A common faux pas of non-profits is the belief that marketing and PR are not as important as at “for-profit” companies. The mentality is often “well, we aren’t selling anything,” but that’s a mistake, as non-profits are selling; you are marketing to make people more aware of your mission or cause. You are attracting donors. You are positioning yourself through PR and marketing to have a higher profile with foundations that bestow grants on non-profits.
Here are free nonprofit resources that you might want to consider when getting the word out about your organization, cause, or programs:
Pinterest – creating albums and posting photographs of your own, or that you find on the web can build a community of like-minded supporters.
Facebook – It’s easy to create a business oriented “fan page” where you can post news of your organization and events. A Facebook page builds a closer relationship with your supporters.
Twitter – the free ‘instant messaging service, in which you send out 140 or less character messages that call attention to your news releases, events, or push people to visit your Facebook page.
LinkedIn – the world’s largest online “networking” service. Create a business page on LinkedIn, join user groups aligned with your philosophy, initiate or participate in discussions with your peers regarding topics of mutual interest.
Specialized Blogs and Newsletters – subscribe to websites that offer emails on marketing and PR tips. Most are free, like Duct Tape Marketing.
Blogging – starting a “blog” as an adjunct section of your website is an excellent idea. With a blog, you can post ongoing messages that are “on point” to your cause. Invite your community of supporters to participate, contribute as well. Have meaningful discussions with your supporters. There are many free templates for building blogs, like those at WordPress, a free blog publishing platform.
Mashable is a website which will keep you up to date on the latest in social media marketing, with tips on how to conduct specific campaigns effectively.
There are just a few free nonprofit resources to utilize in getting your message out, to your loyal community, and to gather new supporters as well.