Promotion keeps your service in the minds
of your clients and helps stimulate demand for your services. Promotion involves ongoing advertising, public and media relations,
and can include sales and customer service. All of these build from having a clear idea of how you want to position your nonprofit
and its services in the target markets (or groups of clients) that you are aiming to serve.
Advantage Consulting Services can help you promote and market your non-profit
organization and develop marketing tools aimed at specific target markets: clients, potential funders, or the community at
If you have any questions about marketing and promotion, or if you would
like more information about additional resources or the services we provide, please contact us by sending an email stating your questions or your specific request for information.
Positioning Your Nonprofit and Its Services -- the
Simply put, positioning is determining how you want others to
perceive your nonprofit and/or each of its services. Positioning builds from many of the above-mentioned activities, including
clarifying target markets, which of their needs your services meet, how your services uniquely meets these needs, the price
of services, how your nonprofit "stands up against" competitors, and the unique name of your services.
Your market position can be described by your positioning statement.
Advertising and promotions often work from this positioning statement. This statement usually includes two to five sentences,
but should be very brief and concise. It should clearly depict your organization in the way that you want others to perceive
it. When writing it down, consider answers to the question: "We are the nonprofit that ..."
Public and Media Relations Planning
Public and media relations includes ongoing activities to ensure the nonprofit has a strong public image. Public
relations activities include helping the public to understand the nonprofit and its services. Similar to effective advertising
and promotions, effective public relations often depends on designing and implementing a well-designed public relations plan.
The plan often includes description of what you want to convey to whom, methods to convey it, who is responsible for implementing
the methods and how much money is budgeted to fund these activities. Similar to advertising and promotions planning, a media
plan and advertising calendar can be very useful in a public relations plan, as well.
Often, public relations are conducted through the media, that is, newspapers, television, magazines, etc. Publicity
is mention in the media. Organizations usually have little control over the message in the media, at least, not as much as
they do in advertising. Regarding publicity, reporters and writers decide what will be said.
Regarding public relations, consider: What groups of stakeholders do we want to appeal to and how? What impressions
do you want each of your stakeholder to have? What communications media do they see or prefer the most? Consider advertising,
collaborations, annual reports, networking, TV, radio, newsletters, classifieds, displays/signs, posters, word of mouth, direct
mail, special events, brochures, neighborhood newsletters, etc. What media is most practical for you to use in terms of access
and affordability? What messages are most appealing to each stakeholder group?
How do I determine my target market and who needs to know about it?
For-profit organizations determine their markets by conducting marketing research. As a nonprofit, however, some of your
market direction is driven by your program and mission. Once you have selected your target market(s), you should be sure that
all of the people with whom you interact understand who it is you are targeting.
You need to do two things:
- decide who you are trying to reach (target).
- make sure there are enough of those people and that they want or need what you are trying to market to them.
There are untold dozens of lectures about not making your market too broad or two narrow but only you can decide that.
Once you have selected your target market(s), you should be sure that all of the people with whom you interact understand
who it is you are targeting. This means getting that message out to anyone with whom you do business. That may include:
Your board members
Your oversight agencies
The people you sell services to
The families of your clients
Purchasers of your goods or services
And others who have a relationship to your services or your mission
It is equally if not more important that you do the same with potential donors, as you need to be sure that you
can support your organization in it's effort to reach the market you have selected.
Non-Profit Development Specialist
PO Box 56
Marshfield, Wisconsin 54449
Writing a Press Release
Press releases are the first encounter a media outlet will have with your event. While you want to be thorough and
include all the information, and the underlying data, you also need to be succinct. In some large media markets, hundreds
of press releases can cross an assignment desk each day. If your release is too wordy, it will likely be ignored.
- Use only one side of a standard 8.5" x 11" sheet of white paper. The official stationery or letterhead of
the sponsoring organization is ideal. Otherwise, be sure to include your name, address, and phone number at the top of the
- The words "FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE" should be typed in the top left-hand corner of the release. Write a headline
summarizing your message and stating the location of your workshop.
- The first, or lead, paragraph summarizes the who, what, when, where, and sometimes even the why and how of
- Additional paragraphs fill out your story and gain reader involvement by telling how people can benefit from
- The last paragraph should include a two- or three-sentence summary of your sponsoring organization.
- The word "-more-" should appear at the bottom of each page when another page continues with more information.
- Type the page number only at the bottom of the last page.
Getting to Know You
As a non-profit organization
you have to market yourself to two different groups: the people who stand to benefit from the services that you're providing
and the people who want to support those services. If you're sponsoring a hot meals program, you first need to let the people
who need this service know how to contact you to obtain 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 get information out to your target audience. Information will be spread quickly throughout the community to
the people who can use it once people start talking about your organization. Putting up posters in designated areas with information
about your organization or a specific event you're holding can work in much the same way.
Local advertising in the print media that circulates in the area where you're focusing your
efforts can also be effective and fairly inexpensive. In some cases, a publication may provide this service to you organization
free of charge. This is a good way to get across information to either the people you want to help, or to the people you would
like help from. Make sure that you're prepared to advertise well in advance of any event you want publicized as it may be
that an ad won't appear for some time after you've submitted it.
You can also use the internet
to advertise your organization. There are 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 do not 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.