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The Uniqueness of Nonprofit Marketing

Marketing and the marketing process should be the prism that all nonprofits look through to determine its mission, its programs, and the potential participants. It can help determine the location of programs; how much they will cost; advertising, and the messaging.


Every nonprofit has to be clear about its mission and whom it expects to participate in its programs. Those potential participants should be divided into subgroups, called target markets. However, there are other subgroups that need attention as “customers”: including funders, staff, community leaders and government.


Marketing theory teaches that there are 4-P’s: “Product, Place, Promotion, and Price” that must be defined for each target market. Sometimes the 4 P’s for one target market overlaps with others, but not always. The vehicle for communicating messages must be evaluated for each market.  


Unlike profit-making companies whose success can be determined by the bottom-line of a financial statement, nonprofits need to develop other measures of success. It’s just not good enough to count the number of participants in a specific program. A more important question to measure success will be: what will be the long-term impact of that specific program or series of programs?

Want to learn more about what makes nonprofit marketing unique for your organization?


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