Marketing for NGOs: 5 strategies for a good cause 

Por Camila Morais


26 de August de 2022
8 min. de leitura
marketing for ngo

Marketing for non-profit organizations is an important resource for bringing results and increasing the social impact of projects.

After all, NGOs need to attract a larger amount of people to their cause. This way they amplify their message and stimulate contributions. 

However, marketing for NGOs needs to be even more humanized and emotional, because we are talking about attracting donors and helping communities, and not only about corporate profit. 

Therefore, in this article we bring you ways to apply marketing activities in non-profit organizations. As well as how the use of digital tools diminishes the daily challenges of the institutions.

So, read to the end and learn how it is possible to use marketing for non-profit organizations as well.

The principles of marketing for NGOs 

The third sector needs to attract the public that identifies with its cause and shares its values, and to keep donors and partners engaged with the projects. 

Thus, social marketing is important for the communication of these NGOs to reach those who see value and are willing to help in the development of a community.

Therefore, the strategies revolve around the disclosure of a purpose, social issues, communication between NGOs and donors, and urgent and real problems of a society. To thereby connect and engage people in the digital environment. 

Moreover, marketing for non-profit organizations has its value from the moment that each and every NGO needs to have the allocation of resources of various kinds to have an impact on the community.

Therefore, the function of marketing in NGOs and institutions with social projects is to keep their infrastructure running. In other words, developing ways to raise funds and volunteers with planning and organization.

The great university professor considered to be the father of marketing and who coined the term ‘social marketing’, Kotler, already said in his book “Marketing for Non-Profit Organizations”. In it, Kotler talks about the importance of recognizing this function.

Thus, the use of digital media marketing shortens the path to achieving the NGO’s goals.

Why think about Digital Marketing for NGOs?

Digital marketing for NGOs helps to convey the idea of the organization through online media.

In other words, the communication of the institutions needs strategies to attract a larger audience that is interested in the same social purpose and wants to defend it.

Therefore, digital marketing is extremely important for organizations to keep helping a community and to increase the impact of their causes. 

Furthermore, it strengthens the relationship between volunteers and propagates the NGO’s ideas and activities.

Marketing is able to change behaviors, raise funds, and increase collective welfare.Therefore, developing actions through social networks and the Internet disseminates the prominent role that an institution and its social causes have with digital marketing.

Learn more about how this strategy helps the third sector and expands its communication.

Promoting social causes  

The goal of NGOs is to spread their message to the public. Therefore, the digital territory is the perfect opportunity to communicate directly with like-minded people.

The best way to promote your causes and still measure how efficient the use of social networks is for this is through digital marketing strategies.

In this way, the dissemination and sharing of the NGO’s content reaches more volunteers and donors. This is fundamental to generate investments and new partnerships.

Thus, the social circle is widened in the online environment and can reach people in other countries. In other words, engaging a much larger audience and spreading the institution’s actions.

Besides promoting social causes, see the positive branding that digital marketing strategies for non-profit organizations can establish with well-defined strengthening and positioning.

Strengthening and Positioning the NGO

Defining the NGO’s identity and having a positioning in the communication strategy are important factors to demonstrate its credibility.

Therefore, segment the public that has an interest in the causes disclosed and produce content that strengthens the organization’s values, as well as its purpose.

Having this clear vision of what the NGO wants to position and which language to use according to its persona is essential to convey transparency and gain new volunteers.

A well-positioned message creates a good reputation and narrows the target audience. Reach out to people who can make donations and really want to help your entity’s cause.

Or even be part of the lives of this interested public by implementing digital marketing actions for NGOs while promoting an effective strategy to attract and retain them, reinforcing credibility.

Attraction and retention of resources

Using digital media to attract more volunteers and engage them to the point of getting more investment is key to conveying the value that the nonprofit organization has in the online space as well.

Build this power of attraction by being present digitally, gaining attention through social media profiles, website, and other strategies that exploit virtual media.

Digital marketing increases engagement and contact with the public, generating greater fundraising to help beneficiaries due to the wide dissemination of the work done by the organization.

So, publicize the NGO’s actions and maintain a close relationship with the community and potential donors on digital platforms.

See that promoting your institution’s brand strengthens it, positions it, and ends up retaining more resources over time. 

All this through the use of marketing actions aimed at non-profit organizations, with the goal of engaging and connecting the public of interest.

READ MORE | What chatbots do for society 

Digital presence 

Digital presence is the way to connect 24 hours a day with people and generate a greater reach for the message conveyed by your cause.

Allow donors to get to know the projects through marketing strategies for non-profit organizations and allow new volunteers to generate a positive impact due to the campaigns created on the networks.

Automation of channels and strategies 

Digital marketing for NGOs also facilitate contact with the institution by offering various communication channels, such as WhatsApp, social networks and using a chatbot on your website.

The chatbot is a virtual assistant that automates marketing strategies and enables natural conversations of users with the NGO. 

It is a very efficient solution for the organization, integrates with the digital channels mentioned above and delivers answers at any time of the day to the user.

READ MORE | The impact of chatbots in social projects 

5 marketing strategies for NGOs 

Marketing for the third sector needs to be even more cause- and donor-centric. After all, most NGOs need to do a lot with few resources. 

Therefore, it is necessary to focus on actions that raise public awareness about the causes, projects, and missions. And, of course, generate credibility. 

Below we have gathered some actions that can be adopted by an NGO that needs to align its strategies and marketing. 

1. Create a marketing plan 

Any kind of action needs to start with planning. It is at this stage that the goals of the campaigns, the necessary budget, the resources to raise or that are already available, the steps for implementation, and the people who will be impacted will be determined. 

A marketing plan for NGOs should also contain

  • purpose;
  • expected results
  • channels used
  • target audience
  • budget

2. Develop the organization’s identity 

Just as brands have an identity, NGOs also need one. The public will only make contributions and become engaged if they believe in the institution’s projects and causes. 

However, this does not happen overnight. It is necessary that NGOs work on their positioning, objectives, and identity in their communication channels, social networks, campaigns, and in all the disclosures they work on. 

3. Work on the engagement of donors 

Another pillar of marketing for NGOs is donor engagement. Besides social networks, it is important to send content, projects, and accountability to where donations are applied. 

These actions can be done through e-mail marketing or newsletter on WhatsApp. Currently, WhatsApp is proving to be more efficient in engagement and opening rates, mainly because it is a more dynamic channel that allows more customization. 

READ MORE | Chatbots that connect: using Weni Platform to retain donors 

4. Invest in social proof content 

Social proof is an important strategy to generate more confidence in your causes and projects. Unfortunately, Brazil and other countries have a history of corruption involving funds raised for donations. 

For this reason, many donors are suspicious about social projects. Facing this reality, social proof is a way to show seriousness, safety, and the veracity of the NGO’s actions. 

So, invest in testimonials, videos, and comments from donors, impacted people, and partners. Publish photos on social networks of communities and people receiving donations. 

5. Make partnerships and co-marketing 

Besides the marketing strategies for NGOs that we have mentioned, another possibility is to make partnerships and co-marketing. This is one of the ways to reach more donors, impact more people, and boost your projects. 

Some platforms, such as Vakinha and e-solidario, connect non-profit organizations to people who need help and to volunteers. 

So look for platforms and brands willing to help and make partnerships that will also help your nonprofit’s reach and credibility. 

Would you like to learn more about the use of marketing for non-profit organizations and how not to miss opportunities in the face of constant online presence? Get to know Weni, a partner company of large organizations, such as UNICEF.

SEO Analyst, passionate about content with a focus on optimization strategies, lead generation, and conversion.

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