"Napoleon said that there were three things needed to fight a war. The first is money. The second is money. And the third is money. That may be true of war, but it's not true for the nonprofit organization. You need a plan. You need marketing. You need people. And you need money."
-Peter Drucker, in Managing the Nonprofit Organization
As Drucker alludes to above, money isn't everything a nonprofit needs to execute its mission. Those primary elements - plan, people, and money - heavily rely on your ability to market who you are and what you are doing.
It may seem odd to apply a business world term like "marketing" to the nonprofit sector, where the "product" people are delivering is an intangible concept like "social change" or "improving lives." However, even after you have devised a perfect program that WILL change lives, you need marketing to reach those you wish to serve and those whose support you need.
Here's the ultimate catch: many people working in advocacy or direct service nonprofits are trained in social work, psychology, political science, and research. Marketing skills often come from a completely different kind of resume. So how do you wear that hat at a small organization?
Let's run through a few tips on marketing your programs. As someone who has had to employ marketing techniques to promote a speakers bureau, multiple conferences and symposiums, and fundraising events, I've learned a few things along the way from experts in communications.
If you like what you're reading, please reach out or comment about your specific challenges, and we can discuss how TJS might be able to assist with your program communication strategy!
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