August 17, 2017


Guest blog by Allison Mattson

You want to showcase your cause and make your nonprofit stand out. But how do you begin? Build a recognizable brand voice to give you greater credibility and trust with people interested in your cause. Here are a few principles to make your nonprofit stand out. 

  1. Determine your language
    Consistent messaging is vital to communicating with your audience. Look at mission and vision statements. Do they need refreshing? Think about key phrases you use with donors or stakeholders. How well are they working? Make sure the key phrases align with the mission. 

  2. Make storytelling your best friend
    Research has found focusing on the need of one person rather than a large group is an effective way to encourage donations. People are more likely to donate because of emotional reasons than practical reasons. Think of how GoFundMe works—you write a story to meet a need. Remind your audience their action will make a difference in the lives of an individual. Host live events, create an e-newsletter or publish blogs to update your audience about the impact donations can make.

  3. Encourage user-generated content to make advocates
    Find fun ways to get your audience talking: host a photo competition on social media (like we did at JayRay!), offer a giveaway with a collaborator, or encourage followers to comment on posts and share. 

  4. Build a community through connecting
    Remember, you’re marketing to real people on behalf of real people. Tip: Follow nonprofits serving similar needs and stay engaged with what they’re doing. Cause-based nonprofits share a focus—so why not connect and partner? 

  5. Prioritize and conquer
    It’s better to start small and produce quality work. If social media is overwhelming, pick just one or two social media accounts to use. Next, develop a social media plan. 

What is your go-to example for excellent nonprofit marketing? Tweet us at @JayRayAdsPR

Author Note: Allison is not only an intern at JayRay, but the Chief Marketing Officer at Style Her Empowered (SHE), a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to women in Togo, Africa through sewing training programs.