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Nonprofit Marketing: Reinforce your Messaging Strategy

As you already know, nonprofit marketing can be even more effective than forprofit marketing since nonprofit organizations are in a unique position to showcase their values in a more relatable and inspiring way. Your mission statement is the main driving force behind your organization, and your nonprofit brand, and the marketing behind it, can exhibit how your organization is acting towards achieving its mission. Developing a messaging strategy will allow your mission statement to shine!

A well-developed messaging strategy is a key to effectively accomplishing what your organization is looking to achieve. My advice here is to campaign on something specific unless you are putting out an organizational manifesto. Develop your message around your objective during a particular timeframe, be it donations, volunteers, or support for a specific campaign.

So, put your creative hat on and let’s start with the keys to messaging.

1. Craft a compelling story. What’s the problem?

To get your audience’s attention, you will need to develop an understanding of the problem your organization is facing. Keep your mission in mind when defining the problem and use specific facts and figures as an effective way to do both, prove the situation is real, and make your audience completely aware of it. Narrow in on what you would like to achieve with this campaign, remember that focusing on SMART goals is crucial to success.

Picking the correct target audience is also critical to your messaging strategy. Segment your audience and develop personas based on those segments. This way you will be able to know who you are going to target, what they like, and what they care about. Once you understand your audience and find out the appropriate way to address them, it is time to tell them about your organization’s problem. It goes without saying that it is always better if you tell them a compelling story. Knowing your audience will be essential to move on with the next steps so do your homework!

2. Relay a compelling message. Why should the audience care?

Paint a vivid picture that will resonate specifically with your target audience. Make sure to clearly detail how the problem affects them and highlight the negative implications that it has for them as well. Success in this step lays in researching your audience and finding the most effective and impactful way to demonstrate the consequences that this problem could have for that cause they care about.

Then you can dive into the impact and difference your audience could make by supporting your cause. By looking at it from their perspective, you can define a “what’s in it for you” statement and give them a reason to want to find a solution. This is your opportunity to build brand awareness by revealing the values and beliefs that are woven together to build your nonprofit brand. Help your audience envision your mission.

3. Make a specific call to action. What exactly do you want the audience to do?

Now it is time to restate the solution to your organization’s problem in the form of a call to action. Make your call to action straight-forward as your audience will not appreciate ambiguity. However, don’t forget to provide them with the right information they need to make a decision. You also need to state the positive impact their donation, or another action will have for everyone within your organization and those you help. This will enable your audience to make an informed decision which will result in a stronger commitment to following through.

It is crucial to find a quick way to close your call to action by linking back to your mission statement, reinforcing your brand identity and voice. It will give your audience the idea that they are part of a larger plan without minimizing your current campaign message.

Follow these simple steps when developing your messaging strategy and it will dramatically improve the relevance of your campaigns and help you create strong foundations for achieving your overall mission.


This is an updated version of a previously published article written by Samantha Gurczenski, Digital Project Manager at C(Group.


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