Nonprofit Marketing vs. Organizational Goals—A Critical Distinction

Flickr: James JordanClarity here is a must for right-things, right-now marketing that advances your issue or cause a.s.a.p.

Goals are what you want to achieve. Complete the sentence: “We want to . . .”

Organizational goals (a max of three at a time) are the steps (look one year ahead) that will take your organization to closer to achieving your mission.

Marketing goals (three tops here too, for that same year) are the best ways to focus your marketing (message development, audience research, e.g. the whole enchilada, not just the communications part) to achieve those organization goals.

Here are a few examples…

Better Choices
Offers new alternative sentencing options for domestic offenders.

  • Organizational Goals
    • Reduce family conflict and violence in our community = healthier and happier families
    • Increase participation in our relationship and parenting classes and counseling programs
  •  Marketing Goals (to activate influencers such as attorneys, judges and support teams)
    • Increase understanding of our programs and approach, and their value versus traditional sentencing
    • Train legal community in talking  about our services in ways that clients, etc. can understand.

Bike Walk USA—A new advocacy organization

  •  Organizational Goal: Improve the safety of bicyclists and walkers in local communities
  • Marketing Goals
    • Seed partnerships with other organizations already working on community safety and other issues at the local level
    • Train community leaders on how safer biking and walking can improve community health and the environment
    • Motivate community activism in support of safer biking and walking.

Answer These 3 Questions To Define Your Most Productive Marketing Goals

  1. How can marketing be put to work to achieve your organizational goal(s)?
  2. What are your big-picture goals for the long-term (that’s one year right now, in our fast-changing world)?
    Shorter-term “goals” are more likely to be benchmarks that indicate you’re on the right path (or not).
  3. What will you achieve through your marketing work—“sell” a program, bring in a group of new donors, increase your volunteer retention rate or build a corps of citizen advocates to rally support for new legislation?

P.S. Get this practical, doable marketing plan template to take you from goals to work plan, action and impact.

Nancy Schwartz in Planning and Evaluation | 5 comments
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