Marketing for Non-Profits

One thing that I love about what I do is that I get to work with so many non-profit organizations. To hear the heart, passion, mission and vision of what God is doing through people is amazing. When it comes to branding and marketing for non-profit organizations, I have found that the majority of successful nonprofits follow these five basic branding principles:

1. One word
Own a particular word in the minds of your target audience that makes your organization stand out from all others. This word needs to be simple, clear and memorable. A good example of this is the RED campaign that fights AIDS. Simple messages can be remembered and conveyed easily by people, helping to spread your mission and message.

2. Focus, focus, focus
The influence of a strong brand is directly related to its breadth of opportunity. As an organization, identify the one thing you excel in more so than any other organization, and focus your brand and efforts on that particular value proposition. A leader in this area is Food for the Poor; known for excelling in international relief and development organization in underprivileged nations such as Haiti. They make it very easy for you to know what they do and how you can get involved.

3. Leadership  
Successful non-profit organizations are truly thought to be leaders in their particular area of business. Think of ways that your organization can develop a unique approach or provide a type of service that no other organization provides. Create a category in your industry, a niche in which your organization can uniquely claim leadership.

4. Authenticity
Step back and evaluate your brand. Does it sincerely reflect what you stand for as an organization? Are your brand and marketing efforts relevant to the community you serve? Do you present yourself in a professional and clear manner? For any successful organization, authenticity comes by living out your mission and vision and showing others that you truly believe in what you stand for.

5. Consistency
Trends come and go, but strong brands remain steadfast and true. Your brand cannot resonate and be memorable if what you do keeps changing. Both your brand and your marketing need to be communicated consistently and clearly over time. Think of the American Red Cross – the brand is recognized around the world because it has always remained the same. Even the logo has remained unchanged since 1881.

If you are involved in marketing for a nonprofit organization, what techniques and methods are you using to instill trust and confidence and to make your mission or brand memorable to your target audience?

Grif Blackstone is the president of Blackstone Media Group, a full scale web design and marketing company and publisher of the Good News, the largest Christian newspaper in Florida. Grif has helped hundreds of businesses build an effective brand identity to help them communicate who they are to their target market. Writer, speaker, and consultant, Grif is known as the “Efficiency Guru” for technology and business and is a coffee fanatic. Contact him at: [email protected] or 954-323-6737.


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