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Marketing And Communications In The Nonprofit World

Communications: Two-way process of reaching mutual understanding, in which participants not only exchange information, news, ideas and feelings but also create and share meaning.1

Marketing: A form of communication between you and your customers with the goal of selling your product or service to them. Communicating the value of your product or service is a key aspect of marketing.2
Marketing and communications are big topics that include branding, positioning, messaging, content, communication channels, and much more. With for-profit organizations, marketing typically involves the Four P’s: product, pricing, placement, and promotion. Even though the Four P’s do not all apply to nonprofits, nonprofits can still use marketing principles to promote their message.

Some nonprofits avoid the term “marketing” because they believe it sounds too corporate, and they want to avoid “selling.” This is understandable, but think about it: if you are not committed to promoting your organization and cause, who will do it? You are best positioned to honestly and respectfully communicate about your organization. If you feel confident in your work, you can be proud to share your passion with others, and invite them to join you.

For nonprofits, the “product” is your story, your impact, and the opportunity you offer for others to get involved. In exchange for donating or volunteering, supporters can make a difference and change the world. You are enabling supporters to meet their personal goals and express themselves. The better you can communicate the value of your story and impact, the easier it will be to find new supporters and keep the ones you have. Here are a few tips for getting started!

Understand your organization. Understanding the value of your story and impact is the first step to being able to communicate that value. All your staff should be in agreement about who your organization is and what you are trying to accomplish.

Select your communication channels carefully. There are a lot of communication channels, including social media, websites, print marketing, blogs, and video. Your organization needs to carefully consider what communication channels will work best with your brand, audience, resources, and goals.

Plan ahead. A good communications plan is your roadmap. Your communications plan should be targeted to your specific audiences, integrated across different channels, and measurable with specific goals.

To maximize your marketing and communications potential, join Blackbaud University for an upcoming session of Nonprofit Workshop: Marketing and Communications. We’ve recently updated this course by adding a workbook and interactive discussions. We hope to see you there!
1Business Dictionary:
 2 Entrepreneur:
Posted by Susan Ross on Apr 20, 2017 1:11 PM America/New_York