The Ultimate Guide to Nonprofit Marketing in 2021

Every marketing team is encouraged to do this Do more with less – especially non-profit organizations. Often resources are scarce and the teams small. Sounds like your organization?

We want to help. That’s why we created this non-profit marketing guide. Your organization may not be profitable, but it may still derive value from the traffic, funds, and awareness marketing.

Bookmark this guide for later and use the chapter links below to jump to sections of interest.

Nonprofit Marketing

Nonprofit marketing is the use of marketing tactics and strategies to improve a company’s cause and mission, raise funds, and attract volunteers and supporters.

Inbound Marketing for Nonprofits

Your nonprofit is likely taking up all of your time, and creating a marketing plan seems like an extra responsibility that just isn’t worth it.

We’re here to convince you. Inbound marketing is about creating valuable experiences that have a positive impact on people and your business.

Inbound marketing for nonprofits can help attract new supporters for your cause, connect to valuable donors, engage Your voters and to inspire your community.

Raise your company’s awareness and force it to act. Learn firsthand how HubSpot can transform your nonprofit.

This is how non-profit marketing can help.

Non-profit marketing sensitized.

Your nonprofit is a brand, so just like any other business or business, you need to get noticed. Marketing increases your brand awareness, and brand awareness spreads the word about your business and your general cause.

Non-profit marketing collects donations.

Non-profit marketing and non-profit fundraising go hand in hand. The more people know about your organization, the more potential funding you can bring in.

Nonprofit marketing encourages donor memberships and recurring donations.

Many nonprofits offer fundraising memberships and monthly fundraising programs, like this one from Charity: Water. These programs are valuable because your organization does not need to be as active or as frequent in fundraising and can actually help you raise more money. The average monthly online donation is $ 52 ($ 624 per year) compared to the average one-time gift of $ 128.

Marketing your nonprofit will bring new eyes to your cause and let your donors know how to consistently contribute.

Nonprofit Marketing recruits volunteers.

Not-for-profit marketing is not only used for funding, but also brings workers (and women!) Into your company. Regardless of industry or size, all nonprofits benefit from volunteers, and marketing your organization can help get new hands on.

In addition, volunteers are twice as likely to donate as non-volunteers.

Non-profit marketing promotes your services.

Awareness, funding, and volunteers are an integral part of your nonprofit organization, but what about the purpose of your organization? What about the people, animals or the thing you help? Marketing can help here too.

The more people who know about your nonprofit, the more people you can help.

These are just a few reasons why you should invest in marketing (especially inbound marketing!) For your nonprofit. Now let’s discuss how to create a nonprofit marketing plan so you can bring in new funds, volunteers, and constituents.

How to Create a Nonprofit Marketing Plan

  1. Define your marketing goals
  2. Understand your audience
  3. Create your key messages
  4. Choose, plan and create your marketing strategies
  5. Analyze your marketing performance

Creating a for-profit marketing plan may not be all that different from a for-profit marketing plan, but it is undoubtedly more important. Increasing constituent awareness and engagement without exhausting your busy team requires systematically approach your marketing.

This is where a nonprofit marketing plan comes in. By setting up systems to create and distribute your marketing content, you can focus on running and scaling your nonprofit organization.

How to Create a Successful Nonprofit Marketing Plan.

1. Define your marketing goals

Your nonprofit marketing plan is to transform your company’s mission and overall goals into strategic, actionable goals.

For example, let’s say one of your goals was to protect animal welfare in your community (like one of my favorite local rescues, ALIVE Chicago). I would ask you to come up with three to five marketing ideas in order to achieve this goal.

Some ways you can use marketing to achieve this goal are:

  1. Create and publish content that informs your community about the state of animal welfare.
  2. Post information about your organization and the animals you have up for adoption on social media.
  3. Send out a weekly email newsletter with your content, adoptable animals, and volunteer needs.
  4. Host a quarterly event with educational resources, promote training and adoption opportunities.

Next, I would like to ask you to translate these ideas into SMART goals. Let’s take idea number one as an example:


Keep the community informed of the state of animal welfare by creating one blog post per week.


Increase traffic by 15%.


Our blog traffic increased 10% last year when we increased our posting frequency to twice a month. A 15% increase in traffic with a 100% increase in production seems achievable.


An increase in blog traffic will raise awareness of our organization, educate the community, and make more people aware of our adoption opportunities – saving more animals and raising more funds.

In time

We’ll be producing one post a week and early next month.

SMART goal: By the beginning of next month, our blog will see a 15% increase in traffic by increasing our content production from two posts per month to one post per week. This increase will raise awareness of our organization, educate the community, and make more people aware of our adoption opportunities – saving more animals and raising more funds.

See how I turned the organizational mission into a marketing goal and then a SMART goal? SMART goals are especially important when it comes to analyzing and measuring your marketing performance (which we will talk about later). So be sure to complete this step before proceeding with your nonprofit marketing plan.

Download your free marketing goal setting template here.

2. Understand your target audience (s)

Not for profit marketing is different from other types of marketing in that your organization is likely to target multiple groups: constituents, customers, volunteers, and donors.

It is imperative to define and understand each of these audiences (a.k.a. Buyer Personalities) as your marketing differs depending on who you speak to. (We’ll cover the most important news next.)

For example, if you followed our shelter example above, an email addressed to donors has different messages than an email calling volunteers.

An easy way to organize your different audiences is to segment the different groups using a CRM. By separating contacts with tags and lists, you can easily send marketing messages to the appropriate groups.

3. Create your key messages

Key messages include the information you want your audience to hear, remember, and share about your nonprofit. It is important to create these before using your marketing for several reasons:

  • Key messages keep your organization aligned. No matter who is marketing it, you can be sure the same will be said and promoted.
  • Key messages simplify your marketing. With these created in advance, you already know what you are going to say in your marketing messages.
  • Key messages help organize your different target groups (as we talked about above). As a nonprofit, you are likely speaking to donors, volunteers, constituents, and your community … more personalities than your typical for-profit company. Developing key messages for each of your audiences will keep your team and marketing informed to ensure you are targeting the right groups.

Check out our shelter example to see how you can create a key message for different audiences.

Key message: We protect animal welfare in our community through education, adoption and care, and animal rights activists.

  • For adoption customers / constituents: By adopting or promoting us, or by raising awareness of animals in need, you can help us protect the welfare of the animals in our community.
  • For volunteers: We protect animal welfare through 24/7 animal care and advocacy.
  • For donors: You can help us protect animal welfare by donating to support animal care, advocacy, and adoption.

All of these key messages have the same purpose and undertone, but vary slightly depending on the target audience. Along with your nonprofit’s mission, vision, and goals, these messages help effectively communicate and market your organization’s needs and purpose.

Download Now: Free Guide to Building Brand

4. Select, plan, and create your marketing strategies

Many marketers jump right to this step – creating and posting various marketing tactics. Marketing is much more than an advertisement, blog post, or event. To be successful, you must complete all the steps beforehand.

Now that you’ve established yours Gates (what you want), yours Key messages (what you will say) and yours audience (whom you will tell), you can choose yours Marketing tactic (as you will say).

Marketing tactics relate to channels like email marketing, social media, events, and more. We have devoted an entire section to these marketing strategies – read about them in detail below.

Whichever tactic you choose, be sure to do some thorough planning before and during execution. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you prepare:

  • What are you going to do with this marketing tactic?
  • When do these marketing activities take place?
  • Why is this tactic important?
  • Who will be responsible for these activities?
  • How much do we want to spend?
  • How does this relate to our organization’s marketing goals?

Tactical planning is an integral part of your overall nonprofit marketing plan. How you approach your marketing strategies and how they affect your business is just as important as how you execute them.

Make sure your team has a solid game plan and a thorough understanding of it before embarking on any of these strategies.

5. Analyze your marketing performance

Your marketing is likely not going to work perfectly to begin with. That’s OK. Routine reports and analysis can help you find out what is working and what you need to change.

When choosing and setting up your marketing channels, pay attention to the measurable performance indicators. Here is a list of examples from our list of marketing strategies below:

Marketing strategy Performance indicator
Email Marketing Email opens
Event marketing Ticket sales
Video marketing Video views
Social media Shares and comments
website Pageviews
Public speech recommendations
Content Marketing Subscriptions

Do you remember the goals you defined in step 1? The point of measuring your marketing performance is to align yourself with these goals.

You can track these metrics using tools like Google Analytics, HubSpot, and the analytics tools built into Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites.

When you know what to measure before you start marketing your nonprofit, you will know exactly what to look for and how to determine success and impact when your marketing is at play.

Marketing strategies for nonprofits

  1. Email Marketing
  2. Event marketing
  3. Video marketing
  4. Social media
  5. website
  6. Public speech
  7. Content Marketing

You have created your nonprofit marketing plan. Now let’s talk about how this plan can be carried out with actionable marketing strategies.

Many of these nonprofit marketing strategies overlap; For example, sharing your blog content on social media or posting an invitation to an event via email. These methods can and should be used together. However, we recommend introducing any strategy slowly so that your team doesn’t overwhelm itself.

In fact, we recognize that your nonprofit is likely to be working with a small (but agile!) Marketing team. For this reason, we recommend tips for in these sections Do more with less. However, don’t hesitate to outsource your nonprofit marketing if necessary.

Nonprofit Email Marketing

You may use email sporadically to call volunteers or confirm an online donation, but that’s not enough. Email marketing is a highly effective marketing resource, especially for nonprofits. Why? It’s personal and powerful.

Here are a few ways you can use email marketing to reach all of your audiences:

  • Send out a weekly newsletter with your latest content, updates on your organization, industry data, and volunteer needs.
  • Send monthly emails with donation needs and opportunities.
  • Set up an email sequence for new subscribers to thank them for joining and training with your company.
  • Set up an email sequence for new donors to thank you for their contribution and share what other things they can do to support your organization.

Also, don’t forget to post information on your website about how to subscribe to your email list. The nonprofit Acumen is doing an excellent job of adding subscription options to their home page and main menu.

Acumen's non-profit newsletter is displayed in the website footer

đŸ‘‰đŸŒNonprofit Marketing Tip: Automate as much as possible. Email marketing automation (like HubSpot) saves your team valuable time and energy and can be the key to growing your email list, donations, and memberships. You can also automate an email sequence triggered by website visitor behavior that indicates a high level of interest, e.g. B. Downloading educational content.

Click here to download our free beginner's guide to email marketing.

Non-profit event marketing

Event marketing is one of the most effective (and fun!) Ways to raise awareness about your business, connect with your community, raise funds, and raise support for your cause.

PAWS, which stands for Pets Are Worth Saving, is another local animal rescue that I’m a fan of. They host a PAWS 5K race every summer to raise awareness and funding for the organization.

PAWS Chicago 5K Nonprofit Marketing Event Page

This type of event has an impact for several reasons:

  1. It inspires competition and physical activity. Runners collect money for the organization and take part in the run.
  2. It brings people in the community together to celebrate the organization and raise awareness on the PAWS cause.
  3. It offers PAWS a channel to promote their services and adoptable pets.
  4. It’s fun to be there and be part of it! Many people attend the event to support runners, play with dogs, and just be part of the fun – while supporting and sharing PAWS.

From fundraisers to auctions to competitions, there are many different types of events you can organize to promote your nonprofit organization.

Non-profit video marketing

Whether they consume content for work, school, or for fun, people prefer video content. As a nonprofit, video marketing is a surefire way to get the interest and support of all of your target audiences.

Here are a few reasons video can help you market your nonprofit:

  1. Video is visual. We process visual content 60,000 times faster than written content. We also remember more content longer.
  2. Video is personal. It inspires empathy and emotions that cannot be said about other types of marketing.
  3. Video is educational. Many organizations need to educate their communities about their concerns in order to get attention and funding. Video can help you with this.
  4. Video is shared. 92% of consumers on mobile devices share videos with others. Consumers love to share videos, especially those that inspire and resonate with them.
  5. Video is interesting. 60% of people report that video is a medium that they consume thoroughly. Keep your visitors, followers, and supporters busy and interested with videos.

→ Get it now: Video Marketing Starter Pack [Free Kit]

The Girl Effect, a nonprofit that works to empower girls around the world, is a great example of video marketing. The organization’s home page is a video that immediately catches the attention of visitors. Clicking “See More” will open an informative video on the website that teaches you all about the girl effect.

The Girl Effect's non-profit website that uses video marketing

Non-profit social media marketing

Social media is a very popular marketing strategy among nonprofits. Not only is it free, but it also gives companies the opportunity to show off their brand personality and interact with their followers and supporters.

Here are a few ways you can use social media for your nonprofit marketing, inspired by a HubSpot study of 9,000 nonprofits:

  • Share news about your organization and purpose
  • Increase the awareness and awareness of your brand
  • Fundraiser
  • Recruit volunteers and staff
  • Identify donors, staff, and volunteers

Don’t forget to use the key messages you’ve created in your nonprofit marketing plan to keep your social media posts consistent and targeted. Also, make the most of each platform to promote your organization, e.g. B. the donation button on Facebook.

HubSpot customer FIRST, which is the inspiration and recognition of science and technology, is a nonprofit committed to promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education in children.

FIRST uses social media in many different ways, such as: B. Via Facebook to post videos, messages, fundraising campaigns and reviews, and via the “Donate” button. The organization has amassed nearly 100,000 followers.

FIRST's non-profit Facebook page with the donation button

đŸ‘‰đŸŒNonprofit Marketing Tip: Curate content from volunteers, clients, supporters, event attendees, and donors. Implementing a UGC (User Generated Content) campaign not only reduces your workload, but is also strong social evidence. To run your UGC campaign, call up stories, pictures and videos. Create a hashtag that you can use to be notified of new UGCs.

Let curation tools work for you too. Use Google Alerts and Social Monitoring Tools to notify you when your organization, hashtags, or relevant topics or keywords are mentioned. This offers the opportunity to procure UGC, to be inspired for new topic ideas and to take part in relevant discussions.

Non-profit website

Every non-profit organization should have a website. A website serves as a digital foundation for your business and contains important information – what you stand for and how visitors can participate and help.

Your website also contains important elements like your blog, social media streams, event information, videos, and more … basically the rest of your marketing strategies. After all, your website is there to captivate, inspire, and engage your audience.

Nonprofit Organization (and HubSpot customer) The American Nursing Association (ANA) is an example of an organization with a great nonprofit website. The website explains the ANA mission, shares news and educational content, and informs visitors how to get involved through memberships, events, certifications, or donations.

ANA's non-profit website

Nonprofit public speech

It is said that people buy into other people, not products. The same applies to non-profit organizations. If consumers believe in the people who are behind your business, they are likely buying your cause and donating money or time.

One of the best ways for consumers to get to know your leadership team, not to mention spreading your cause and organization, is through public speaking. Whether you are speaking to 100 people at an on-site event or to thousands of people at a multi-day conference, the effect is the same: you tell a powerful story to real people who may not yet know your cause.

Charity: Water founder Scott Harrison spoke at INBOUND18. While sharing about the design and organization of the non-profit organization, he mainly talked about the people his organization helps – and how the audience can support the mission. Not only did Harrison move audiences of thousands, but he effectively marketed the charity: Water Purpose and Brand.

GemeinnĂŒtziges Content-Marketing

Content Marketing und Blogging sind wertvolle Marketingressourcen fĂŒr jede gemeinnĂŒtzige Organisation. Hier ist der Grund:

  • Inhalte informieren Ihr Publikum ĂŒber Ihre Mission, Sache und Branchennachrichten und -trends.
  • Inhalte (und SEO) bringen neue Besucher, Abonnenten, Spender und Leads.
  • Der Inhalt kann gemeinsam genutzt werden und dient als kostenlose PR fĂŒr Ihr Publikum.
  • Inhalte können fĂŒr verschiedene Arten von Medien verwendet werden, wodurch Ihr Marketingteam wertvolle Zeit und Energie spart.

Das Erstellen eines gemeinnĂŒtzigen Marketing-Blogs ist nicht immer einfach. Die Teams sind unterbesetzt, die Budgets sind niedrig und die Zeit ist kostbar. Zum GlĂŒck gibt es viele Möglichkeiten, um diese Blogging-Herausforderungen zu umgehen, z. B. die Beschaffung von Story-Ideen von Freiwilligen, Spendern und Kunden sowie die Implementierung eines redaktionellen Kalenders, damit Sie vorausplanen können.

Eine meiner beliebtesten gemeinnĂŒtzigen Organisationen heißt Blurt Foundation, eine in Großbritannien ansĂ€ssige Organisation, die existiert, um das Bewusstsein und VerstĂ€ndnis fĂŒr Depressionen zu stĂ€rken und diejenigen zu unterstĂŒtzen, die damit zu kĂ€mpfen haben. Es gibt viele MissverstĂ€ndnisse und MissverstĂ€ndnisse in Bezug auf Depressionen, daher verwendet die Blurt Foundation ihre Blog-Inhalte und andere Inhaltsressourcen, um WĂ€hler und UnterstĂŒtzer aufzuklĂ€ren. Sie integrieren diese Inhalte auch in ihre E-Mails, Social-Media-BeitrĂ€ge und den Online-Shop.

Die gemeinnĂŒtzige Ressourcenseite der Blurt Foundation als Content-Marketing-Beispiel

đŸ‘‰đŸŒNonprofit-Marketing-Tipp: Sparen Sie Zeit und Ressourcen, indem Sie Ihre Inhalte neu verwenden. Inhalte sind ein wertvolles Gut, das Sie immer wieder verwenden und neu bewerben können. Die Umnutzung von Inhalten zur Erstellung neuer Marketing-Assets kostet weitaus weniger als die Erstellung völlig neuer Inhalte.

Beschreiben Sie alle Möglichkeiten, wie Sie den von Ihnen produzierten Inhalt wiederverwenden können. Sie können beispielsweise die folgende Liste fĂŒr Ihren Blog-Inhalt erstellen:

  • Kurzversion zur Verwendung in E-Mails oder Newslettern mit Link zurĂŒck zum vollstĂ€ndigen Beitrag
  • Gruppe mit verwandten BeitrĂ€gen fĂŒr den Bericht
  • Zwei bis drei visuelle Bilder zum Teilen in sozialen Netzwerken
  • Infografik mit Post-Informationen
  • ReaktionsstĂŒck zum Originalbeitrag

Da Sie nicht jeden wiederverwendeten Inhalt sofort bewerben und verteilen, ist Ihre Inhaltspipeline niemals leer.

Schauen Sie sich noch heute die kostenlosen gemeinnĂŒtzigen Inhalte von HubSpot an.

StÀrken Sie Ihr Marketing, fördern Sie Ihre Sache

Heben Sie Ihre Hand, wenn Ihre Organisation stĂ€ndig mit weniger mehr erreichen muss. đŸ‘‹đŸŒ

Wenn dies nach Ihrer Organisation klingt, empfehlen wir Ihnen, diesen Leitfaden zu verwenden, um so schnell wie möglich einen gemeinnĂŒtzigen Marketingplan zu erstellen. Ihr Unternehmen ist möglicherweise nicht gewinnorientiert, kann jedoch dennoch von dem Verkehr, den Mitteln und dem Bewusstsein profitieren, das systematisches Marketing mit sich bringt.

Diese AktivitĂ€ten und Strategien tragen nicht nur zur Förderung Ihrer Organisation bei, sondern entlasten auch Ihr Team und Ihre Freiwilligen erheblich. So können Sie mehr Zeit fĂŒr Ihre Sache und Ihre Mitglieder aufwenden.

Anmerkung des Herausgebers: Dieser Beitrag wurde ursprĂŒnglich im Juni 2019 veröffentlicht und aus GrĂŒnden der VollstĂ€ndigkeit aktualisiert.

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