Introducing Digital Marketing for Non-Profits

Can we sit down and have a cup of coffee for a moment?

Autisable has been around for nearly 9 years, promoting the discussion of autism and helping non-profits and autism bloggers share their autism journey.

This past week I received the following included via email:

Dear Joel,

It’s 5:45 am and I’m already overwhelmed.  The rain on the roof makes me want to roll-ver and go back to sleep. But I know I can’t.  I MUST be there for my son – and my charity.  You see, I run a small charity for the local autism group in my town.  I love doing that but it ABSOLUTELY DRAINS ME!  You see – I have these constant headaches revolving around:

  • My TOTAL Lack of Time to accomplish everything
  • I am constantly dealing with Insufficient Donations/No Money available
  • There are never enough people to do all that needs to be done
  • I’m concerned I’m burning out the staff I DO HAVE – because they are constantly doing multiple tasks
  • and finally, I feel overwhelmed by my Lack of Experience and Knowledge

Can you help me?

————–

This isn’t the first time I’ve received emails or even a phone call asking me for help.  I’ve been involved in either print or digital marketing for over 15 years, and during this time I’ve received countless emails and questions to help both small businesses and non-profits with their marketing efforts.  Sometimes in direct mail, but as time progressed they wanted more and more help in getting the word out about their services online.  So, I entered the digital marketing world…

Granted there was more to this email, but it came at a rather timely moment as things have been developing with Autisable to address these specific issues.

It’s difficult to help the autism community when I see so many hard-working non-profits struggle to address key issues with their marketing and communication efforts.  So, when this email arrived, it was a relief to see others in key positions echo exactly the points I’m trying to address in what we are doing at Autisable.

Our goal is to connect the autism community, all aspects of it.  To be able to do this effectively we see so many non-profits fall into various marketing pitfalls that don’t maximize their efforts to their donors and to their cause.  This article is the start of a series of blog posts that is to help address many of these issues that can be easily resolved, and it’s also to inform you that not only are we providing this information for free, but we have a team standing by to help if a non-profit is ready to take these marketing efforts to the next level.

First, let’s address the bullet points cited in the above email a little bit more…

  1. Lack of Time
    On the top of this list is lack of time. The ability to dedicate consistent effort in updating their website or social media outlets on a regular basis.  When someone is running a non-profit, they want to make sure they focus on answering emails, taking phone calls, and above all providing a service to the families and individuals they have dedicated their lives to.  Addressing marketing needs tend to take a back seat, as there are only so many hours in a day one can devote to marketing their non-profit.
  2. Insufficient Donations/No Money available
    As we know, non-profits usually operate via volunteers and usually on limited funding. The funds that they receive are dedicated to the services they provide. Marketing again takes a back seat while the focus of fulfilling the charter of their non-profit gets completed.  Whatever money is donated is usually deferred to the immediate project and/or need, and promoting one’s efforts tend to get put aside to just a few status updates on social media.
  3. Not Enough People
    Let’s face it, most small to mid-size non-profits operate mainly through volunteers.  Of those who volunteer and those who are on staff, they dedicate their time to serving the people that they feel called to serve. Taking the time to address marketing needs is not a priority as every effort is to be respectful of the time that people take to help out.
  4. On-Staff People doing Multiple Tasks
    With volunteers addressing the bulk of the load to serve, it takes the actual staff a significant amount of time to mobilize those volunteers and to focus energies on serving those families and individuals. Those who are paid are often juggling other tasks as well, with marketing being low on the priority list.  Regular and planned out content being distributed through a blog or social media outlets is an added task that may or may not be addressed consistently – for obvious reasons.
  5. Lack of Knowledge/Experience
    If a non-profit does have a website, it may have been created by a local friend or member, or if a local business is willing – they will set up something simple. Their social media outlets are managed by volunteers and/or staff members, and usually, there isn’t a marketing plan or architecture in place to easily plan an outreach online.  Let’s be honest, how many people really understand how to manage the ‘branding’ of an organization, or how to develop a content marketing calendar to help keep the process of promoting a non-profit?  Even of those that do have the ability, and the knowledge, the other challenges quickly swallow up their time.

With these pain points cited above, it’s time to look at providing appropriate solutions to help a non-profit get on track with their digital marketing efforts.

I’ve spent the better part of my career diving into each of these challenges and developing ways to help non-profits improve their marketing efforts.  Some things we’ve developed don’t cost a thing, while others have an unavoidable cost that must be addressed.

This is an issue that is very close to my heart due to the fact that it was local non-profits that provided the best information to help our family.  About the only way I can give back to make even a remote difference is to share what I know to address these issues.

Over the next several weeks I will share some insights on each pain point, along with providing some practical solutions that will help non-profits in their marketing efforts.

As I share, I will revisit this blog post and update each bullet point with a link to the blog post associated with that topic.

Feel free to provide feedback on any blog post.  After all, you may find that I missed something, or need to dive into something deeper.

You may already operate a blog, a small business or a non-profit and know that you need help in these areas.  I also want to share that we now have a team dedicated to assisting you at an extremely affordable rate.  If this interests you, feel free to check out what our Digital Marketing Team can do for your efforts, just click the button below.

Now I’m diving into this series on Autisable as many of the non-profits I want to help are associated with the Autism community.

My aim here is to help save our hard-working non-profit friends some time, improve their reach in obtaining members and donations, and to help educate in order to save them money so their funds can go to where they need to go – to the people that they serve.

 

 


 

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Joel Manzer
Founding Lead Editor at Autisable
Husband to an Amazing Wife, and Father of a Child with Autism. Founding Lead Editor of this site called Autisable. Click here to join Autisable!
Joel Manzer

Joel Manzer

Husband to an Amazing Wife, and Father of a Child with Autism. Founding Lead Editor of this site called Autisable. Click here to join Autisable!

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