The Social Observer

The Social Media Marketing Blog by SNHU Students

Discovering What Profit is for a Nonprofit

 For most people reading this the life lessons of how badly we need money have been taught to us.  We need money to pay for a car, gas, school, textbooks, rent, bills, clothes and everything else you could think of and maybe come to need.  The bright side to this fact of life is that organizations, businesses, governments and basically everyone and everything needs money to function.  The same holds true for nonprofit organizations.  Before we can delve into what qualifies as a profit for a nonprofit it is important to go over what a nonprofit is and does.

What is a nonprofit organization?

A nonprofit organization is an organization that is not driven by creating a profit, is tax-exempt and serves the public interest. Nonprofit organizations are either charitable, educational, scientific, religious or literary in their mission to serve the public interest. Having a strong mission statement, goals for the organization and the project on which they are currently focusing on is important because this gives a purpose to the organization. In other words, people can look at a nonprofit’s mission statement and see what they are basing their efforts towards accomplishing and the potential for what can be accdollar signomplished.  [1].

What about the money?

So here is the money question: how do nonprofits earn their money? Well, donations. Since these organizations are meant to serve public interests it makes sense that they would be funded by the public. These donations can come from individuals, other organization and in the form of grants.  This is when having a well established mission statement comes in handy.  If you know what your organization does, the results that are expected to be achieved and a plan as to how to get the desired results then donors will feel much more comfortable donating.  While asking for and getting donations can seem like a difficult and scary situation just remember the cause you are fighting for and why you are fundraising.  Also, and especially if you are one – call upon your marketing skills! [2]

Be the marketer…the money will come!

If you are the leader of your nonprofit organization you want to be able to bring in the most money possible as a result of your efforts. So what do you do? You do some well-planned target marketing. To do this it is necessary to evaluate the type of organization that is trying to earn funds, the goals and then think about the people, the organizations and people who are members of or already donate to similar organizations. TARGET THEM! As any marketer knows the content you use and your passion for the way you deliver your message makes a world of a difference.  Use your creativity, the knowledge you have gathered about your target market and create events, donating opportunities and activities that will engage your target donators and get them to want to donate to your cause!!  To prove it, let’s take a look at some successful nonprofit organizations that have managed to raise money and complete their mission [3].

Example: American Red Cross

At some point in time you may have come across the American Red Cross either in the form of a commercial, been asked to donate blood and/or money to their cause.  Or you may have been at school at the same time as a blood drive was being held and maybe, just maybe, you donated blood.  While it may be best known for blood collecting, the American Red Cross is known for other things as well.

The mission of the organization is: the American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.  With that being said, they are present during many different types of situations such as: disaster relief, supporting America’s military families, health and safety training and education, lifesaving blood and international services.  Think back to a natural disaster – a tsunami, hurricane Katrina, hurricane Sandy, an earthquake somewhere around the world and then Google whether or not the American Red Cross had a part in the recovery process. You might just be surprised to find out how much work they did to help an area in need recover and get back on track to life pre-disaster [4].

Example: Rocky Mountain National Park

This organization is dedicated to preserving a large expanse of land that has

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park

natural and cultural resources. It is home to animals, historic events, mountains, breathtaking views and different types of trees. In order to truly understand why someone would want to visit and preserve Rocky Mountain National Park it is necessary to visit it and/or look at pictures for it.   Luckily, the park is open to the public so that they can experience the mountains, the 300+ miles of hiking routes, the thrill of seeing animals in the wild and of course breath in the fresh air.  To learn more about the park or even plan a trip there this is the website: http://rockymountainnationalpark.com/ [5].  If you were wondering how long a nonprofit organization can last, Rocky Mountain National Park is having its 100th anniversary this year!

The best part is that if all these activities are being done by visitors to the park chances are they are taking pictures and most likely uploading them onto social media.  For anyone of you that participate on social media you know this is good news!

So what does this all mean?

At this point we have gone over what a nonprofit organization is, some examples of nonprofits and some steps to marketing fundraising efforts. However, let’s go over one more thing: incorporating social media into a nonprofit’s fundraising strategy.  While it is a difficult and crucial task it is important to remember that donors need their money to pay for things other than donations.

Social Media Helps Nonprofits Profit!

Enjoying Bear Lake (Compliments of Maria Macias)

Enjoying Bear Lake (Compliments of Maria Macias)

Once this fact of life is recognized nonprofit marketers have to be able to convince the public that their organizations are worth donating to once in a while.  How do we do this? By sharing with the public great content for social media!
Social media, as the name suggests is social so nonprofits should take the time to be social and take advantage of the tool’s strength to connect with their target market.  Participation on social media can allow a nonprofit organization to share pictures of people at events, activities, fundraisers sponsored by the organization.  Then, nonprofits can share stories of volunteers being part of the hard work that goes into completing the organization’s mission statement [6].

As it does with actual businesses, social media can add the humanity factor back into the mindset of a potential donor.  Donors can see what their money leads to and have the ability to get a good luck at the hard work that nonprofits do to make sure funds are spent as effectively as possible.  In other words, nonprofits have a genuine opportunity to share their own stories, their volunteer’s stories and even the stories of people and communities they help.  Why is this important? It shows donors what they are paying for – the potential for non-profits to succeed with their missions [7].  This is the profit for a nonprofit.

Category: Advanced Tactics