Targeted Marketing in the Nonprofit Sector: Why It’s Important

Targeted Marketing in the Nonprofit Sector: Why It’s Important

It might seem strange to consider your nonprofit organization as a “business”. However, without the right marketing, it’s extremely difficult to reach your target audience of donors, volunteers, and sponsors to expand your efforts. When you draw inspiration from corporate digital marketing strategies, you’ll end up boosting that reach – and making sure it gets to the right people. That will benefit your organization, helping you grow and serve more than ever before. 

Of course, you likely didn’t get into the nonprofit sector because you’re a marketing guru. Thankfully, digital marketing strategies are relatively easy to understand. While you don’t need to deep dive into every nook and cranny of the corporate marketing world, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with some basic strategies. 

Let’s take a look at some of those strategies for targeted marketing, and why boosting the digital marketing efforts of your nonprofit organization will foster growth and more success for those who need it most. 

What Is Targeted Marketing? 

Targeted marketing is a simple concept. It’s the process of researching and understanding your audience. In the business world, targeted marketing involves understanding the people who are likely to use a particular product or service. In the nonprofit sector, targeted marketing is about knowing your audience so you can focus your message specifically on those who are willing to volunteer their time or make financial donations. 

You might not have a huge marketing budget, which is okay — that’s one of the biggest benefits of targeted marketing. Your efforts are honed in on the right people, so you’re more likely to see a greater ROI (or, in this case, more donors or volunteers) without spending a lot of money. Some of the additional benefits of targeted marketing include: 

  • Better audience engagement
  • Deeper loyalty
  • Improved communication
  • Attracting new people
  • Making sure your organization stands out

When you know your audience, you’ll be able to offer more incentives for them to support your cause. You can create things like custom email campaigns, connect with them via social media, and let them get a peek “behind the scenes” through pictures and videos, letting them know just how much of an impact their efforts make on your organization. 

Plus, if you’re hosting a fundraiser, target marketing is a fantastic way to reach out to those who are most likely to donate. You’ll know who to contact and how to approach them in a way that is more likely to appeal to them. 

Building Relationships

One of the best ways to get started with targeted marketing is through data collection. You might not be able to “test” your service or product with people the way a traditional business does. However, you can look at your past to have a better idea of who your audience is. 

Take a look at people who have signed up to receive emails, become repeat donors or volunteers, or even those who have “liked” your platforms on social media. These are all data collection points that can tell you a lot about your audience. You can organize your data into different segments and create new strategies to build better relationships. 

For example, you might have a group of people who donates the same amount each month, or another group that volunteers regularly. Consider sending them messages of gratitude, or even promotional products so they can advertise for your nonprofit in their everyday lives. Promotional products have plenty of benefits within this context. For one, it shows how much you care about their contributions. It also may encourage them to share the benefits of contributing to your cause with others around them.

For people who have shown interest in your organization but have never volunteered or donated, you can send them information about who you help, and how your nonprofit works. Sometimes, the only thing people need to take the next step is a bit more information and security in the process. 

Collecting data and segmenting your audience is one of the best ways to streamline your marketing efforts. You won’t waste time marketing specific events and/or opportunities to people who aren’t interested, and you’ll boost engagement with those who are. 

The Beauty of Automation

Staying consistent with your target audience is essential if you want to maintain positive relationships and build loyalty. But, you might not be able to have a full-time staff member in charge of marketing 24/7. 

That’s where automation steps in and makes digital marketing much easier. Some of the best modern marketing practices utilize automation, including: 

  • Lead generation
  • Segmentation
  • Relationship marketing
  • Retention

When it comes to nonprofit marketing efforts, you can use automation to send out personalized emails, manage your leads when it comes to interested volunteers, and even utilize things like chatbots on your website to gather data and provide information to those interested in your organization. 

As you can see, it’s important to know your audience in the nonprofit sector. While you don’t necessarily have to look at yourself as a traditional business, it’s a good rule of thumb to put some of those business practices in place – including targeted marketing. You might be surprised by how much easier it is to reach the right people and expand your efforts. 

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Amanda Winstead

Amanda Winstead is a writer from the Portland area with a background in communications and a passion for telling stories. Along with writing she enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and going to concerts. If you want to follow her writing journey, or even just say hi you can find her on Twitter.