How to Write a Nonprofit Marketing Plan

How to Write a Nonprofit Marketing Plan

By Justine Simonin on 17/06/2020

Written by Donald Fomby, a professional Content Creator and Editor at Best Essay Education writing services. His body of work consists of articles, essays and news reports on trending digital marketing topics that aim to help readers with practical advice.


Whether you work with a charity NGO, or another type of nonprofit, running a marketing campaign relevant to your goals is essential. However, outlining, creating, and subsequently benefiting from such a campaign can be stressful without the proper know-how. Hiring an expert or looking for pro bono volunteers with advertisement knowledge may cost precious resources or take more time than you can spare.


According to Business 2 Community, close to 1.6 billion non-profits exist in the US alone, with annual contributions topping $390 billion from various sources. The study points toward “Giving Tuesday” of 2019 where $120 million was raised through Facebook alone via micro-donations and a global spread of awareness. There is a clear possibility for nonprofits to position themselves and raise resources for a worthy cause through a smart marketing plan outline. This is especially true if you start by positioning your nonprofit on a hub for likeminded organizations such as Giving Way and build from there. With instantaneous access to volunteers and donors willing to meet your nonprofit halfway, launching and maintaining a marketing campaign will be much smoother.


In fact, it’s quite possible to opt for a DIY solution in creating your own nonprofit marketing strategy. By introducing a segmented, step-by-step approach to nonprofit marketing campaign management, you will successfully raise public awareness of your organization’s goals. With that, let’s take a look at why your organization needs a nonprofit marketing plan, as well as a step-by-step process to create one today.



Benefits of Running a Nonprofit Marketing Campaign


Let’s briefly touch on the reasons why nonprofits should direct their attention toward creating marketing campaigns to attract attention for their campaigns and causes. Instead of simply keeping the door open for volunteers and donors to find you, it’s better to signal that your nonprofit is looking for assistance periodically.

Nonprofit marketing plans don’t require extensive resources or logistics either – all you really need is a stable internet connection and a website and/or Facebook page. By introducing planned, deliberate attempts to raise awareness of your nonprofit, you will bring several benefits to your organization, including:

  • High return on low or nonexistent monetary investment
  • Attracting a global audience of volunteers and donors
  • Raising awareness for large sponsors and stakeholders
  • Establishing public legitimacy and professional conduct
  • Ability to survey online followers and donors about your nonprofit



Writing a Nonprofit Marketing Plan



Outline your Goals and Timeline

While nonprofits do in fact work to fulfill noble goals, the structure of their marketing campaigns should still be created systematically. Thus, it’s pivotal that you start your marketing plan by outlining the exact goals and timeline of your campaign to have a sense of direction. Using objective goal-setting methodologies such as SMART, combined with mind-mapping or a similar technique, you will effectively set numeric, attainable goals for your nonprofit campaigns going forward.


Choose your Communication Platforms

When it comes to finding likeminded individuals to join your cause and pitch in, whether as volunteers and donors, the world is your oyster. A plethora of communication channels are available, from social media platforms, email marketing, as well as aforementioned Giving Way as a nonprofits’ online platform.

Depending on the scale and long-term plans for your marketing campaign, choosing the right platform should be done by reflecting on the goals you’ve set. Platforms such as Instagram are great for seeking young volunteers while Facebook and email are good for reaching out to the employed or elderly donors. It’s important to take your volunteers and donors into consideration in regards to their internet habits so that they come across your content more frequently.


Settle for Content Creation Tools

The content you create to attract public attention should be chosen so that it fits your communication channels. For example, Twitter favors short yet informative writing, while Instagram works best with visuals. Create a combination of content tools that you will use and reuse going forward to maintain consistency during different marketing campaigns.

Evernote – cloud-based content editing platform with cross-platform syncing and planning features

Trust My Paper – content outsourcing platform with professional editors available for assistance

Canva –content creation tool perfectly suited for social proof, testimonial and representative visuals

Hemingway Editor – perfect platform for short-form content and maximum readability optimization


Schedule your Publishing & Outreach

We’ve touched on the idea of a structured marketing plan – but what does that mean in practice? For example, if your end-goal is to raise $50,000 and 20 volunteers in 6 months, those numbers should be split into each month.

This will make the goals more attainable and allow you to schedule different content, social media posts and emails throughout the weeks. Tools such as Google Docs allow for easier content management, scheduling and tracking of marketing plans as you go through each campaign. Never publish content or reach out to potential volunteers and donors randomly – plan your activities in advance to maintain focus.


Make Conversion Straightforward

The best way to encourage engagement and involvement with your nonprofit is to make conversion as simple as possible. While hard to grasp, one of the main reasons why people give up on online conversion (meaning online donations or signing up to volunteer for example) is due to complex and time-consuming forms.

The surveys, polls and subscription questionnaires you attach to content pieces should never take too long to fill or ask for too much personal information. While you may require different forms of legal information from your volunteer or donor, keep your forms clean and straightforward.


Analyze Performance Data

Failing to follow-up on finished marketing campaigns in terms of analysis is bound to lead to repeated mistakes and less-than-ideal marketing performance. There is a lot you can learn from each marketing campaign you run as a nonprofit in order to make the next one perform better.

How many likes, clicks did your posts receive? How many of those have led to conversions, donations and volunteer applications? What did we learn from the marketing plan’s implementation and how can we make it better next time? Learning from past mistakes and mitigating existing bottlenecks in communication, content and outreach is one of the best ways to improve your already-solid foundations.




In Conclusion


The best way to get ahead on your nonprofit marketing plan is to simply make one and see how it performs during its first cycle. The perfect marketing strategy doesn’t exist – guidelines are there to help you discover a unique tone of voice for your nonprofit. Once you’re out of the pilot stage, you will quickly be able to determine what works and doesn’t work in your case. Start by implementing the above-discussed marketing plan steps in your nonprofit’s future campaign – you might be pleasantly surprised with the results.


Head to our blog for more stories, tips, and volunteering inspiration! You can also check out our GivingWay – Volunteers, Donors & NGOs connect Facebook group to connect with other volunteers and nonprofits! 😁



The views expressed in this guest post are solely those of its author and do not necessarily reflect the views of GivingWay. The material and information contained on the GivingWay blog is for general information purposes only. GivingWay will not be liable for any false, inaccurate, inappropriate or incomplete information presented in the GivingWay blog.