With money tighter and competition greater than ever before in the nonprofit sector, you need marketing results–not marketing theory. Good Marketing for Nonprofits is a free resource to help your cause effectively compete.

Fueled by Good.Must.Grow. the GMnonprofits site brings you tons of helpful information, insight and tools in areas such as marketing strategy, fundraising and guerrilla marketing.

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  • They’ve Got e-Mail. Lots of It. Will Yours Rise to the Top or Just Contribute to the Clutter

    By Heath Shackleford

    Remember the days when you almost needed a forklift to transport all the special offers, super duper discounts and important notices that were stuffed into your mailbox? Opening it was a finely tuned skill. You had to pull it down quickly and spring into action or fliers and postcards would slide out and fly in all directions.

    With arms overflowing, you’d walk the big stack of unsolicited mail in through the front door, drop it on the kitchen table and sort through it for bills, magazines, letters…you know, stuff you actually wanted, or at least were expecting, to receive. Everyday, it was more of the same, an unrelenting parade of nonsense.

    For those who are too young, or too old, to remember the good ole days, never [...]

    Plan the Work, Work the Plan – Part Two

    By Lisa M. Dietlin

    In my previous post on planning your work and working your plan, I focused on the planning side of the equation. Now for some more guidance on making that plan happen. Throughout the years, I have often been asked for best practices to ensure the plan that has been developed actually gets implemented. Here are my top three tips:

    Make a list every day of the tasks that need to be done

    Once the list is complete take a moment to review it and begin numbering what is the most important thing that has to be done, followed by the second most important thing, followed by the third, etc. Too often when we make a list we simply start at the top, which is usually a mistake. [...]

    Plan the Work, Work the Plan – Part One

    By Lisa M. Dietlin

    As most of us know, Americans have a long history of generosity. Even in tough economic times, neighbor helping neighbor is our way of life. We don’t need a natural or economic disaster to occur in order to respond, Americans only need to see the need and how our help can resolve it. What will you be doing in the next few months to ensure they are successful in donating to their favorite nonprofit organizations or in particular to the one for which you are working to raise money?

    One of my all-time favorite sayings is “Plan the Work, Work the Plan.” Here are a few easy steps to ensure you are doing this:

    First, begin by setting a financial goal of what you have to/need [...]

    Using Fear Appeals in Nonprofit Marketing Messages

    Fear can motivate people to act and is often necessary in health-related messages. Frankly, there are not many happy ways to say, “If you don’t quit drinking and driving, you will eventually kill someone and/or go to jail.” A person who has risky health behaviors, needs to know they are in danger.  It makes sense to sound the alarms.  But when you awaken their fears of people, understand you often unleash untended consequences. You may intend for people to take away a healthy caution from your message, but they could react in ways you did not anticipate.  You may intend to evoke one kind of feeling with your message, but people have the habit of deferring their negative feelings from one to another when the intended emotion is too hard [...]

    Niche-slap the Competition: Why doing less means more for your nonprofit

    Many nonprofit leaders think adding new programs and services makes them more competitive. They try to imitate the latest trends they see other nonprofits following, jumping on almost any new bandwagon. They mistakenly believe doing more will mean getting more from their supporters and attracting new segments of clients.

    The problem with “more-is-better thinking” is, it usually ends up creating mission drift in your organization and saps your nonprofit’s ability to maintain doing what you already do well.  Take a look at what your organization does, can you explain it in a few seconds, or do you need 45 minutes and a nonprofit jargon dictionary to describe it? If that’s the case, then maybe you are doing too much.

    You can distinguish yourself from your competition better by doing less [...]

    Why Nonprofit Guerrillas Do Primary Research

    The book you need most for your nonprofit isn’t available at your public library or local book store; it is one you need to write yourself. You can write the book on the people you want to reach by doing original research. Doing primary research isn’t just a nice idea, it is vitally important to the success of your organization. Primary research doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, but it is not free. To be effective, your organization will have to make an investment in it.

    Here are a few benefits gained from doing primary research:

    Helps you while defining the purpose of your marketing. Listening can keep you from making stupid mistakes. Ask your spouse. Gives you a realistic picture of your present situation. Identifies and [...]

    Seven Golden Rules for Fundraising Success

    by Chris Forbes and Frank Adkins

    Fundraising success is not only about what you do to get people to give. It is what you do to make your nonprofit an organization worthy of receiving the support of people. For your cause to succeed, you need to find a lot of people who care about your work. You want the people who support you to do more than write checks, you want them to take ownership of the mission themselves. This can not happen until you are thinking from the perspective of your donors. The Golden Rules below will guide you as you do development for your organization.  Success will require your time and effort, but as you practice and become more familiar with these rules, it will become second nature. [...]

    Seventy-Five Subconscious Reasons People Volunteer

    Some researchers claim 90% of decisions are made on the subconscious level. Understanding what makes your volunteers tick will give you an incredible guerrilla edge by using psychology. You can learn to maintain volunteer interest–almost reading their minds.

    Nonguerrillas only understand about 10% of the reasons that make volunteering attractive to people. Guerrillas know about the rest of the motivational iceberg that is beneath the surface and they use that understanding to deepen the interest of the people they want to recruit.

    Here’s a list of 75 reasons people will never tell you they are volunteering. Heck, they may not even be able to tell themselves.

    To find a personal mission in life To give back To make a difference To change the world To mobilize support To be [...]

    10 Social Media Strategies That Work for Nonprofits

    There is no such thing as a “silver bullet” social media tactic that will save your organization. Every situation varies depending on the nature of your work and your intended outcomes. Volunteer mobilization strategies don’t have the same as issues fundraising or advocacy online. But there are some strategies for using social media that apply in most situations for maximum guerrilla impact. Below are 10 strategic principles you can use to get the most out of your social media outreach. 1. Message: In order for your message to have any impact for your cause, it has to contain your message. As in all advertising, a funny or interesting video, even if it becomes a very popular online phenomenon, if it doesn’t get people to take action, it is useless to [...]

    Is Your Nonprofit’s Mission Statement Clickworthy?

    Guerrillas know that every point of contact your organization has with people is marketing. Your mission statement touches everything you do and is seen by everyone you connect with. With something that important it makes sense to look at it with an eye for marketing. Why is it that mission statements are often written academically or by committees? Shouldn’t they should be written with the intent of using them as persuasive communication? Even the Declaration of Independence, though drafted by a committee, was written by a single person with a knack for words, Thomas Jefferson. Your mission statement should be written with no less thought than the most expensive advertising campaign receives. You wouldn’t expect a Super Bowl advertisement to be written by lawyers would you? Restating your purpose with [...]