An effective marketing plan can help your charity or voluntary organisation reach more people, raise awareness of your cause and encourage more donations.
Developing a marketing strategy that works can be tricky for charities, particularly if you are working with limited funds, so it is important to put the time in to create a thorough, actionable plan.
Below we’ve put together some quick tips and advice to help you write a charity marketing plan that gets results. There is much more to say on this subject, so if you need any help or more specific advice please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Why you need a charity marketing strategy
Developing an effective strategy can be hard work as it can involve making difficult decisions – i.e. where to focus your resources, what marketing activities you can and can’t include etc. However, it’s important to put together an actionable plan that your organisation can stick to, as the alternative can be a lot of vague and disjointed marketing activity that can be an expensive drain on your available time and money.
The starting point for your marketing strategy should be to set out what the strategy is trying to achieve…
Setting marketing objectives for your charity
This is where you decide what you want your marketing activity to achieve. For charities and voluntary organisations your objectives could be:
- Increasing awareness or your organisation or your cause
- Encouraging more people to donate
- Increasing membership numbers
- Growing your list of subscribers
- Reaching a younger, more digitally-focused audience
The objectives you set could just be one of these things, or it could be all of them and more. The key is to write them into your strategy and make sure they are both measurable and realistic – you should only focus on objectives that your organisation is capable of achieving.
A useful marketing acronym to use when setting objectives is SMART – your objectives should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed.
Define your target audience(s)
The next step of your charity marketing strategy is to define your target audience or audiences. Identify who you want to target and segment them – for instance you could place your audience into the following categories:
- Geography: You may want to target people in your local area in a different way to how you target people on a national level
- Socio-demographics: Age, sex, education, family/relationship status, occupation, income etc.
- Psychological: Lifestyle, personality types, religious beliefs, political affiliation
How you segment and categorise your target audiences will depend on your organisation, the work you do and your objectives. For example, you may want to target local businesses to increase brand awareness and corporate donations, or you may want to get more subscribers to your newsletter from across the country.
Key marketing messages
Now you have an idea of your overall objectives and who you want to target, it’s time to think about your messaging.
What do you want to actually say to your target audience? It’s important to be as specific as possible here to really strike a chord with your target audience. If you are looking for local businesses to help you by sponsoring an event you are running, say so loud and clear in your messaging. In this digital age it is difficult to grab people’s attention, so make your content as powerful and persuasive as possible.
Keep things ‘on brand’
It’s important that your messaging and content stays within your brand guidelines. A ‘brand’ isn’t just your logo and font requirements, it is the impression your charity makes, the mission statement you have and the response you elicit in people when they see you.
Whatever messaging you decide on to get your target audience’s attention, make sure it sticks to your brand guidelines so that your organisation is seen as consistent and professional at all times.
Decide on your marketing channels
So now you know what your marketing objectives are, who your target audiences are and what your messaging should be, the final question to answer is: How do you get your message out to your audience to give you the best chance of meeting your objectives?
Marketing channels can range from simple posters and flyers you distribute around your community to more advanced digital marketing techniques such as social media marketing, Google Ads, email marketing and influencer marketing.
This is a very important consideration and is something you should take your time on. With so many different channels available to us these days, it can be very easy to waste all your time and effort on the wrong marketing channels. If you want to reach young people in your local area, for instance, you may think being active on Instagram or TikTok is the best tactic. However, you may well see better results by reaching out to local schools and colleges and working with them.
If you would like more help with developing an actionable and effective marketing plan for your charity or voluntary organisation, you can email us on email@example.com
About BHIB Charities Insurance
BHIB Charities Insurance specialise in providing tailored cover for community groups, clubs, societies, voluntary organisations and hobby or special interest groups. We offer more than just insurance and we are passionate about supporting local communities.
Any views or opinions expressed above are for guidance only and are expressed in generic terms. They are not intended as a substitute for readers taking appropriate professional advice relevant to individual circumstances. We would always encourage readers to seek professional advice.