How to Create a Nonprofit Marketing Strategy & Plan

Without a solid marketing strategy and plan, your nonprofit will waste money and time.

Sadly, way too many  nonprofits are just wingin’ it with marketing, communications, and online fundraising.

This post will help you build a simple, 6 page marketing strategy to get you organized and focused.

If you are really serious about growing your organizational reach, awareness and online fundraising, you should click over and consider enrolling in our course: The Marketing  Anatomy of a Growing Nonprofit.

Page 1. Personify & Codify Your Brand

First of all, your brand is not your logo.

Brand is the sum total of all touchpoints with your organization.

From your website and social media to your programs and physical buildings, they all represent your brand.

“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

—Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO & Founder

So,  what is your brand all about? What is the personality of your organization?

In the Marketing Anatomy course I share a fun exercise that turns your brand into a person. Within an hour your team can begin to see, hear, and feel what your brand experience should be.

Whether you take the course or not, documenting a simple expression of your brand personality is the start to every good marketing strategy.

Page 1 of Your Marketing Strategy: Brand Personality

Page 2. Identify Your Target Audience & How You Make Their Life Better

A documented persona that defines the bullseye of your target audience is one of the most helpful tools you can have in  your marketing strategy.

Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and  define what  she  is thinking, feeling, and needing on a daily basis.

Write down her core felt needs and pain points and how your organization can meet her where she’s at.

In our online course I share a simple one-page template that helps nonprofits get clarity, quickly, on their target audience.

The exercise includes naming him/her and really get ting to know them on an intimate level. It’s a ton of fun.

Page 2 of Your Marketing Strategy:  Target Audience Persona

Page 3: Map Your Audience Journey

How does a major donor, volunteer, or ambassador go from “I’ve never heard of you” to “I’m your biggest fan”?

Usually, it is a series of multiple moments and personal connections that lead them along a journey of deepening  engagement.

Map that journey so you can guide your audience through it.

In module 3 of the course I teach nonprofits how to map out the journey with irresistible invitations that take your audience more quickly from unaware & don’t care to telling all my friends.

Page 3 of Your Marketing Strategy: Audience Journey Map

Page 4: Define your Content Calendar

One of the best ways to guide your audience through the journey is to consistently provide remarkable, valuable, content that meets felt needs.

What content do you plan to create or curate?

Where will you distribute that content… email? social media? on your blog?

Make a plan that includes consistent publishing rhythms for each channel you plan  to use.

Page 4 of Your Marketing Strategy: Content Calendar

Page 5: Allies & Ads

The two ‘multipliers’ that really takes your strategy  to the next level are:

  1. Influential Allies
  2. Targeted Advertising

Make a plan, with names, for regularly partnering with influencers to reach new audiences.

Set a budget for social media advertising and take advantage of highly targeted advertising strategies that can get your content a lot more exposure.

In our course I teach you, step-by-step, how to partner with  online influencers and launch the most effective types of advertising.

Page 5 of Your Marketing Strategy: A Strategy and Plan for Influential Allies and Targeted Advertising

Page 6: Goals & Metrics

What are you goals for marketing?

Awareness? Audience Growth? Fundraising?

First, identify the top priority goal(s). I recommend 1 to 3.

Then identify a handful of KPI (Key Performance Indicators) that you will track and keep a close eye on.

Don’t overwhelm yourself with dozens of data points to track every week. There are hundreds you could measure.

Instead, create a simply dashboard that you can easily manage that will help you track your trends and progress to your goals.

Page 6 of Your Marketing Strategy: Dashboard of Metric

So, there you have it, a super-simple six page marketing plan that will help you get organized and focused.

In our Marketing Anatomy for a Growing Nonprofit course, we teach you step-by-step how to build and execute these strategies, and many more. 

I’ll leave you with this from Warren Buffett:

An idiot with a plan can beat a genius without a plan.