Here at The Lion Project, we know how difficult it can be to for non-profits to market themselves. But just like any other business, marketing is absolutely crucial for your non-profit to grow and raise support. We know that the marketing budget at your non-profit may be extremely slim or even non-existent, so we have created a list of inexpensive ways to grow your client base, amount of donors, and volunteer network so that your non-profit can continue to do what it does best: help others and improve the community.
First, it is important to build relationships with your current supporters. We all know that it’s never a great idea to ask someone for money the first time you meet them, besides, there are plenty of other ways for them to support your organization than having to ask them for money. Ask them to get involved with your organization by volunteering or donating their skills or time in another way. Allowing them to invest some time in your organization can go a long way, especially through word-of-mouth marketing (aka, when they share your organization with their friends).
Use some of the best free marketing out there: social media. Set up a Facebook page and share updates and photos of your amazing organization and the latest happenings. Use a Twitter account to keep your supporters in the loop with 140-character news bites. Other notable social media tools include Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Most importantly, it is important to engage your supporters at their level and share things that interest them and provide value.
Add blog posts to your website weekly, or even daily. You can write about upcoming events, interesting stories from or about your clients, and anything else that your supporters might find interesting or valuable. We have found that posting at least once a week during the hour of 8:00am or 8:00pm (when the most people are online) will allow your organization to gain some much-needed traction in the world wide web. If you are familiar with SEO (search-engine optimization), be sure to include relevant tags and important keywords that will allow others to find you more easily on the web.
Being primarily a video-production organization, we can easily (and confidently) say that videos are an amazingly effective way to market your business. Videos are able to tell a compelling story of emotion in ways that words or pictures cannot. Elicit the help of a professional video production company – you can always ask them to donate their services – and share the heart of your organization, an instructional video, or an event that you may have hosted recently. In our video-saturated culture, it is important to invest in a video production company that can produce high-quality material to set you apart from the crowd and allow your story to be heard.
Attend trade shows, networking events, or conferences that align with your organization’s values. This is a great way to connect with other like-minded organizations and individuals and gather contact information. Be sure to bring a stack of business cards and make it a point to hand out as many as you can. Who knows? Some of these new contacts could turn into great partnering organizations or even become some of your biggest donors.
Any of these marketing techniques alone can produce some results, but these methods do not stand well alone. In order to market your organization most effectively, it is important that you use these techniques in tandem with one other in order to reach a wider audience. If you utilize these methods, your organization will soon be well on its way to expanding its reach and gaining new supporters.
How do you market your non-profit? Let us know in the comments below.