I imagine in any given week, you and your staff are bombarded by “shoulds.”
You should be posting on every social media platform, everyday.
You should be calling news stations to cover your “story.”
You should start a blog.
How do you know which of those “shoulds” you really should be doing? Most advice you get that says you should be doing something, while well meaning, isn’t really a priority or best fit for your organization. There is no one size fits all marketing strategy, what works for your organization depends on your audience and your resources – particularly your time.
Marketing can be an overwhelming area of any business, but particularly in a nonprofit where we don’t always have the luxury of things like a budget – or even staff – dedicated to it. But it is important, to reach both your clients, volunteers, and your current and potential donors. And it’s not as hard as you think.
My goal is to make marketing less daunting and complicated. So here are three easy things you can do today to move your marketing forward. Each should take you less than 10 minutes!
1. Post something on social media that isn’t about you. If you look at your Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn feed and every post is promoting or talking about something your organization is doing, you’re missing out on a key component of social media. Being social isn’t all about you, it’s about the people around you too. Is one of your partners having an event soon that your followers might be interested in? Post it. (and tag them!) Is there national or local news about your cause or the people you serve? Post it. Just make sure it is actually relevant to your audience. You can use social media to position yourself as the go-to expert in your field just by sharing information beyond your next event or project.
2. Ask a client or volunteer to write about their experience. Hearing from other perspectives and from personal experience is great marketing. You could use this in your newsletter, on your blog/website, or on social media (triple bonus: you can use it on all of them!). If you can, give them a specific idea to write about, even a fill in the blank sentence (I started volunteering with ABC organization because _____. Now, I continue to volunteer because _____). You may not get the article back today, but reaching out to them is the first step!
3. Write someone a handwritten thank you note. And it doesn’t have to be a donor! Thank you notes don’t usually fall into the category of marketing, but the way I see it, any time you’re getting someone to think about your organization – you’re marketing. And I think word of mouth marketing (ya know, the kind that’s free…) is a nonprofit’s best asset. Sending a thank you note is incredibly powerful, and now the person who received it is thinking about you and feeling so good about their involvement with you. They just might feel moved to tell the next person they see about you! (“Have I told you about the work I’m doing/the reason I support ABC nonprofit? They’re so nice and amazing over there, and they’re really helping our community.”)
That’s it! That’s 3 small things you can do today (right now!) to move your marketing efforts forward.
Marketing can seem overwhelming at times, but remember it is really about building relationships with people who care about what you do. As long as you make an effort to reach out to them with quality information, you can ignore most of those “shoulds.”
Jess Green is an experienced nonprofit marketing & fundraising professional whose focus is on helping organizations and people amplify their passions & achieve their missions. Click here to learn more.