Marketing is an essential tool in the arsenal of any successful business. It is how you get your name and services out into the world and make them known to others. However, many nonprofits do not have the resources to invest in marketing. To this end, drumming up support for the 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the United States requires a greater deal of effort.
Fortunately, there are still certain marketing strategies nonprofits can use to their advantage. The 6 Ps of marketing is one of the basic principles non-profit organizations need to understand in order to widen their reach. Maryville University explains that the 6 Ps — product, price, place, promotion, people, and presentation — are the building blocks of an effective marketing strategy. They enable organizations to identify the right people to improve their success, create visually appealing presentations, and optimize the success of their promotions. This time-tested concept is behind the success of leading companies, but it can also prove useful in the realm of philanthropic work. Thankfully, optimizing the 6 Ps need not cost an arm and a leg, either. Today, we’ll dive into each of the 6 Ps of marketing and discuss how they can help nonprofits:
In the realm of marketing for nonprofits, “product” here means the end result of your marketing efforts. It is what you are offering to your beneficiaries and donors. For the World Wildlife Fund, for example, their products are their biodiversity conservation efforts. By frontloading the products that a non-profit offers, it helps paint a picture that is more appealing to investors.
2. Price Strategies
Price strategies are important for nonprofits, especially if they’re finding ways to raise money. Price is often the first consideration when one is considering donating, so it’s important for nonprofits to be aware of how their prices might affect people’s decisions. Optimizing your price strategies can be done by lowering your donation bracket’s prices and offering incentives. This highlights that your nonprofit is inclusive and may even attract regular micro-donors who would otherwise be intimidated.
Your physical location will affect your ability to build relationships with members of the community where your nonprofit operates. If you want to build awareness about a new program, being visible in public places with high foot traffic is important. “Place” could also mean how people can access pertinent information online in this digital age. After all, online giving has increased by nearly 9% in 2021 alone. Nonprofits can make the most of their place on the internet by joining relevant platforms. Case in point, CNN outlines how being visible on platforms like The Giving Basket, a website where people can easily customize donations, can give your marketing efforts a boost.
When you’re promoting a nonprofit, you’re looking at how to spread your message in an authentic way that doesn’t sound like advertising. Promotion is about getting your content out into the world in ways that are meaningful to others. It might be through traditional media outlets, digital events, or other strategies that fit your organization. With the right promotional efforts, not only will your nonprofit’s message become clear but your name recall will also increase.
The people are the most important aspect of marketing for nonprofits. It’s important to remember that these people are not just donors — they’re volunteers, board members, employees, and even beneficiaries. Your organization’s activities should reflect this fact by providing opportunities for them to get involved in meaningful ways, such as helping them develop new competencies and introducing them to others. By putting a spotlight on the people that power your non-profit, you humanize and endear your organization.
When you’re trying to get your nonprofit out there, it’s not just about what you do—it’s also about how you tell people about it. The best way to do that is through your presentation. We emphasize the critical role of branding in a Non-Profit Image in a recent post. As discussed in the article “the idea is that the most successful non-profits all have one thing in common: a recognizable external image”. University of California professor David Aaker drives this point further by promoting brand equity — or the social value of a brand name — as pivotal in managing an organization. Similarly, a well-represented nonprofit garners more support and longevity.
Nonprofits are built on a foundation of helping others, but in today’s digital world, you need to be able to do more than just that. You need to be able to market yourself and your organization effectively so people know who you are, what you do, and why they should care.
Written by Raven Skylar