What Is Nonprofit Marketing?

Nonprofit Marketing

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Nonprofit marketing is the use of marketing tactics by a nonprofit organization, that promotes the message and the organization. Marketing is particularly important for a nonprofit organization, as they usually need ways to market their cause to volunteers who would want to help and to donors that will give to their cause.

Nonprofits and Social Media

It is much harder for a nonprofit organization to gain an audience in the same ways that a business providing a product or service would. Nonprofits do not get as much social media attention and do not typically benefit from advertising, so it is wise for nonprofits to save their time and money on those things and channel their energy into the best ways for them to be heard. The purpose of nonprofit marketing is to have a way for nonprofits to market their causes in a way that encourages people to help, which could be a dramatically different way than a traditional business would be able to get attention.


Water Is Life

The organization Water is Life found an excellent way to gain the interest of people who would want to donate to their cause of bringing clean water to people in underdeveloped countries. They coined the #FirstWorldProblems hashtag and made a video of poor people in other countries saying the phrases that had been considered "first world problems," such as "I hate it when my charger doesn't reach my bed."

Once the video was released, people began using the #FirstWorldProblems hashtag to spread the message of Water is Life when it had formerly been used to complain about their "first world" problems.

UNICEF's Clever Campaign

UNICEF came up with a clever campaign as well. They created a poster that said, "Like us on Facebook and we will vaccinate zero children against polio." A message at the bottom clarified that, while liking their Facebook page doesn't hurt, vaccines cost money. The overall message of their campaign was that likes on Facebook do nothing, while donations actually help.

Charity Water's Great Idea

Charity: Water also had a great idea, in which they allowed people to purchase seats in an online hangout to be able to ask questions and whatever they wanted. They were able to raise $10,000 this way. This showed that a fundraising event did not need to take a long time, but just needed to be planned well.

Not all nonprofit marketing campaigns will be the same. In fact, the best way for a nonprofit to market their cause depends on their cause and what they are trying to get.

3 Categories Nonprofit Marketing Campaigns Fall Into

Jay Alduous, the chief strategist at Social Capital Partnerships, has come up with three basic categories that most nonprofit marketing campaigns fall into:

  • Traditional cause marketing encourages donations in return for a product from the organization.
  • In consumer fundraising, the organization promotes an opportunity for people to donate at their place of business.
  • Event or program sponsorship relies on outside commitments to funding, often from for-profit businesses.

All three categories of cause marketing have their advantages and disadvantages, and these are only the three basic categories.

Great ideas like Life is Water, UNICEF, and Charity: Water added an impact on the marketing of each nonprofit organization's cause and they serve as great examples.