A good marketing program is one that supports the fundraising goals of your organization, and
Marketing and fundraising are both important elements in the success of any nonprofit
organization. In fact, they're so intertwined that they almost seem like one and the same thing.
But what exactly is the difference between marketing and fundraising?
Marketing and fundraising are two sides of the same coin.
The problem is, many people don't realize how similar fundraising and marketing are. Both are
about creating relationships with your audience and building emotional connections with them
that lead them to support your cause.
Marketing is about raising awareness; fundraising is about raising money.
Marketing is about telling your story and telling it well; fundraising is about asking for support
and asking well.
Why is marketing important to fundraising?
Marketing helps with fundraising because it makes people aware of what you do and why they
should care about it. Furthermore, it allows potential donors to learn more about your
organization and what makes it different from others doing the same type of work.
This increases the likelihood that people will give freely when asked — or even when not asked!
It's no secret that if you want to raise more money, you need to market your organization well.
Marketing may yield better results if nonprofit leaders were to understand its role and not
approach it as an afterthought.
More ways marketing can help fundraising...
Marketing tells people what their contribution can accomplish, which makes them more likely to
give because they know how their donation will make a difference in the world.
The best marketing campaigns show people exactly how their money will impact their
community — whether it's through direct services or through advocacy work that keeps an issue
on the radar of legislators or other policy makers who affect change on behalf of the cause. This
helps build trust between donors and nonprofits because it shows how donations are being
used for good causes and not just lining someone's pocketbook (which unfortunately happens
Marketing will help you retain existing donors by creating and maintaining a high-quality donor
relationship that builds trust. And when it comes time to ask for money, you'll have the
confidence that comes from knowing those relationships are strong enough to withstand a
request for support.
Can you do marketing without fundraising?
Absolutely. A nonprofit may focus on many marketing objectives that do not directly relate to
receiving funds. A marketing goal may be to improve online engagement, raise awareness, or
become a go-to resource in the community.
Can you do fundraising without marketing?
Possibly. We should ask, is fundraising without marketing sustainable in the modern age? If the
goal is to reach a broad audience, then it is not sustainable. No matter what you are trying to
fund, there should always be a way to reach out to a broader audience and make them aware of
what you're trying to do.
Good marketing is good fundraising and good fundraising is good marketing. In other words, the
two are interrelated. And a well-executed marketing strategy can go a long way in attracting
more donors and volunteers to your organization. Nonprofit leaders should commit to aligning
their marketing and fundraising efforts to see more results online and offline.
Rochelle Edrington is a client attraction consultant and owner of Vpro Marketing & Sales. She transforms meaningless marketing efforts into robust revenue-generating strategies for Nonprofit founders, leaders, and consultants who want to show up and shine online while they increase their bottom line. As a certified digital marketing specialist she uses her 10+ years of marketing & sales experience to transform inconsistent marketing endeavors into an attraction system that aligns marketing, content, and outreach efforts to connect with more supporters online.