As a director or marketer for a non-profit, you feel obligated to carefully manage each penny spent, ensuring that as much money as possible goes to programs and the people you are trying to help.
As such, you walk the fine line of finding the most economical, but also most effective way of attracting those elusive funds needed to support your agency’s efforts.
While it’s easy to fall in love with the low cost of electronic media, it’s also important to understand how print marketing still can raise your non-profit’s profile and attract more dollars. Let’s look as some examples:
Direct mail vs. email
For a period of time, marketers were predicting the death of direct mail as an effective marketing tool because of the low cost, ease and wide outreach of email. But those predictions never panned out for a couple of reasons:
• Email proliferated so greatly that people became overwhelmed and adopted the habit of skimming through their email folders, eliminating all but the most crucial pieces for their jobs. A 2017 study by U.K. marketing company Proactive found the average lifespan of an email is 2 seconds, compared to 17 days for a piece of mail. In fact, 70 percent of respondents said they receive too many emails.
• On the opposite end of the spectrum, the junk mail that used to litter postal boxes has decreased greatly, allowing your direct mail pieces to stand out, almost like a special treat. The Proactive study found 75 percent of respondents remembered a brand from direct mail, as opposed to 44 percent who received an email. Also, technological advances allow you to easily create more personal direct mail, further enhancing your appeal.
Therefore, direct mail pieces such as postcards, brochures, appeal letters on professional letterhead, etc. should remain an important part of your campaigns, but still you can look for the most economical ways to produce these items.
Boost Your Agency’s Image
Whether you are well-established in your community or just getting started, you also need to present a professional face to potential donors.
As you seek corporate sponsors or foundation funding, you must represent your agency with polished materials. Your sponsors expect to feel proud of the agency they are associating their name with, which can be achieved through high-quality newsletters, business cards and other marketing materials.
Advances in large-format printing also allow non-profits to create professional posters, window clings for offices, even retractable displays for when you attend special events in your community. When corporate sponsors agree to underwrite the production of such materials, you gain not only the benefit of their funds, but you also the benefit of their well-respected name appearing on your marketing materials.
You also should represent yourself and your staff well when making those community presentations with branded apparel. Whether it’s t-shirts for a fund-raising event, polos for staff or specialty items such as hoodies or aprons, a standard, quality product will help sell your agency to potential donors.
Budgeting for Non-Profit Marketing
You’ll become more confident in your decisions about printed materials when you establish and work within a marketing budget for your non-profit. Many non-profits establish a marketing budget at 9 percent to 12 percent of their overall budget, depending upon the type of non-profit. Advocacy non-profits frequently run higher as their mission requires more print and outreach materials.
Additionally, printing costs can be counted in your program budget as brochures, etc. often are a required component of a specific program, rather than just a strictly marketing item. However, it’s a good idea for the marketing department to control the production and printing of such items as they still need to reflect the high-quality and professionalism of your organization.
Printleaf would love to work with your non-profit to support the superior-quality production of your printed materials and advise you on how to meet your printing needs within your marketing budget. We also recognize how valuable time is for a non-profit agency, so your turnout on receiving printed materials is counted in days, not weeks or months.
Last modified: November 2, 2017