Let’s Talk Marketing Strategy

Sharper Image Italia Racer Motion Sensor Control RC Sports Car
Feel the thrill of the race and road with the Italia Racer from Sharper image. The RC car comes with a steering wheel control designed to put you into the driver's seat with real motion controls.

Carry-On Luggage | Kohl's
Enjoy free shipping and easy returns every day at Kohl's. Find great deals on Carry-On Luggage at Kohl's today!

You’re a new non-profit and wondering how you’ll come up with money to support your cause, right? You’ve heard the hype about grants and loads of free federal money that are available to anyone willing to lend a helping hand in society, but have you done any serious investigation into the processes that sustain a non-profit in the long haul?

Let’s start with a few pieces of common misinformation:

Grants are sustainable.

This is far from the truth. Grant funding is like a crutch. The whole idea behind setting aside a chunk of money is to help an organization establish a project or keep an impactful project in place when times are tough. Grant money isn’t intended to sustain an organization fully.

Grants are available for everyone.

Most grant money is available to government entities and non-profit organizations. If an individual or for-profit business, chances are your grant search is going to be grueling. Not to mention, probably spend more resource applying for the money than receive IF you get funded. Therefore, seeking grant money is a largely ineffective marketing approach for almost every non-profit organization.

Grants are available for everything.

Grant money for specific causes that advance a social mission. Federal money for very specific and foundation money is set aside to advance a specific purpose set forth by that foundation. Although true that a foundation may support minority-owned businesses, the competition is fierce. There are thousands of people just like yourself searching for that same money.

So, does that mean you should give up? Absolutely Not.

But, you should devise a strategic plan based on this information. Using a transaction cost analysis (TCA) framework, let’s look at some of the most cost-effective forms of marketing for ANY non-profit organization and then we’ll discuss how this all relates to your overall funding search. There are 6 major types of marketing for organizations with social missions:

Direct mail

Most of us associate direct mail with those little flyers we get stuffed between the newspapers or postcards offering 50% at the next department store sale. direct mail has proved to be valuable in capturing the attention of prospective donors and in following up with people who have previously donated money to a cause. Direct mail is relatively inexpensive but does not yield a huge response.

Direct Response Marketing

Direct response marketing constitutes a variety of techniques but is commonly associated with practices such as television, magazine, and radio advertisements where consumers are encouraged to take part in a direct call to action. Direct response marketing is expensive and relatively ineffective in reaching targeted audiences.

Catalogue Marketing

Catalogue marketing is generally an approach used by businesses that sell products or packed services but can be used by non-profit organizations that sell cause-related apparel. Although catalogue marketing has a low return rate, it has been found to increase among use of other marketing techniques.

Telephone Marketing

We’re all familiar with telemarketers-primarily the reason telephone marketing gets a bad rep but if can be a very productive means of personal selling if done properly and legally. One of the main problems with telephone marketing is the training required to ensure that all phone calls meet regulatory requirements and that the sales people themselves do a good job at representing your organization.

Personal Selling

Exactly how it sounds, personal selling is any face-to-face encounter that has the potential to turn into an investment in your cause. Face-to-face selling has a high rate of return however it requires the most resources of any marketing tactic because it requires research, scheduling, coordination, and often multiple meetings between executives.

Online Marketing

There is no doubt that the internet has changed the marketplace and it is also one of the most cost-effective methods of marketing. The problem is have historically fallen behind with online trends and don’t make investments in online marketing processes, never mind an online marketing plan. For a social venture to be successful in the 21st century, it’s almost impossible to avoid investing in a website and social media.

In a recent study published by Direct Marketing: An International Journal, TCA was used to measure the effectiveness of these approaches based on the level of control over direct marketing (DM) resources compared to the cost to implement each approach. Not surprisingly, the most productive forms of marketing were namely personal selling, telephone, direct mail, and online while the least cost-effective forms were direct response and catalogue. However, the findings presented in this study are consistent in that they support the use of multiple forms of marketing as the most effective approach.

What does marketing have to do with fundraising?

Most non-profits are small, and many of these organizations sustain their projects through donations from the public rather than grant funding. This means that marketing (or fundraising) is one of the most vital metrics that every organization should pay close attention to when planning how they sustain their operations, pay their employees, and build capacity. So, if we take grants off the table, we can first consider other forms of revenue generating pursuits, including:

1. Individual Pledges

2. Corporate Giving

3. Sponsorships

4. Fundraising Events

5. Products/Services

6. Major Donations

References

Mallin, M. L., & Finkle, T. A. (2007). Social Entrepreneurship and Direct Marketing. Direct Marketing: An International Journal, 1(2), 68-77. doi:10.1108/17505930710756833

Home Décor | Kohl's
Enjoy free shipping and easy returns every day at Kohl's. Find great deals on Home Decorations at Kohl's today!

Easy Street Relay Women's Slingback Flats
You'll love going on new adventures with these Relay flats from Easy Street.

Olivia Miller Astoria Women's Platform High Heel Sandals
Elevate any ensemble when you wear these breathtaking high heel sandals from Olivia Miller.

Gossard Glossies Lace Sheer Bra 13001
Offering all the lift, support and projection of the classic style but with added modesty, this Gossard sheer lace bra is a beautiful find.

NFL Green Bay Packers Flip Flops | Kohl's
Enjoy free shipping and easy returns every day at Kohl's. Find great deals on NFL Green Bay Packers Flip Flops at Kohl's today!

Dr. Scholl's Golden Hour Women's Wedge Sandals
These Dr. Scholl's Golden Hour sporty and contemporary sandals will lift up your look!

Woof Holiday Bubbly Plush Toy
Get your pet in the holiday spirit with this Woof Holiday Bubbly Plush Toy.

The Big One® Rainbow Stripe Small Tote
Organize in style with this rainbow stripe tote from The Big One.

Pacific Coast 32-Inch Large Wheeled Duffel Bag
Travel in style with this Pacific Coast wheeled duffel bag.

nearly natural Silk Rose Pillar Candle Holder
nearly natural at Kohl's - Shop our wide variety of decorative plants, including this nearly natural Silk Rose Pillar Candle Holder, at Kohls.com. Model no. 4685-AP.

Men's Grand Slam Off Course Regular-Fit Textured Pocket Golf Polo
Thanks to moisture-wicking technology and stretch fabric, this men's Grand Slam polo is a winning choice for the golf course, workday or weekend.

Women's Tek Gear® Microfleece Crewneck Top
Staying in tip-top shape is easy as this women's Tek Gear tee moves with you through every activity.

Esprit Aria Women's Espadrille Wedge Sandals
Look effortlessly stylish with these Esprit Aria sandals.

Philadelphia Phillies Premium Laptop Backpack
Cart around your essentials in this pride-packed Philadelphia Phillies backpack featuring multiple compartments for ultimate organization.

Urban Habitat Kids Mackenzie Cotton Duvet Cover Set with Shams
Elevate the look of your current bed and redefine the look of your space with this stunning bedding piece.

You may also like...