The World of Not-for-Profit Marketing

May 13, 2016

Guest Article By: Jackie Heintzman


Whether it’s creating a national multi-media campaign for Coca Cola or a citywide social media campaign for a non-profit organization, all marketing has a similar end goal and similar difficulties. How do we reach our desired target market? How do we engage with our target market? And most importantly, how do we do all of this within the given budget. The budget is one of two main differences between non-profit marketing and for-profit marketing. The other difference being one is to encourage consumers to buy and the other is to encourage consumers to give.

jackie 1


The key to running a successful non-profit organization is to really utilize every dollar in the most efficient way possible. Since the majority of the money coming into this industry is from donations, grants and sponsorships it is important to spend effectively. Which means that the marketing and advertising budget is often quite low, making the creative team a crucial part in the success of an organization. Social media is a great way to gain awareness for the cause and to engage people and communities in conversation.

jackie 2

For large organizations such as Greenpeace, Canadian Cancer Society and WWF, it is much easier for them to have huge multi-media campaigns because they receive donations from all over the country, as well as large companies. When starting a non-profit organization from scratch however, it is a totally different story. For example, Music Can Heal is a non-profit organization founded in 2011 and has been slowly but surely growing over the last few years. The organization believes in healing through live music and provides both bedside and concert live music in hospitals and care homes. Being a marketing intern for this company has taught me that sponsorship and grant requests are really the starting point for any organization. Any printing costs for events, event space, musician fees and so much more add up quicker than you could imagine!



Once you’ve got a foot in the door of the world of sponsorship and grants the next step is to really cojackie 3nnect to your audience. Of course this is important in any type of marketing whether it be through humour, emotional appeal or just being relatable, it is definitely the way to grab your demographics’ attention. This is especially important for non-profit organizations and in most cases appealing to emotion is what drives the message home and brjackie 4ings in the donations and support.

To be a successful non-profit organization you must be ready to put all of your effort and heart into the cause. It can be a tedious task to get the sponsors and grants you need to manage the costs of the organization but there is nothing more fulfilling than dedicating your life to something that benefits other people. The marketing and advertising for this industry is tricky, you must have all your creative juices flowing in order to really engage consumers on a low budget but remember that the ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who can.


Jackie Heintzman is an energetic individual with a passion for life and all the world has to offer. She is a recent graduate of Humber’s Advertising and Marketing Program and plans to use the skills and knowledge learned to make an impact on the world. She is continuing her studies at University of Waterloo with a focus on environmental issues but hopes to one day combine the two degrees.

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Let us know what you think!