Nonprofit Marketing Plans

Nonprofit Marketing Plan

Are you looking for tips for writing nonprofit marketing plans? Creating a marketing plan for a charitable organization requires having detailed knowledge about the entity's vision, mission and values, as well as information about consumer, donor and volunteer marketing target audiences. The plan should clearly outline the organization's goals and strategies for reaching each of these important groups.

Nonprofit Organization Target Markets

When preparing to effectively market a nonprofit organization, it's important to realize that you'll need a plan that details how you can reach all of the different segments of your target audience. Most charitable organizations have at least three target audiences, including (1) consumers, (2) prospective donors and (3) potential volunteers.

Consumer Marketing

It's essential for nonprofit organizations to reach out to members of the population of potential consumers with information about available programs and services. No matter how great the need is for what your nonprofit has to offer, marketing is necessary in order to ensure that those in need of assistance learn about the organization and find out how to become involved. To ensure that your organization is able to meet its mission, it's necessary to market to the defined consumer population.


Of course, money is necessary to meet the needs of the consumers reached through your organization's mission-focused marketing efforts. Reaching out to potential donors is an essential component of all types of nonprofit marketing plans. This portion of your plan may include grant writing efforts, fundraising programs, special events, a capital campaign and other efforts directed toward bringing much needed funds into the organization's coffers.

Volunteer Recruitment

Soliciting assistance from volunteers is also an important key to effective operation of a nonprofit organization. Most charitable organizations are dependent on the commitment of volunteers to perform their work. It would be remiss to neglect considering how to recruit additional volunteers, as well as retain the ones you already have, when drafting a marketing plan.

Components of Nonprofit Marketing Plans

Marketing plans for nonprofit organizations should include details about how the organization plans to reach each target audience group. Typically, nonprofit marketing plans include the following elements for each target population:

  • Goal Statement: This portion of your marketing plan should express what it is that your organization hopes to accomplish. Your goal statement should clearly define the overall purpose of your organization. Everything else in the plan should tie specifically to accomplishing the goal.
  • Objectives: Define specific, measurable objectives for each target audience. How many consumers do you want to serve in the coming year? What kinds of results do you expect to see with consumers? How much money do you need to raise this year? How many volunteer hours do you hope to log?
  • Strategies: What steps can you take to accomplish your objectives? For example, if you want to increase the number of consumers served by 100 people next year, what exactly will you do to bring about that result? If you want to attract 50 new volunteers, what steps will you take to recruit them?
  • Marketing Tactics: What marketing actions will you implement as a way of implementing the strategies that you have selected?
  • Action Plan: How will your organization go about implementing the defined marketing strategies and tactics? Who is responsible for each component of the plan? When will each tactic be implemented? The action plan should be written in a manner that makes it easy to follow and track.
  • Budget: How much money will be allocated to each portion of the plan? What is the process for requesting funds and controlling expenses?
  • Monitoring: How can you be sure that the plan is being implemented and that it is effective? What systems for evaluation of both progress and effectiveness are in place? What reporting and review procedures will be followed? How will progress be measured?

Writing Your Plan

When it's time to sit down and begin writing your own marketing plan, it's a good idea to create a template that includes a heading for each section that needs to be included. Use your template as a basic outline to start with, so that you can take an organized, systematic approach to gathering and filling in key information that will help you come up with a plan that can be used to guide your organization's efforts in the coming year and beyond.

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Nonprofit Marketing Plans