Non-Profit Marketing vs. For-Profit Marketing

Non-Profit Marketing vs. For-Profit Marketing

The key difference between a non-profit and a for-profit is funding. Since both types of companies have different motives, is it possible to market to the two different types of clients? Yes. A couple things to keep in mind when working with for-profit and non-profit is the intentions of why and who we market to. In the for-profit sector, the intentions are to encourage the customer to buy, and the non-profit sector encourage people to donate. What comes next? Understanding the best methods for raising the visibility of your non-profit in a climate where the intentions are to get people to donate.

Let's talk non-profit marketing. In a non-profit marketing campaign, the goal is to gain attention from prospective contributors and donors. The principle value is for the consumer or the contributor to donate for intrinsic philanthropic reasons versus extrinsic personal gain. The reward is to feel positive about yourself for doing a good thing. With this in mind, what are some of the tools and methods used by marketers? One of the biggest tools non-profits can use to gain visibility is micro-funding or crowdsourcing. Micro funding is raising funds from social media or media websites for a specific purpose. This method is preferable over traditional donations because people are more willing to donate in smaller sums than larger sums and ultimately share their contribution with their friends and network. This leads to a more “viral” donation campaign by which the knowledge is spread quickly and throughout a diverse setting to many people. To help with micro funding, we’ve compiled a list of different websites that facilitate crowd funding courtesy of You can find the original list here.

  1. Mighty Cause (formerly Razoo):  "A movement of people who want to make generosity a part of everyday life.” Over 14,000 nonprofits have used this platform to raise around 100 million.
  2. CausesFor people who want to change the world." Categories vary from disaster relief efforts to human rights. Causes has raised more than 30 million for non-profits.
  3. StartSomeGood: StartSomeGood empowers “social innovators,” and forwards the trend of social entrepreneurship. It is a relatively new social site.
  4. GoFundMe Charity (formerly Crowdrise): Named the “Top 25 Best Global Philanthropist.” Since 2009, Crowdrise has helped bring together volunteers and philanthropists to spread the call of service.
  5. CauseVox: Is a NYC startup social site that focuses on helping small to medium sized non-profits raise funds and have a social impact.
  6. Kickstarter: A project crowdfunding website that any organization or individual can use to finance their event or project.
  7. Indiegogo: An international crowdfunding site for creative types that can also be used to raise money for charity and non-profit organizations.
  8. An Australia-based website that encourages creative projects and ideas. This website can also be used for charity purposes.

Another thing to consider when marketing a non-profit is cost efficiency. Most non-profits don’t have large enough budgets compared to a for-profit company in order to obtain the same reach. That’s why it is important to utilize free marketing tools that will enhance your marketing goals. The best place to start is through social media. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram are all great tools that can increase reach. Next, develop a social media marketing strategy, just as any normal for-profit would do. First, create a goal for where you want to see your company succeed the most. Think about what social media can do for you, rather than just to increase profit. Studies show social media is more beneficial for exposure than sales and donations. That is why it is so vital for non-profits to utilize social media the most. A few ways to get the most out of your social is by creating a hashtag list and consistently using them, having direct links to donation or crowdsourcing sites, using CTAs and pushing donations on the site that has the most visits, and utilizing content. Remember images speak louder than words and video says even more. By adding these into the content mix and pushing through social media channels, more people can be reached and better connections can be made for the success of your non-profit.

Although non-profit companies can be stretched for time and money, they can be just as successful in their marketing efforts as a for-profit. The planning is just as deliberate, if not more so, to ensure that though less resources are available, the marketing quality is just the same.

Have any marketing questions or need help having your brand elevated? Contact us here.

Image via (UNSPLASH)