Marketing and the Not-for-Profit Organisation

Fundraising Collection Tin
Collection tin for fundraising

Marketing has become an integral part of not-for-profit organisations.  Not only has competition for funding increased, there is a greater need for charities to clearly communicate their aims to stakeholders.  Not-for-Profit organisations have one important aim: to raise money in order to pursue that organisation’s objectives, usually for a specific cause.  Charities aren’t selling a product, they are trying to reach more people to attract funding.

Social Media and the Not-for-Profit Organisations

More and more charities in the UK are using social media channels to promote their message.  If used effectively, social media can be a useful and affordable way of communicating your charities vision and objectives to stakeholders.  Like a for-profit organisation, marketing strategy should have clear, realistic goals which may integrate print and digital techniques.  The problem with using social media to market not-for-profit organisations is consistency, and whether it’s the best channel for communicating with your stakeholders.  Each social media channel is different but it should be one message which is communicated through them: your organisation’s, turning interest into a call to action.  Charity Digital News have some top tips for using social media to boost fundraising efforts which can be viewed here.

Creative fundraising

Not-for-Profit organisations are becoming cleverer.  The right thinking and innovation towards your marketing strategy can allow for cheap execution of marketing campaigns.  Social media is virtually free with one of the biggest resources you will invest is time.  This year we’ve seen a rise in creative fundraising campaigns which have attracted millions of pounds in donations from the public.  Charities have gone viral.


No Makeup Selfie Viral Campaign
Celebrities endorsing the #nomakeupselfie viral campaign for Cancer Research UK

This campaign hit the UK like a storm and with it, over £8million pounds worth of donations for Cancer Research UK.  The greatest thing about this campaign is that it wasn’t even started by Cancer Research, but by 18-year old Fiona Cunningham.  The campaign was quickly picked up by the public who donated millions of pounds by taking bare-faced selfies in a matter of days.  Cancer Research’s successful use of text donations allowed members of the public to text in their donations, allowing for digital donations.  This viral campaign allowed for major influencers such as famous celebrities to help spread the message and support the cause, without actually hiring them.  

On a final note, The Guardian have came up with 5 ways to make your campaign go global.


Zoe Amar, Charity Marketing and Digital Communications consultant has provided a useful guide to creating a marketing strategy for your charity.

For some examples of charities doing it right on social media, click here.

CharityComms have created a useful guide to using social media, shown below:



2 thoughts on “Marketing and the Not-for-Profit Organisation

    • With any organisation using social media as part of their marketing strategy, consistency is key. Unfortunately smaller charities will need to work harder to achieve this as they may not have a dedicated marketing function operating within. If charities are going to have dedicated social media sites then they will need to have a strategy in place to ensure content remains updated and doesn’t stagnate.

      Liked by 1 person

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