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.

Promoting your Business through Print Media

With the onset of social media and online marketing, the benefits of print advertising are often overlooked. This is a harsh mistake that many business owners make. While online marketing is a great advertising tool, the benefits of print marketing should not be forgotten. In fact, a recent research study by TrueImpact (a neuromarketing firm) showed that print marketing is easier to mentally process than online marketing. It was also more likely to lead to brand recall.

So, how can you market your small business with print marketing? Here are a few outlet ideas:

1) Your Business Card

A business card is one of the most important things that a small business owner can have. This is your personal calling card that is small enough to carry around with you anywhere and that can be handed out to anyone. Why are they such an important marketing tool? Business cards are personal. There is nothing better for your business than handing out your card personally with a handshake to lead the way.

You should put a great deal of effort and thought towards your business card. It should look professional, but interesting, and should represent your personality and brand. Remember, your business card is going to be someone’s first impression of your business – and we all know what a difference first impressions can make!

2) Newspaper Advertising

Newspaper advertising isn’t for everyone, but if you are trying to target a specific audience, it can definitely be a great advertising tool. Older generations still read newspapers frequently, and those who read newspapers tend to read articles and advertisements more in depth than those who read the news online. One of the biggest benefits of newspaper advertising is that you can often choose the size of your advertisement. Advertisements can range anywhere from a small square to half or an entire page.

3) Brochures and Guides

The biggest benefit of brochures is that you can pack a lot of information into a small package. Brochures can include business photos, business information, and even stories to generate interest. They are small enough to carry around, but large enough to include all relevant information and play to your audiences interests at the same time. Many businesses will let you display your brochures in their offices or on their bulletin boards, which is a great way to attract attention. They can also be sent through the mail to a large number of households.

 When making a brochure, you may also want to include coupons or discounts. This can encourage your reader to hold onto your brochure, ensuring that they will refer back to it again at some point.

4) Magazine marketing

Like Newspaper marketing, magazine advertisements can help you target a specific demographic. There are thousands of different magazines out there, each directed at specific age groups. Almost everyone reads some type of magazine, even if just skimming through. As such, they are a great way to attract large numbers of viewers within your intended audience. In addition, magazine images tend to be higher quality than those in newspapers or mail advertisements. Their higher resolution makes it more likely that you will capture the reader’s attention and hold it for a longer period of time.

Other forms of print marketing can include banners, directory advertisements, flyers, and even postcards.

In today’s fast paced world, print advertising can often go overlooked by small business owners. Don’t make this mistake. Your best marketing campaign would be one that combines the benefits of both online marketing and print advertising together.

The Importance of Emotional Branding in Non-Profit Marketing

Non-profit organizations have a difficult goal – to gain money from donors without giving them anything physical in return. Unlike for-profit organizations who can satisfy their customers by providing them with a quality product or service, non-profit organizations have to find unique ways of satisfying their donors by making them feel proud about the service they are doing for society. As such, one of the best marketing techniques for non-profit organizations to gain and retain donors/volunteers is through emotional branding.

What is emotional branding?

“A diamond is forever” – this is a common slogan that was originally branded by the De Beers Company to sell their jewelry products.  The slogan is simple, easy to remember, and has lasted for years. How has something so simple lasted so long? Because it works! And why does it work? It appeals to the emotions of its audience.  The slogan, “a diamond is forever,” is a suggestion of everlasting love and sentiment – something that every woman desires to achieve.


This is a great example of emotional branding – a technique in marketing that refers to building campaigns and brands that appeal to the emotional needs of an audience. You see these types of campaigns everywhere, especially in non-profit marketing. Think of the ads you see on television for homeless children around the world or abused animals in shelters. These ads play to our emotions and are very successful at doing so. These ads typically result in one of two responses: either the viewer changes the channel because the advertisement is too difficult to watch, or the viewer calls and makes a donation. Generally speaking, the more you can appeal to a viewer’s emotional side, the more likely you are to gain their support through donations or volunteer work.

How do you create an emotional campaign?

Luckily for non-profit business owners, most non-profit organizations make it easy to appeal to the emotions of the audience. With that said, it is your job to push the emotions of the audience as far as you can. The more you can impact them, the more likely you are to reach your end goal. Once you have generated your first emotional response, you must demonstrate how your viewer’s contribution will make a difference. Remember, as a non-profit organization you are not providing your donor with a physical product or service, so ensuring that they feel good about their donation is an essential factor that cannot be overlooked.

Maintaining relationships

Once you have attracted a “customer," you want to ensure that they will continue to give to your cause. The only way to do this is to create lasting relationships. Again, generating an emotional response will be essential in maintaining these relationships. You have already told your donor how their contribution will make a difference – now it is time to show them. It is important for non-profit organizations to keep communication with their donors. Send regular updates, photos, or videos demonstrating how their donations are changing the world. Giving your donors that “feel good feeling” will be essential in maintaining an on-going relationship with them.


In sum, if someone believes in the goals of your organization, you are likely to gain their support. With that said, it is your goal as a business owner to make them believe in those goals. The best way to do this is through appealing to their emotional senses. People respond more to their emotional responses than they do to the content of an ad, and it is your job to evoke that emotional response.