The first four posts in my series focus on establishing a solid foundation for your marketing plan. The next step can be overwhelming as you determine which channels you want to utilize to convey your message. There are so many options! Because most non-profit organizations try to reach a variety of audiences, it is important to include a combination of traditional marketing tools (print and electronic) and community outreach strategies.
Before you freak out, let’s look at what tools you already have in your communications toolbox. Most organizations have well established lines of communication. You don’t have to start over. Take inventory and make a list.
Here’s a list for my organization:
Print collateral- business cards, agency brochure, newsletter, direct mail post cards and appeals, annual report
Electronic collateral- e-newsletter, electronic postcards
Internet Communications- website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, You Tube
Community outreach- public service announcements, media alerts, press releases, open houses, events, seminars
What does your list look like? It may look a lot like this, or not, and that’s okay. What’s right for one organization may not be right for all, but you should be able to take inventory to establish what you have to work with.
Now, ask yourself what tools you’d like to add and make another list. Once you have both lists, you can incorporate as many as you want to deliver your marketing strategy.
Here’s an example to help you:
Objective: Recruit 100 more volunteers within the next 12 months
Strategy: Develop a public awareness campaign around your services and the need for additional volunteers. This will include specific messaging that can be used on various channels and the creation of some graphic materials like fliers and postcards.
- Create a one-sheet that tells your story and volunteer needs and post on website and blog, include in newsletter and e-newsletter, and send out via Facebook and Twitter. Ask your supporters and current volunteers to share with their networks.
- Develop a target media list and create a media advisory inviting them to cover the volunteer need and profile current volunteer stories. Follow the advisory up with phone calls.
- Run print ads in local newspaper and magazines with information about volunteering.
This list could go on and on. The possibilities are endless.
Marketing is not an exact science. What works for some, will not work for all, but determining what works for you doesn’t have to cause stress. You have your plan; use it every step of the way to help you make decisions.
I’ll have another post ready next month, but I’d love to hear from you. If you have questions or ideas for this blog, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to connect with you on social media too.