Marketing plan and strategy
One of the first steps in marketing is to have a plan and a strategy.
- Organizing Your Nonprofit Marketing Plan – Network for Good
- Eight Basic Steps to Marketing Your Nonprofit Organization – About.com
- Template for Strategic Communications Plan (This link includes a planning worksheet) – W.K. Kellogg Foundation
- Nonprofit Marketing Plan Template – Nancy E. Schwartz
Working with the media
It’s important for your organization to be visible in the community and media coverage is one of the top ways to gain that visibility. A common way to contact the media is through a press release (also known as a news release since it should contain news). A media advisory is sent to announce an event.
- News Releases – The Spin Project (This link contains a sample press release and media advisory.)
- Winning Media Coverage for the Work You Do – Third Sector New England
- Pitching to the Media: Batter Up! Five Tried and True Ways to Pitch the Media on Your Nonprofit’s Issues – Third Sector New England
- Pitching Nonprofit Stories to the Media – About.com
- Sample Press Release for Nonprofit – About.com
- Developing a press kit – Philanthropy Journal
- How to write a Letter to the Editor that gets Published and Read- Getting Attention.org
- Letters to the Editor Tips from an Expert- Getting Attention.org
Today it’s more important than ever to have an up-to-date informative and user friendly website. With the advent of social media, people are used to accessing very current information. People also need to be able to easily find your organization when they are doing an internet search.
- 10 Tips to Improve Your Nonprofit Website – Network for Good
- Nonprofit Website Design: Examples and Best Practices – Smashing Magazine
- 10 Steps to Being Found on Search Engines – Network for Good
A brand is more than just your logo. It’s who you are, what you do, and why what you do is important. Here are some ways you can improve your brand or rebrand, if necessary.
- 5 Steps to Defining Your Nonprofit’s Brand – About.com
- Nonprofit Branding: Unveiling the Essentials – Guidestar
- Six Steps to Rebranding a Nonprofit – Third Sector New England
Elevator pitch and messaging
Often you only have a short period of time to explain to another person what your organization does. Do you know how to effectively, but concisely, capture someone’s attention? You also need ensure that everyone in your organization is communicating the same message.
- Shaping Your Message – Third Sector New England
- Avoiding the Messaging Trap – Guidestar
- The Nonprofit Persona: Tips to Ensure Consistent Messaging Across Mediums – Guidestar
Consistency in marketing materials
Not only should your messages be consistent, but your materials need to be as well. Your logo should always be in the same place, and you shouldn’t alter your organization’s colors. You may want to consider putting together an organizational style guide to ensure consistency in your messages and materials.
- Create a Style Guide for Your Nonprofit – Avoid Audience Confusion – Nancy E. Schwartz EzineArticles
A video is a great way to engage your audience at a fundraising or recruiting event. You can also put a short video on your website – highlighting your programs or including an interview with a client. Here are some ways your organization can use video.
- Video as a Powerful Development Tool – Third Sector New England
- Guide to Online Video for Nonprofits – See3
- Eight Tips for Telling Your Story Digitally – TechSoup
E-mail marketing is a cost-effective way to send out monthly newsletters, fundraising appeals, or advocacy alerts. Below are some ways you can maximize your efforts.
- 14 Easy Ways to Grow Your Email List – Network for Good
- Email Marketing Campaigns That Work – Third Sector New England
- e-Newsletter Best Practices for Nonprofit Organizations – DIOSA Communications
- Email Marketing Tips, Tricks and Secrets – About.com
Social media is becoming an increasingly popular way to communicate. Here are s
ome ways your organization can use social media and how you can tie it into your other online communications.
- How Nonprofit Organizations Can Use Social Media to Power Social Networks for Change – Beth’s Blog
- 12 Tips for Nonprofits On Getting Started With Social Media – About.com
- Social Media for Nonprofit Beginners – We are Media Project
- 5 Tips to Master Small Business Social Media – Expertise.com
A blog can be a useful way for your organization to provide communications updates, but you do need to use it wisely. You’ll need to decide if it makes sense to have one.
- 5 Tips to Start a Nonprofit Blog – Case Foundation
- Should you start a blog for your nonprofit? – Socialbrite
These days many organizations send out newsletters by e-mail, although some still produce print newsletters. Either way you need to make sure you create a product that your audience will want to read.
- Bring Your e-Newsletter from Snoring to Soaring – Network for Good
- Nonprofit Newsletter – Nonprofitexpert.com
- Donor Newsletters – Your Route to Keeping Donors Excited and In a Giving Mood – About.com
You probably will be doing most of your communication electronically. However, you may want to send out some materials (such as a fundraising appeal) by mail. It might make sense to look into bulk mailing and nonprofit postal rates.
- Bulk Mailing: Cut Your Postage Costs in Half – Nonprofit Success
- Business Mail 101 Permits and Postage – United States Postal Service
A picture is worth a 1000 words. Using photographs in your marketing materials and on your website is an easy way to catch someone’s attention. Make sure that you take pictures at your events and obtain any necessary permission’s before publishing them.
Although not required, an annual report is a great way to highlight your organization’s accomplishments. You may find it useful to create a running list of your accomplishments, so you are not scrambling to come up with them at the end of the year. Your annual report doesn’t need to be long (four to six pages is fine). Be sure to include pictures and stories.
- 10 Tips for Writing a Great Annual Report – About.com
- Annual Reports – Five Keys to Creating an Annual Report For Your Nonprofit – ezinearticles
- Top Five Questions about Nonprofit Annual Reports – Network for Good