Running a nonprofit can be a rewarding experience, but it’s not without its challenges. One of the biggest obstacles nonprofits face is finding ways to market the good work you do with the budget you don’t have. A limited budget means that you have to make every marketing effort count. Here are 4 ways to ensure that your marketing efforts pull people into your story.
Make the Experience Shareable
Form a personal bond and relationship with every person, sponsor and volunteer involved in your nonprofit. Nonprofits are agents of customer service just like any other business. By investing in relationship-building, you increase the likelihood that those interacting with you will share their experiences and build interest in your organization. This interest often starts with a “follow” on social media.
Social media is one of the most affordable and effective marketing tools available for nonprofits. On social media, you can share your story, news, and updates. Even better, it becomes a community for you and those who follow you. You no longer have to host events and hold meetings just to get people involved. With social media, they are at your fingertips daily. Use social media to engage, incite, and build interest in your mission.
Give Your Nonprofit a Face
People identify with organizations as if they are people. They may like, dislike, or be indifferent to you based on your policies, work, and communications. This is your brand. Use video, print, and online distributing to highlight people affected by your organization and with whom donors and volunteers can identify. A founder, volunteers, employees, and those impacted by your work will have stories to tell. You should:
- Share these stories on your website
- Use pictures of real people in press releases
- Make sure social media outlets are managed by real people who truly believe in your cause
- Reply, interact, and speak with people online
- Use pictures of programs, people in the field, and staff members who work tirelessly
- Tell stories in a human and relatable way
Tell Stories in Different Ways
Your nonprofit is sure to have touched the lives of a large number of people. Document their experiences as much as you can. Use their stories to tell your prospective donors how even small contributions can make a big difference. Such stories, however, have to be carefully crafted so as to not sound overly dramatic and incite guilt. Not all heart strings are tugged the same way. Humor and positive story-telling also grab attention and can be memorable.
There are many ways nonprofits can market both their services and work in their community. The key is to make sure your communications are as effective as possible so that you maximize your limited budget. In fact, no budget at all does not equate no marketing. It’s as easy as taking pictures, posting online, and writing engaging content. Having extra dollars to spend increases the amount and quality of things you’re able to do, but the key is to tell your story, and to know how.