How To Spread Your Non-Profit’s Mission
You have an amazing mission, a devoted staff, and a great cause – so how do you get people to learn about it? This can be an issue for a number of non-profits, who are unsure about how to get the word out about their organization. If your charity is stuck in a similar situation, read on!
Self Promote Your Heart Out!
Many non-profits adhere to the notion that advertising and marketing are actually harmful to their mission. Afterall, why spend money on a TV commercial when that money can be given directly to those in need? Here’s why this notion is actually incorrect: Think of some of the major non-profits – Goodwill, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Red Cross. All of these organizations advertise and promote themselves in the media. In turn, more people become of aware of their mission and volunteer, support, and donate. The cost of marketing is small compared to the outcome it produces!
Non-profit leader, Dan Pallotta, said the following at his Ted Talk:
So we tell the for-profit sector, “Spend, spend, spend on advertising, until the last dollar no longer produces a penny of value.” But we don’t like to see our donations spent on advertising in charity. Our attitude is, “Well, look, if you can get the advertising donated, you know, to air at four o’clock in the morning, I’m okay with that. But I don’t want my donation spent on advertising, I want it go to the needy.” As if the money invested in advertising could not bring in dramatically greater sums of money to serve the needy.
Pallotta hits the nail on the head, here. Besides, how many people can support your cause if they do know it exists?
Effective Ways To Self-Promote
The Google Ad Grant
Google offers a grant to eligible 501(c)(3) organizations valued at up to $120,000 a year. The grant is used to advertise on Google, making more people aware of their fundraising campaigns, donation campaigns, and more online. Additionally, the grant is available in mass quantities, meaning most organizations who apply for the grant can receive it; it is not as competitive as other grants are. The Ad Grant is a cost effective way for your organization to be a part of the trillion of searches each year.
If a 501(c)(3) only posts a handful of times per year, their followers will easily forget about them. The phrase, “Out of sight, out of mind” could not be more true in this case; so be sure to post consistently on Facebook, Twitter, etc. As you come across or search for other organizations that speak to you, be sure to follow or “like” them. But as you do so, make sure that you are logged into Facebook as your organization instead of as yourself. When you engage with other groups as your 501(c)(3) persona (instead of your personal profile) you increase the chance that these groups will notice your group in return.
Host An Event
Another great way to promote your non-profit is to host an event. It doesn’t have to be grand and excessive in nature; in fact It can be a modest in nature. Invite your family and friends, and have them invite their friends. Hand out flyers where you work, and promote as much as you can. At the event, talk about your group, your work, future plans, and how you would appreciate community involvement to help your organization grow. Serve refreshments to your guests, and don’t forget to let your passion shine.
Self-promotion isn’t a bad thing, and in fact, it will result in more supporters to your cause. Whether you utilize the free Google Ad Grant or decide to promote in a different way, we wish you all the luck in your organization’s endeavors.