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Promoting Your Nonprofit: Three Lessons

Promoting Your Nonprofit: Three Lessons

Date: 03/11/2014

by Andre' Gibson 

How to promote your nonprofit

Although many are drawn to work in nonprofits are committed to a cause, it is important that you do not assume that every individual shares that commitment. In order to build a support base you should always find how your organization addresses common concerns. This article uses the example of a climate change lobbying organization and outlines three principle lessons which can be used to promote it.


Lesson 1: Find the primary concerns

Among your target audience there are likely many different concerns. Many worry about the effect of climate change on their personal heath. Conduct a sample poll to identify the main concerns and use the results to frame your promotion campaign. Use a combination of open and closed questions in your questionnaires and where possible rank the concerns of respondents. For example, the group could ask: what are your three primary health concerns?


Lesson 2: Explain how you can address the concerns

Next, honestly and accurately demonstrate how your nonprofit’s work addresses the primary concerns of your target group. For example, you can demonstrate how excessive exposure to UV can damage the skin or how nitrogen oxide can cause lung cancer. Always make sure that the items you are addressing do have a solution and that you do not harm your nonprofit’s credibility by making unrealistic claims or promises.


Lesson 3: Show how resources are used in addressing the concerns

One of the biggest challenges in promoting your non profit is demonstrating how contributions achieve their states goals. Therefore, you should clearly outline how resources are used in your nonprofit. For example, you could provide a pie chart with a percentage breakdown showing how each dollar is spent. As well as building trust this can enable you to secure larger contributions as donors gain a better understanding of where the money is going.


Relate your work to everyday life

There are many recent examples of how nonprofit work has been successfully promoted by appealing to common concerns. The example of Jan Mortensen’s successful schools in rural Pakistan is pertinent here. Although he initially received some support among those who had visited the region where he operates, he only received widespread support when he underlined the success of his schools in preventing radicalization of young people in the Islamic world. In order to boost interest in your nonprofit’s work you should always look for a way to relate it to your target group’s everyday lives.

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