Why Profit and Non-Profit Marketing are not so different after-all

If you Google “Profit vs. Non-Profit marketing,” you will probably find many websites claiming that they are two completely different types of campaign. This is simply not the case. While profit and non-profit companies are very different in many ways, their goals when it comes to marketing are very similar.  Let’s take a closer look:

Goal: Making a sale

The main difference between profit and non-profit organizations are their end goals. For-profit organizations are generally looking to make a sale and generate a profit. Non-profits are also interested in generating revenue, but instead of these revenues going to individual people they are used in ways that work towards the benefit of society as a whole. With these differences in mind, both types of organizations still use marketing in the same way - attempting to raise money and generate profits.

Goal: Creating relationships

While profit and non-profit organizations each have different end goals, both types use marketing as a way to gain attention and (hopefully) raise money. The best way to do this is through creating trusting and long lasting relationships. Both types of organization can use similar methods of marketing to do this. Social media marketing, online communities, and in-person demonstrations/talks are all great ways to market your organization and develop more personal relationships with your “customers.” If managed properly and regularly, these personal relationships can lead to long-lasting clients for both profit and non-profit businesses.

Goal: Connecting Emotionally

For any business, the best way to attract a customer is to connect with them on an emotional level. If you can appeal to someone’s emotions, you are much more likely to make a sale. This is called “emotional branding” and is often used by many large and small businesses alike. Both profit and non-profit organizations can benefit from emotional branding, but it is specifically important for non-profit organizations. Most non-profits often raise money through donations, and people don’t tend to give up their money easily. Emotional responses allow us to connect with one another – and if you can connect your “customer” with your purpose, you are much more likely to achieve your end goal of raising a profit for societal benefit. Luckily, this is a much easier task for non-profit organizations than it is for profit organizations because most social causes generate an emotional response on their own. With that said, it is your job as the organizational leader to push that emotional response as far as you can and lead your viewer to make a final commitment.  

Goal: Customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is the key to any long-lasting relationship. The way in which profit and non-profit organizations achieve this goal is very different. For-profit organizations may create this relationship through providing a quality product or service. Non-profit organizations can do this by showing donors how their donations are making a difference. In both business types, customer communication is essential. Emails, social media interactions, and regular updates are all essential forms of marketing that can help you to keep your customers interested and involved.

As you can see, strategies for profit and non-profit marketing are really not that different after all. Even though money is being raised for two different purposes, the end goal of both types of organizations is to generate a revenue. Regardless of what type of business you run, the best way to raise funds is by creating lasting relationships, connecting with your audience on an emotional level, and providing your clients with customer satisfaction. If you can do this, than you are on a good path towards successfully marketing your non-profit organization.