Marketing for Not-for-Profits

Getting to Know You

As a non-profit organization, you have to market yourself to two different groups:

  • Those who will benefit from your services
  • Those who want to support those services

For example, if you're sponsoring a hot meals program, you need to let those in need know how to reach you to get 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 share your information. Word will spread quickly throughout the community to the people who can use it once people start talking about your organization. Putting up informational or event posters can work in much the same way.

Advertising in the print media in areas where you're focusing your efforts can also be effective and fairly inexpensive. In some cases, you may be able to get advertising space free of charge. Make sure that you're prepared to advertise well in advance of any event you want to promote, since an ad may not appear in print for some time after you've submitted it.

The Internet and Social Media

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are a great way to tell your story and promote events. Social media is user-friendly, provides tremendous reach, and best of all, it's free.

There are also 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 don’t 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.



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