Marketing for NFP, NP and NG organisations


This guide outlines the challenges and solutions for nonprofit marketing in today’s increasingly connected world.

We know that the challenges of running a nonprofit organisation with few resources are great. We also know that, among the greatest difficulties, is the structuring of the best way to transmit the work carried out to society. But, what if we say that this can be solved with a good non-profit marketing strategy?

A survey on nonprofit marketing pointed out that, on an average of 1 to 5, non-governmental organizations rate the importance of marketing as 4.1. This means that most institutions know that communicating is critical. However, the same survey reveals that only 55% of institutions actually invested in marketing.

If your organisation is part of the 45% that are still not investing in nonprofit marketing, it’s time to change! In this article, you can find smart strategies and tips to publicise the actions and campaigns of your cause, increasing the network of supporters and enhancing the social impact of the project.

Digital nonprofit marketing has shown positive results when well applied, but it is still resisted by many organisations. Many believe that digital marketing practices are restricted to private companies or that they are too complicated to implement, but this is a myth.

Step 1: Planning for nonprofit marketing

Every good action plan should start with the planning step. At this stage, some essential studies are carried out to define and guide the action strategy. Here are some tips on how to plan nonprofit marketing.

Understand your target audience

Knowing who we are talking to allows us to also know how to speak and through which channels to speak to them. Therefore, before structuring any other stage of the nonprofit marketing action plan, think about who is your target audience.

Understand how your audience behaves: what language does it use (formal or informal? Through statistics or stories?), how does it express itself and on what platforms can it be found.

Stipulate objectives and goals to understand how to communicate

Working with short and medium-term nonprofit marketing goals guides the work and helps to think of more effective ways to achieve the goals. Think, for example, of the objective of increasing the base of volunteers. In this sense, the established goal can be to gather a new aggregate per week.

Define your communication channels (website/blog, social networks, email, etc)

Did you know that more than 67% of nonprofit organisations are already present on the internet? Digital presence is fundamental in nonprofit marketing, as it eliminates physical barriers and expands the reach of information. Choose which channels will be most effective in disseminating the purposes and actions of the project.

If the intention is to introduce the organisation, consider using a website or blog. If the desire is to publicise the actions carried out and actively interact with potential volunteers and supporters, think also about social networks or sending marketing emails to a predetermined base of contacts.

Set the budget

As small as your nonprofit marketing resources may be, it is essential to know what portion of the budget will be allocated to dissemination actions. This makes it easier to scale expenses and allocate resources more effectively.

Creating a website, investing in social media ads, hiring an email marketing triggering platform or even hosting events can require a certain investment. Plan it in advance and avoid headaches!

Plan actions for each of the set goals

Do you remember the nonprofit marketing goals and targets we set in the second item on the list? A good tip in the planning stage is to assign, to each objective, the actions that must be carried out to achieve it.

Let’s think about attracting new volunteers, for example. What actions can help in this process? Community actions, neighborhood meetings, open events, publications on websites, and social networks can be some ideas.

Step 2: Doing the needed work and executing the plans

Planning done, it’s time to get down to business and execute your nonprofit marketing plan! See below for some more tips that will help you develop actions and be present with your target audience.

Follow the schedule of publications in the channels and the stipulated actions

Executing a nonprofit marketing action plan requires organisation. Therefore, use the action schedule made in the planning stage and follow each of the predetermined steps.

It is important to know that, especially on social media, you may need to make small adjustments to the schedule (due to a more important event to be reported or the need for some unplanned interaction). However, if unforeseen events happen in an organised environment, they are easily circumvented and adapted.

Join groups and forums about your cause

As important as existing in digital media is interacting with each of them. The reach of a post or profile is totally linked to the engagement it generates. Therefore, participate in forums and groups that talk about your cause. Give opinions and put yourself on the network as someone who understands and works on the subject.

This makes the users of the networks attribute credibility to the profile or page, understanding that serious and responsible work is carried out there.

Invest in ads

Advertisements can be an inexpensive and effective way to achieve nonprofit marketing goals. Through an investment, social networks are able to direct content towards a predetermined objective. This objective can be an increase in followers, redirection to the site or even a sale itself.

Tell a story

The technique of storytelling, or “storytelling”, is a very effective way to communicate, engage communities and inspire change.  A good story generates empathy and identification, awakening a genuine willingness in the audience to contribute in some way.

The story can be told by the directors of the nonprofit organisation, by people assisted, by volunteers or collaborators and even by partner institutions. Think about your target audience and tell a good story!

Invest in partnerships

Count on partners to help increase the visibility of the NGO’s actions and campaigns. Local businesses, schools, companies and small entrepreneurs can be great allies in executing the marketing plan for NGOs.

If the partner also has a digital presence, it’s even better! With a simple sharing, the reach of the publication multiplies, and the chances of the organisation being seen and recognized are even greater.

Step 3: Measuring nonprofit marketing results

To finish off our nonprofit marketing strategies, the final part, but not the least important: Measurementt.

Using digital strategies to communicate allows us to follow a series of indicators and discover the performance of the action.

Indicators can show the number of hits, interactions, return on investment made in boosts and ads, engagement and conversion rate in sales or clicks on the website.  Using different metrics, it is possible to accurately evaluate the results and modify the strategies according to the need of the moment.


With consistent planning, it is easier to design impact actions and publicise your institution’s activities and campaigns. So, nonprofit marketing is a tool capable of revolutionising the way the organisation positions itself in the market, as well as the way it is perceived by potential partners and investors.

Especially for organisations that work with limited resources, nonprofit marketing can be a very important ally for their performance, whether to expand the dissemination of their projects, or to become a reference in the scope of the defended cause, exerting influence over others. sectors of society and, consequently, attract more people to join the cause and more investments.

This is because, unlike traditional marketing, its entire operation is based on data analysis and measurement of results. Metrics such as ROI (Return on Investment) are constantly analysed so that the organisation is sure if it is worth investing in this segment or not.

About Sonja Ceri

Australian-based CMO Sonja Ceri is a regular commentator on the fast-paced media landscape. With a Masters in economics, 10 years of journalism experience and 7 years of agency Directorship, Sonja's interests go beyond text book marketing theory. Mum of one little girl. Agency Director at - a Byron Bay based agency who works with purpose driven companies, individuals and social impact Organisations. Sonja calls herself a storyteller, because that’s easier than listing social media expert, journalist, digital marketer, entrepreneur, mentor, workshop trainer, keynote speaker and opinionated blogger.

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