Marketing for Nonprofits Part 2 - How a clear goal sets you up for success by Hillary Weeks


So you've figured out your audience. Now what?

You’d never go to the grocery store without an idea of what you want to buy. Even if you’re only going for one specific thing (hello coffee!), there’s always an intent to your trip. This same sort of focus is needed in your marketing efforts. Without it, you’re just wasting your time and energy.

When it comes to marketing for nonprofits, the next step is setting marketing goals that align with your organizational objectives. The “why” behind your efforts is just as important as the “how.”

Each goal is made up of smaller pieces. By breaking them down into manageable nuggets, you can tackle the bigger picture in stages. You’re also spreading your resources across important tasks, instead of getting stuck in one place, slowing your momentum.

Here are some steps that can help you find clarity, so you’re taking the appropriate actions to help achieve your target.


Your marketing goals vs. your organizational goals

Before doing anything else, make sure you’ve established concrete goals for the year as a nonprofit. Is there a certain fundraising number you want to hit or a donor you’d like to partner with? Maybe you’re trying to boost awareness of your cause or gain more volunteers.

Different goals require different approaches, so it’s important to have an end result in mind when looking at your marketing plans.

Next, dimensionalize these goals by listing out the reasons for each. For example, what is the real outcome of getting that dream donor for your organization? Is it a way to bring awareness to their larger network, opening doors for the future? Doing this helps you understand the importance of your goals, their context within your marketing objectives, and the actions you will need to make them happen.


Prioritize what’s important

Once you’ve set goals and looked at what outcome is driving each one, break each larger goal down into a set of tasks (getting a first meeting with the donor, creating a theme for your fundraiser, etc).

This has two advantages - first, by breaking each larger goal into steps, you can better measure your achievements as you work towards the larger objective. Second, smaller tasks are more readily achievable and help to build a sense of momentum as you complete each one.

Go through some of the smaller goals you brainstormed and establish the following:

  • Audience - Who is your audience for each step?

  • Communication - What platform would be the best way to communicate with them — email, social media, a handwritten note?

  • Tools - Take a look at the resources you already have (your website, social media accounts, people in your larger network). How can you utilize them to achieve your goal?

  • Strategies - list out some marketing strategies that will help you tackle these smaller targets. Do you need more calls to action on your website or an email sequence for when people sign up for your newsletter?


Set benchmarks and measure success

In order to see your impact in action, you have to be aware of your data. Make sure to define how you will measure success, and that you have a way to accurately record metrics that matter (like email open rate or social media engagement). If your metrics don’t align with your goals, this makes achieving them a lot harder.

If you already have a marketing plan to work from, it is important to review and update it to ensure that your new benchmarks are clearly defined and that your goals and tasks are aligned. If you don’t have a robust marketing plan in place, it’s never to late to create one!

Now that you have your goals set and ready to be measured, the next step is to start putting your strategies into action. There are many tactics that can be used to achieve your desired results. Follow Loop Creative on social media or subscribe to our newsletter to get the next part in our series on marketing for nonprofits.

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