely educating your audience (while also encouraging them to opt in to learn more about your organization) […]

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Framing Matters: Are You Inadvertently Harming the People You Hope to Serve with the Language You Use?

How you explain a problem or a solution to someone can change their perceptions of your communities, for better or for worse.

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How To Make Your Personality a Bigger Part of Your Social Entrepreneur Brand

Don’t be afraid to be a bigger part of your brand and to emphasize your own personality in your marketing.

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Why Your Nonprofit Needs a Brand Messaging Strategy

Having a brand messaging strategy is important for today’s nonprofits to drive internal cohesion, mission advancement and social impact.

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Creating Effective Vision Statements for Social Enterprises

If you don’t already have a vision statement, or yours just isn’t compelling, what should you do about it?

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Nonprofit Messaging 101: Your Nonprofit’s Key Messages

Solidifying your nonprofit messaging through key messages can help you eliminate any confusion when talking about your organization. Key messages help determine your core external statements for each of your individual audiences so every member of your organization can feel confident no matter who they’re talking to — from board members and volunteers, to donors and recipients of your services.

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Can Marketing Have a Bigger Impact At Your Social Enterprise?

A successful social enterprise also has to generate profits, and that means they need to work the whole funnel, not just the awareness phase.

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Nonprofit Brand Messaging 101: Nonprofit Positioning Statements

Nonprofit positioning statements help shape the external messaging you use to to explain what you do and why.

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Why Precise Word Choice Matters in Nonprofit Messaging

Seemingly subtle word choices in nonprofit messaging can make or break the success of your organizations’ campaigns.

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Nailing Your Social Enterprise’s Origin Story

If you haven’t yet crafted your company origin story in a way you can easily articulate, you absolutely should.

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5 Situations Other Than Fundraising When Your Nonprofit Needs Marketing

If your nonprofit’s main source of funds is through revenue from programs or services, your nonprofit needs marketing.

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Does Your Nonprofit Think Too Small About Marketing?

In this blog, we want to broaden your mind and help you explore your organization’s untapped nonprofit marketing potential.

Build a Better Nonprofit Marketing Plan: Here’s How

Do you wish you had a roadmap that showed you exactly what you need to do to achieve your nonprofit’s biggest goals through marketing? An effective nonprofit marketing plan can do just that. While many nonprofit marketing plans simply sit on a shelf gathering dust, there IS a way to build a better plan you’ll […]

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Creating Consensus During Times of Change

The right communications process can go a long way in building consensus during times of change at your nonprofit. We’ve experienced this firsthand in cases where nonprofits are making changes to leadership, shifting focus to better meet participant needs or merging with another organization. These are instances where nonprofits are simultaneously re-evaluating their vision, mission […]

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Seven Deadly Nonprofit Marketing Budget Sins: Part One

Do you have an effective nonprofit marketing budget in place? Creating one is more important now than ever. Allow me to explain why. Our last election and the ensuing political shakeup has spurred fear in the nonprofit sector. Much is still uncertain when it comes to the Trump administration’s impact on nonprofits and charities, but […]

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Boosting Your Nonprofit’s Google Ad Rank Without Breaking the Bank

We’ve guided many nonprofits on the setup of their accounts, and poor ad rank is a problem that most don’t know they have. Read on to learn more about Google ad rank and how to boost your position without breaking the bank.

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Four Ways to Build a Social Enterprise Blog Following

Your social enterprise blog may be full of valuable advice, but if you haven’t grown and nurtured an audience, it’s unlikely to be widely read. To build a social enterprise blog following, you need to put your content in front of your target audience and give readers good reason to keep returning for your new posts. If you’re ready to increase your readership, give these tips a try.

How Communicating With Data Visualization Can Help Your Nonprofit or Social Enterprise Appeal to Target Stakeholders

Imagine a list of data. Now, imagine a colorful chart. Which would you rather look at?
As a nonprofit or social enterprise, finding new ways to appeal to your target stakeholders can be difficult. But communications tactics like data visualization may help you reach the right donors or customers. After all, communicating with data visualization is all about condensing your messaging and impact into a visual format that’s easy to understand. And, 91 percent of people prefer engaging [...]

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Leveraging Inbound Marketing for Nonprofits: Part Four – Inbound Marketing for Revenue Generation

If you’ve been following along with our recent blog series, you already know we believe that inbound marketing isn’t just for for-profit companies. As a nonprofit, you can and should use inbound marketing to fundraise, educate and activate your stakeholders and even attract top-tier talent to work for your organization. Now, in our final installment […]

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Recent PR Success Stories for Social Enterprises

Every year, we like to revisit the inspiring PR success stories of social enterprises and conscious businesses that are breaking the mold and driving massive change in their industries. The three companies featured here had PR wins that really stood out to us this year. What will you take away from these campaigns as you […]

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The Best Nonprofit Annual Reports of 2017

Editors note: Want the latest? See our article about the Best Nonprofit Annual Reports of 2019 here. I admit, when I first set out to write a blog on nonprofit annual reports, I was not excited. But then I started digging into some recent annual reports from organizations I care about and found them to […]

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Social Enterprises to Watch in 2018

Last year, we shared five social enterprise brands that were poised to make a difference in 2017. A year later, making socially responsible choices every day feels even more important. It’s easy to say that social enterprises are going to keep growing in prominence and changing the business landscape, but to create that change, they […]

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Changemakers to Watch: Joe Lannen of Tree Tribe

At Prosper Strategies, we’re fascinated by the origin stories behind social enterprises that blend purpose with profit to make the world a better place. From a desire to bridge communities, to a passion for the culinary arts, to a transformational, life-changing experience, there are countless forces that motivate social entrepreneurs and nonprofit founders to take […]

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Leveraging Inbound Marketing for Nonprofits – Part Three: Inbound Marketing for Talent Acquisition

You already know this, but attracting top talent to your nonprofit is crucial to achieving your mission. And it’s not easy. Over the last four years, nonprofits have reported their second biggest challenge is finding qualified staff for their organization. We can likely attribute this growing challenge to the rise in social enterprise organizations and […]

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Setting Your Social Enterprise’s Marketing Budget

Did you stick to your marketing budget in 2017? If your social enterprise is like most, setting (and keeping) a marketing budget can seem almost impossible. You’re not alone. Many social enterprises don’t have a dedicated marketing budget going into 2018. But setting a marketing budget is critical for your social enterprise’s success not only […]

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Leveraging Inbound Marketing for Nonprofits – Part Two: Stakeholder Education and Activation

As you learned from our first installation in this series on nonprofit inbound marketing, inbound tactics can be very useful for nonprofit fundraising. Inbound marketing brings in 54 percent more leads than more “traditional” tactics like mass mailings or radio ads. That makes sense. The people you reach with inbound content are more likely to […]

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Junior Associate – Internship to 1 year experience

Are you a budding marketing and communications professional who is passionate about working for good causes and making the world a better place? Do you want to build your skills at an innovative agency while partnering with our nonprofit clients? Then Prosper Strategies might be a great fit for you. Prosper Strategies is Chicago’s leading […]

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What Your Nonprofit Marketing Team Needs to Do NOW to Get Ready for a Successful 2018

It’s December, and you’re likely already deep into your nonprofit organization’s 2018 planning. As you plan for the coming year, remember that a marketing plan is a crucial piece of your overall strategy. And as you develop that 2018 marketing plan, this blog can serve as a guide to keep you motivated and hit all […]

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Leveraging Inbound Marketing for Nonprofits – Part One: Inbound Marketing for Fundraising

Almost as soon as inbound marketing entered the scene, so did the skeptics who said it would never work for nonprofits. And at first, it might have been easy to believe them. After all, inbound was initially positioned as a methodology for driving leads for B2B sales and then nurturing those leads through a decision […]

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“Cause Marketing” and Corporate-Nonprofit Partnerships

At Prosper, we work with nonprofits and for-profit social impact companies every day, and we’re all about supporting the organizations that put impact first. But B Corps and other social impact organizations can’t do it alone. There’s a role for other types of companies to play as well. Since the March of Dimes and Marriott […]

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What We’re Grateful for at Prosper Strategies In 2017

As we near the end of 2017, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on what we’re grateful for here at Prosper Strategies. We work with some incredible organizations with truly inspiring missions. We have an amazing team that is dedicated to supporting purpose-driven businesses and nonprofits. Each year, we see more and more […]

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How to Use the Latest Technology for Social Enterprise to Tell Your Story

Every organization has a story. But unless your brand is a household name, it’s unlikely that everyone is as familiar with your social enterprise as you’d like. A common misconception is that telling a compelling story starts with highly-produced video or another cost-prohibitive visual medium. The good news is that isn’t always the case thanks […]

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How to Avoid Mission Drift (and How a Marketing Plan Can Help)

As a social enterprise leader, you know what your business stands for. But as a revenue-generating company, it can be difficult to avoid “mission drift,” or the deprioritization of your social goals in favor of commercial ones. What can you do to ensure your mission doesn’t get lost in the demands of raising money or […]

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Let’s Do #GivingTuesday Campaigns Differently: Build Long-lasting Relationships With Donors

On #GivingTuesday in 2016, 20,000 nonprofits and other organizations hoping to make a positive impact raised a record-breaking $168 million dollars. This was a dramatic 43 percent increase from the $117 million raised on #GivingTuesday in 2015. As long as organizations continue to put their best foot forward through strategic marketing campaigns, corporate partnerships, sponsored […]

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How To Communicate Your Impact With Authenticity

I was recently at the Social Enterprise Summit in LA, where the topic of genuine communication was raised by one of the attendees who asked: how do we highlight the great work we do without being too self-serving or overly promotional? For B Corps, social enterprises and other socially responsible companies, a focus on impact […]

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Beyond Breaking News: Achieving Sustainable Nonprofit Media Coverage

Not every nonprofit can achieve long-lasting viral success like the ALS Association did with the ice bucket challenge or insert itself into the news weekly like Planned Parenthood is able to thanks to their intersection with current events. But finding a way to secure nonprofit media coverage is a worthwhile goal for organizations of any […]

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The Power of Partnerships in the Social Impact Movement

Last week, I had the privilege of attending The 2017 B Corp Champions Retreat in Toronto. I met the leaders of some amazing companies that, like Prosper Strategies, are committed to using business as a force for good, and I was inspired by the innovation they’re driving and the impact they’re making across the world. […]

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Why We May Not Respond to Your Nonprofit’s Marketing RFP

If you’ve recently sent Prosper Strategies a request for proposal for nonprofit marketing or brand work, you’ve probably heard us say something along the lines of “Thanks for reaching out, but we don’t typically respond to RFPs.” Yes, we understand that RFPs are the norm (or at least they used to be) in the nonprofit […]

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Integrating Google Nonprofit Ad Grants into Your Marketing Plan

Imagine what your nonprofit could do with $10,000 of advertising every month. Nonprofit ad grants are your ticket to free ad spend on Google, but we heard a rumor that time is running out to use them to their full advantage. True or not, if you’re unfamiliar with Google AdWords, this is your opportunity to […]

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How to Use Our Template to Build Your Organization’s Education Marketing Plan

I know why you’re here. You want to maximize the impact of your education organization by building your audience and broadcasting your message so you can benefit as many students as possible. To make this happen, you know you have to take the plunge and develop or redevelop your education marketing plan. It’s no small […]

3 Steps to Educate, Engage and Activate Your Nonprofit Stakeholders

When there are concrete goals your organization needs to reach in support of a capital campaign or advocacy effort, you’ll be well served by deploying a three phase approach to educate, engage and activate your stakeholders in support of your cause. And, while many of the most successful campaigns of this sort span multiple years, […]

How to Identify and Target Your Education Stakeholders

In order to launch a successful education PR or marketing strategy, you need to have a deep understanding of the people you want to reach and influence: your education stakeholders. To get to know your stakeholders, you’ll need to conduct both internal and external research. Through this process, you’ll create a set of stakeholder profiles […]

Why We Need Social Enterprises Today More Than Ever

When we started Prosper Strategies in 2012, social enterprise was still a “fringe” concept. B Corp was still in its infancy, with only about 500 member companies and many of the social enterprises we now know and love were still figments of an idealistic entrepreneur’s imagination. The game has changed considerably in the last five years. 89 […]

Overcoming Your Nonprofit Marketing Team Challenges and Building Your Dream Team

Every nonprofit faces its own unique set of marketing challenges, but most organizations have one common goal: achieving their mission and making a positive impact on the communities they serve. Whether your organization has one person running all communications efforts, coordinates marketing efforts across multiple teams or employees with other responsibilities, or has an entire […]

How to Set SMART Marketing Objectives For Your Education Organization

Marketing is essential to the growth and impact of your education organization, and executing a successful marketing campaign in education is no easy feat. This is why your education organization needs SMART marketing objectives. SMART marketing objectives are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely targets you set to track your organization’s progress in fulfilling its […]

Love ‘em or hate ‘em: Why Your Social Enterprise Should Create a System for Annual Reports Now

If you’re the type that scrambles during annual reports season, here’s why you should change your ways. Consistent reporting can help you scale your organization You will have a lens into your successes and shortcomings Giving your stakeholders regular information will keep them happy and informed While it’s not always simple or fun to hunker […]

Maintaining Mission and Authenticity Through Acquisition

Plum and Campbell’s, Seventh Generation and Unilever, Annie’s and General Mills… The trend is clear: global brands want in on the mission-driven social impact market. And I don’t think this should be perceived as a bad thing. But how do social enterprises that often have a loyal following go about maintaining mission and authenticity through […]

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The Nonprofit Fundraising Plan & How to Integrate it With Your Marketing Plan

Recently, we’ve been working with more and more marketing directors who are also responsible for fundraising. It makes sense: successful marketing plans are those that are tied closely to nonprofit fundraising plans. Whether or not your responsibilities span both marketing and fundraising, integrating your nonprofit fundraising plan and your marketing plan leads to the best results. […]

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How to Use Our Essential Nonprofit Marketing Plan Template

The impact of marketing is undeniably growing in the nonprofit sector. Just take a look at this data from M+R’s 2017 Nonprofit Benchmarks Report to see what I mean. The data shows us that nonprofits are seeing larger audiences and increased volume: Traffic to nonprofit websites grew by about 4% over 2015 totals — modest […]

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Successfully Communicating Company Growth and Purpose

For long-time Prosper blog readers, you know we’re passionate about the quest to balance love and money; or creating a successful business that also allows us to make a meaningful impact, not just for our clients, but for the world at large. As with any social enterprise business, this starts with making a profit. The […]

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How to Set Smarter Nonprofit Marketing Goals