7 Principles of Nonprofit Marketing

Scott Allen Creative uses these timeless principles for developing nonprofit communications that build meaningful and engaging relationships with target audiences.

#1 Perception is a Reality

How a person perceives an organization – accurate or not – is their reality. Nonprofits need to use this as an impetus for self-evaluation, change and an opportunity to transform a negative attitude into a positive understanding. Its communications need to shape public opinion.

How perception works



#2 Create your Identity 

Your brand identity is what comes to someone’s mind when your name is mentioned. This is defined by your services, messages, motivations and reputation. Every nonprofit needs to create key messages so people accurately comprehend your mission, services, and community impact.


#3 the cause is the hero

The tendency of a nonprofit is to say, “Look at me, here I am.” Instead, the organization needs to show how it’s a hero by focusing messages on its cause and those they serve. Communications need to answer: What are we fighting against? What are we fighting for? Who are we helping?



#4 one voice

The voice of the organization needs to rise above the voice of any individual. This voice needs to be expressed through every form of communication: public relations, website, print collateral, social media, events, advertising, and staff interactions.



#5 the power of storytelling

People are genuinely interested in the life stories of other people. Meaningful stories evoke an emotional bond that strengthens relationships. Every nonprofit needs to share the stories of clients and staff whose lives have been changed.



#6 advocates one and all

A brand advocate is a passionate believer in an organization. They have a powerful voice that ignites and spreads a passion for your organization’s cause. A nonprofit needs to educate and empower advocates to share your mission with others.


#7 let your heart show

Doing good comes from the heart of people motivated by belief and love. Let your heart show as you tell others of your calling to serve people.


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