You are a keenly aware marketing professional with more than 15 years experience. You've worked on everything from Coca-Cola to Apple Computers on both the client and product side of the aisle. Your bio belongs on the cover of BrandWeek. And now, your kids' school (or church group, or local charity) needs help with marketing so they've called you in as a volunteer.
They (and you, by the way) figure that you can market a nonprofit the same way you market a for-profit product or service.
But you can't. Nonprofits are completely unlike for-profits, and the way they need to be marketed is subtly and powerfully different.
After years of experience with nonprofits that range from international relief agencies and multi-billion dollar foundations to local social service agencies and start-up private schools, I'm not haughty enough to label the following as "Immutable Laws" of nonprofit marketing - but I am willing to call it a new marketing paradigm. In my professional career, we call it Passion MarketingTM.
The trademark is as much a testament to our foolishness as it is to our social consciousness. Who else would work to create a new sub-specialty in the marketing arena in the low-paying, unglamorous, nonprofit sector?
The principles of Passion Marketing are as follows:
Principle #1: Cause
All marketing paradigms are built from the bottom-line up.
In for-profit marketing, that bottom-line is profit. In the nonprofit world, however, the bottom-line is the cause.