While I’ve spent much of my career working in the non-profit world, most of friends, family, and colleagues don’t make the connection that I have. This is probably due to the fact that, while many healthcare organizations and health insurance plans are non-profit/not-for-profit organizations, their size and extensive advertising campaigns which I’ve overseen cause others to think of them as for-profit organizations.
In light of the above, despite volunteer work with non-profit organizations like “Home for Little Wanderers” and “Relay for Life”, many few me as a new kid on the block as far as developing and executing marketing and fundraising campaigns goes. Luckily, I’ve had the good fortune of working with organizations that the general public readily views as non-profits on both a paid and pro bono basis — organizations that provide social services and funding to vulnerable populations. And, what I’ve learned from this is that many of the marketing and communications tricks that work well for for-profit organizations also work well for non-profits — whether they are looking to create awareness of their organization or raise funds for their organizations.
A prime example is online advertising, specifically paid search and display advertising. I worked with a well-known Boston non-profit to create an ad campaign to support a holiday fundraising event, and am now managing it. Because individuals are equally interested, if not more interested, in researching both fun things to and charitable things to do, as they are researching business matters, the search and display ads are receiving a pleasing number of “click-thrus”, which my client and I hope and anticipate will lead to increased ticket sales from last year to this year.
I’m really hoping that more non-profits, particularly those that are indeed viewed as charitable/cause organizations, will be interested in speaking with me about the cost-effective and budget-maximizing activity that is online advertising. My last blog post spoke to “Missed Opportunity”. I believe for a non-profit to dismiss the possibility of employing online advertising to promote their organizations and/or raise funds is another “Missed Opportunity”.