Marketing for Non-Profits
Getting to Know You
As a non-profit organization you have to market yourself to two different groups: the people who stand to benefit from the services that you're providing and the people who want to support those services. If you're sponsoring a hot meals program, you first need to let the people who need this service know how to contact you to obtain help. You also need to get the word out to the people in the community who would like to support your cause, either by volunteering their time or by donating money, building space, materials, etc.
Word-of-mouth is the cheapest and easiest way to get information out to your target audience. Information will be spread quickly throughout the community to the people who can use it once people start talking about your organization. Putting up posters in designated areas with information about your organization or a specific event you're holding can work in much the same way.
Local advertising in the print media that circulates in the area where you're focusing your efforts can also be effective and fairly inexpensive. In some cases, a publication may provide this service to you organization free of charge. This is a good way to get across information to either the people you want to help, or to the people you would like help from. Make sure that you're prepared to advertise well in advance of any event you want publicized as it may be that an ad won't appear for some time after you've submitted it.
You can also use the internet to advertise your organization. There are hundreds of websites already set up to help get non-profit project information out to the public. It may be that the people who will most benefit from your efforts do not have easy access to computers. Even so, there may be another organization that can pass your information on to those who might be interested.
If you have the means to create your own website, you can publish all of your goals, what programs you currently have and any events you'll be holding in the future. You can also use your site to set up a system through which interested parties can easily contact you and even make a financial contribution to help your cause.