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

5 min read

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 took audience questions, covering topics like whether social media followers are a useful marketing metric for nonprofits, if a marketing tactical mix should be developed with management approval, whether marketing should operate under fundraising and more.

Key terms that are important to this webinar

  • Marketing goals define where your organization will focus your marketing efforts in order to meet your organization-wide goals. 
  • Tactics are the vehicles through which you bring your marketing goals to life, and this can include anything from email, to social media, to events. 
  • A marketing funnel is the journey a person goes through from the point at which they’re a stranger to your organization, then a supporter, then an advocate. At each stage of the relationship, you can use different tactics to reach them. 
  • A Priority Planning Framework is a goal setting and tactical selection process designed by Prosper Strategies. It helps an organization select the focus areas and marketing mix that will help it achieve its most important goals with the resources available, while also considering possible tactics that can have an even greater impact. 
  • KPIs are “key performance indicators.” These are the primary metrics your organization measures in order to keep track of how successful you are as you work to meet your marketing goals.

What Lindsay and Alyssa covered:

  • What an effective marketing plan really looks like 
  • How to develop a marketing plan in tandem with or in response to your organization’s strategic plan 
  • How to set and track mission-oriented marketing goals 
  • How to choose the right mix of tactics for driving your organization’s mission forward 
  • How to use our Priority Planning Framework to develop a marketing plan that acknowledges the limitations of your current resources while helping you advocate for more 
  • How to share your marketing plan with your leadership team and staff and turn them into marketing champions

Here are timestamps to help you jump to highlights from the webinar:

  • 6:55: Introduction to Commitment #5, “We will develop a marketing plan that aligns with our strategic plan and recognize that marketing can impact every single one of our strategic goals.” 
  • 11:07: Exploring the Essential Nonprofit Marketing Plan Template: a resource for your organization to help build an effective marketing plan 
  • 16:03: Setting marketing goals and priorities 
  • 30:24: Selecting your organization’s marketing tactics 
  • 33:48: Planning your tactics 
  • 41:45: Setting up a dashboard to measure marketing results 
  • 45:20: How you can go deeper to develop your own marketing plan, including leveraging the Essential Nonprofit Marketing Plan Template ($99), joining the Nonprofit Marketing Collaborative Facebook group (free) and attending an upcoming live workshop in Chicago: Build Your Nonprofit Marketing Plan ($550). 
  • 52:32: Audience Q&A 
  • 1:14:48: Preview of the next webinar in the series, focused on Commitment #6, “We will invest properly in marketing and treat it as core mission support, not overhead.”

Q&A highlights

Should goals include things like achieving a certain number of followers on social media?

Lindsay: “No. That’s sort of an objective within a goal. We’d ask you, ‘why do you want to achieve followers on social media?’ That would lead you to answers like: ‘we want to raise awareness’ or ‘we’re hoping to grow our community to increase our potential to raise funds.’ It ladders up to a bigger organizational goal, so the goal is more of an umbrella, and the number of social media followers is an objective to get there.”

Alyssa: “Social media followers are a vanity metric in a lot of instances, and most of the time you want to go deeper than that.”

How closely does the marketing funnel need to match what your management team will move on or approve?

Alyssa: “You should be realistic about what you can get funding for. But, you can also start by asking for forgiveness instead of permission, and recommend what you think will be best. Then, scale back accordingly based on the budget you can secure.”

Should marketing report to fundraising, or should they work parallel to one another?

Alyssa: “I do not think marketing should report to fundraising. Having marketing report to fundraising treats marketing as if its only goal is to fundraise. Fundraising is critically important, and it’s critically important that marketing addresses it and and they work together. But, when you put marketing under fundraising, you’re minimizing all the other audiences your nonprofit needs to reach and all of the other goals marketing needs to serve, and therefore the power and potential of marketing for your organization. The two should work in tandem, but each have their own department that are closely integrated with one another, or both come under an engagement type of department, which we’ve seen happen effectively.”

Lindsay: “You can stay tuned on this topic, we’ll soon have a lot more content surrounding this question.”

What’s next?

If you want to learn more about building a marketing plan for your organization, reach out to us! We’d be happy to talk to you about it.

Our next webinar will be held on June 5th and will focus on Commitment #6 of the Nonprofit Marketing Manifesto, “We will invest properly in marketing and treat it as core mission support, not overhead.” There, Alyssa will be joined by Kevin Radelet, Executive Director of Leukemia Research Foundation and Tabitha Upshaw, Chief Marketing Officer of Global Wildlife Conservation. They’ll discuss how to make the Case for a marketing investment at your nonprofit.

You can register for our June webinar here. We hope to see you then!

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