20 Ways to Make Your Nonprofit Stand Out

This great list of questions to ask yourselves as you shape your nonprofit’s messages was written by Kathy Widenhouse, a freelance writer for nonprofits, and featured in the always useful Writing for Nonprofits e-newsletter.

Use these questions to shape a list of attributes that make your organization unique, then focus on the one or two that are most compelling. Features those consistently in headlines and other high-profile marketing messages, and weave the balance into body copy. Here’s Kathy’s list:

Distinguishing your nonprofit from the competition

1. How is the organization different from its closest competition or colleague organization?

2. What additional services does your organization provide that others don’t?

3. What services are more effective through your organization?

4. Does your organization offer a competitive price or greater value?

5. How does your service excel in quality (from your audiences’perspective)?

6. What specific or timely event(s) does your nonprofit address?

Demographic Differentiators

7. Within a certain geographic radius, are you the only/among the few organizations that offer your type of product or service?

8. What particular age group, gender or income level finds appeal in your services?

9. What secondary demographic group finds appeal in your services?


10. How do your staff members’ skills make your organization more attractive?

11. How do your staff members’ unique training and experience enhance your nonprofit?

12. How does their passion or excitement for your group’s mission augment your effectiveness?

Track Record 

13. How long have you successfully been in business?

14. If you are new, how do you explain your success in such a short time?

15. How do your outcomes measurements look?

16. What are your donor satisfaction statistics?

17. What do clients and donors say about your organization?


18. Is your mission or are the services you provide visionary in any way?

19. Do you find that your services are not duplicated elsewhere–or only in a cursory way?

20. Do you repeatedly develop new approaches and services to stay ahead?

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