The 7 Essential Components of an Effective Nonprofit Marketing Plan for 2019

18 Jul

Nonprofit marketers face challenges that most other corporate marketers don’t have to overcome. Your marketing plans have to be different. You’re typically working with limited staff and a shoestring budget.

It can be tricky to find the right techniques to deliver results without straining your resources. You need to build a plan using strategies that are proven to work — but what does that plan look like?

As you develop your strategic plan, you should prioritize the items on our list below. These expert insights will help you create a plan to help you get ahead.

What a Nonprofit Marketing Plan Should Include in 2019

We’ve helped hundreds of nonprofits just like yours. When it comes to marketing a nonprofit, we know what works and what doesn’t. Weave these components into your plan for 2019 and beyond.

1. Analysis of Current Baseline

Before you can get started building your marketing plan, you have to examine where you are currently. You need to establish a baseline.

Look at all of your current metrics.

  • How many donations are coming in?
  • Where are most of your donations coming from?
  • What is the average size of your donations?
  • What is your attendance at events?
  • Which events generate the most donations with the least amount of overhead?
  • How many people are you able to help?
  • How big is your volunteer pool?
  • Are your volunteers active outside of events?

Once you understand the answers to these questions, you can begin to formulate a marketing plan designed to push you ahead.

2. Goals and Objectives

Now that you know where you are, it’s time to look at where you want to go. You can review the baseline metrics that you built in step one. Consider which of those numbers you need to build in order to have the biggest impact on your nonprofit this year.

If you want to make sure that your campaigns will be successful, you need to tie your goals directly to your growth objectives.

For example, setting a goal to increase your number of social media followers isn’t a great goal for organizational growth.

A great strategy for creating goals is to create S.M.A.R.T. goals. This goal formula ensures that your goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Bound

A S.M.A.R.T. goal would be something like converting 30 low-level, one-time donors into monthly recurring donors by the end of the year.

3. Target Personas

You want to have a clear understanding of the people that you are trying to target. For most nonprofits, this includes donors, volunteers, and beneficiaries.

You need to understand what motivates each one to work with your nonprofit. For example, when you consider your donors, you will typically have a few different categories that they can fall into.

  • First-time donors that have never given to your nonprofit before.
  • Corporate level donors that will participate in exchange for recognition for their business.
  • Past donors that have contributed large amounts.
  • Influencers, like celebrities, that can help raise awareness and increase donations.

As you build your buyer personas, you may choose to further segment your audience by other factors such as their reason for giving, the amount of their donation, and the campaign that they donated to.

4. Communications Channels

At this point in your marketing plan, you know what you’re trying to achieve and who you’re trying to reach. Now it’s time to think about how you’re going to reach them.

There are a variety of options to choose from. These include your website, email, social media, and text messaging. Using an innovative and effective channel like text messaging can be a great way to reach your goals and connect with your audience.

For example, the Big Brother Big Sister Foundation (BBBSF) is always looking for ways to help them automate their donation process so that they can do more with fewer resources.

Using EZ Texting’s platform, Stephen Beck, the Executive Director of BBBSF, was able to increase their donation volume while maintaining efficiency. Since text open rates are six times greater than email open rates, the donors receiving text outreach were proven to be more likely to see and respond to text communications — which resulted in more donations. BBBSF estimates that they saved $200k in 2019 thanks to spending less time coordinating donations and having smoother logistics.

5. Campaigns

Marketing campaigns are how you organize everything together. They allow you to plan shorter-term groupings of strategies together designed to achieve a singular goal.

A good marketing campaign will include:

  • Realistic and clearly stated goals that you know you can hit.
  • Clear strategies for how you will achieve these goals.
  • Details regarding the tactics, actions, and channels that you will need to implement the strategies.
  • Clearly defined metrics that you will measure to make sure that you are on track.

6. Marketing Calendar

With your list of campaigns in hand, decide when you’re going to kick off and wrap up each one. Think about things like year-end giving as well as other seasonal trends. Refer back to the baselines that you uncovered previously to help you identify prime opportunities.

Evaluate the times of year that your biggest owners tend to give, as well as when your events have been the most successful. Use this information to build a calendar into your marketing plan. This will make it easier for you to plan your resources effectively throughout the year.

7. Budget

Finally, it’s time to assemble a budget. You know what you want to achieve, who you want to target, and how you’re going to reach your goals. You’ve carefully outlined the campaigns and resources needed throughout the year to accomplish your plan.

Run the numbers and anticipate your costs. Think about things like the software that you’re going to need, the on-staff resources that you have, and other people that you will need to bring in to complete various activities during your campaigns.

A Text Messaging Playbook for Nonprofits

Nonprofit marketers are some of the most creative people in the industry. They have a powerful message that they need to deliver and limited resources to deliver it with.

As you find strategies that work, you need to start building a customized marketing playbook. You will be able to refer to your playbook year-over-year as you build your marketing plan. This will save you a lot of time.

We have helped hundreds of nonprofits achieve big results with text message marketing over the last decade, and we’ve developed a Text Messaging Playbook for Nonprofits. There are 13 texting campaigns designed specifically for nonprofits in this free resource. Download your copy today and start using the templates that we’ve created for you.

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Photo: Getty Images/kali9

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