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 so much more than fundraise or raise awareness. In fact, marketing is every single activity, touchpoint and message that motivates your stakeholders to take actions that help you create sustainable social change.Marketing is every single activity, touchpoint and message that motivates your stakeholders to take actions that help you create sustainable social change. Click To Tweet
That’s why cohesive, mission-aligned nonprofit marketing can absolutely further your impact. Here’s how to make it happen:
Give your stakeholders the tools to be brand ambassadors
When your nonprofit thinks of every individual or group as a potential ambassador for your mission and treats them as such, your messaging will be amplified, reaching more people and driving more positive change.
When your stakeholders – both internal and external – have tools they can use to tailor your organization’s message for their own perspectives, you can ensure your messaging stays consistent, even as it is personalized. This is the idea behind Brand Democracy, or the assertion that an organization trusts its members, staff, participants and volunteers to communicate their own understanding of the organization’s core identity.
Ensure your audiences know the actions they should take as you work together to achieve your mission
Nonprofits face challenges that are different from those of for-profit companies. Constantly changing social, economic and political factors can create moving targets for organizations, the people they serve and the people who want to contribute to their missions. That’s why marketing and communications is so important for nonprofits.
Clear marketing and messaging ensure your stakeholders know exactly what they should do and when they should do it to create the positive change your organization hopes to see in the world, no matter what is happening in the world around us.
Measure and optimize every tactic in your strategic, mission-aligned marketing plan
Many nonprofits face budgeting challenges. That’s why committing to measuring the impact of marketing is perhaps one of the most important steps an organization can take as they work to convince their board to prioritize marketing. When marketing and communications are aligned with strategic goals, each tactic’s impact on those goals can – and should – be measured.
And once you can effectively measure every single marketing tactic’s impact on your mission, you can then optimize everything you do to ensure you’re taking the right steps to sustain or build upon the social change you’re creating.
How do you know if your marketing is cohesive and aligned with your mission?
Ask yourself these questions:
- Is your marketing plan aligned with your strategic goals?
- Is your team on the same page about your brand?
- Do your external audiences understand who you are and what you do?
If your answer is no to any of these questions, it’s likely you need to revisit your branding, messaging and marketing strategies. Once you do this, you can ensure you’re truly following the 10 commitments of the Nonprofit Marketing Manifesto to achieve your mission and drive more social change.