How does non-profit marketing differ from for-profit marketing?

All businesses, irrespective of the industry they’re in, have a set objective of earning revenues. Based on this definition, you have either a non-profit or a for-profit business.

Revenue generation is the difference between nonprofit and for-profit companies.

One tries to earn many by selling a tangible product or service, and the other does the same by attracting donors to a cause. Both types of organizations need revenue, and for that to happen, they need to build a marketing strategy that is effective and fool-proof. 

You’ve heard this saying a million times before – that your marketing approaches have to stand. Industry, budget, size of the company, and complexity of the product or service all play a role in the marketing mixes for both kinds of companies. Keep reading to know more about the difference between nonprofit and for-profit organizations.

Key differences between for-profit and non-profit marketing are:

Revenue generation

The approaches taken to generate revenues are very different. The company that is planning out for-profit marketing steps will first focus on the consumers that they address. Their end consumer is one that goes to purchase services or products from that company either in a store or online.

Companies that are planning out their next non-profit marketing moves will need to approach individuals or other organizations for donations. So, in this instance, the buyer is giving something instead of buying something. 

So, who has it easier? Many would argue that it’s the for-profits who have less work to do when it comes to marketing. Their consumers get a physical item in return for their cash. Non-profits have much more to do when attracting their donors. They sell emotional concepts that result in donations which aren’t easy to do but are worth all the extra efforts. Their approach involves building a connection with donors if they are to get their benefits of non-profit marketing quickly.

Campaign methods

A non-profit marketing campaign is built around a final objective called a ‘point of sale’. This type of campaign involves adding a small amount as a donation when buyers make their purchase at a cash register. The second kind of marketing campaign merges volunteer participation efforts with fundraising.

Here campaigns may be connected to trending current events. The strategy aims at encouraging the change in consumer action to drive awareness. The third kind of campaign involves partnering with a corporate donor who encourages their consumers to support the non-profit’s activities.

The for-profit marketing involves building awareness around a product or a service that benefits the end-user. The consumer pays for that product or service and reaps the benefits out of it.

Budgeting costs

The not for profits needs to develop a campaign to generate capital or funds for projects. All of their campaigns are based on these funds and they often need to market at lower costs. In many cases, they approach multiple sources toacquire funds for a single campaign. The non-profit marketingis funded byprivate donations from sources likegovernment grants, individuals, crowdfunding, andcorporate sponsorships.   

The costs and final budget for for-profit marketing are dependent on many factors like expenses, rents, previous sales profits, and the mark-up on each unit that is sold. They often have a consistent channel of funding for all their operations and projects. In other cases, they may even fund marketing and production via local investors, venture capitalists, and bank loans.

Reaching audiences

Afor-profit marketing goes out to a defined target audience as opposed to that of anon-profit. Here, the company might reach out to and establish a connection with the consumers for purchasing their products/services. It is like a feedback loop, where the company increase revenues earned and expand its offerings as well to new audiences.

A non-profit marketing campaign doesn’t have a direct service or product and approaches audiences with a message about some actions, services, or products. The audience group that they are supposed to reach is more diverse and includes the general public, donors, volunteers, and corporate sponsors.     

Image Source:

How do both types of companies benefit from marketing?

Benefits of for-profit marketing strategies

Let’s start with how corporates work in this aspect. Companies that sell a product or service set up their for-profit marketing plans to fulfill certain parameters that would help them to sell that product or service faster. One of the main benefits of profit marketing includes increasing brand visibility; this is where their brand messaging is promoted on appropriate channels to reach consumers.

Once this first objective is achieved, they move on working to acquire the other benefits of profit marketing. This is to establish and develop a lasting relationship with their audience by giving them actionable messages or information that will encourage consumers to come back to your brand’s solutions. Such efforts can result in more positive outcomes like improving brand reputation, creating trust in your brand.

Benefits of non-profit marketing strategies

Keep a steady flow of investments

On the other hand, the value that non-profit marketing strategies create is marketing a cause to society. In order to move ahead, the non-profit organization needs to rely on their internal resources for serving a social purpose that’s charitable in nature; it doesn’t lean towards building profits for themselves. One way to keep a steady flow of investments is to use online platforms and use this as a steady flow of capital. The benefits of non-profit marketing this way are immense as non-profits use the internet to reach a wider group of investors.

Developing relationships with donors

Efficient marketing tactics include activities that involve growth, prosperity, and funding. Out of all the other benefits of non-profit marketing that they do have, developing relationships with donors is the one that requires the most effort. This part of their work is how non-profits distinguish their marketing efforts from that of a for-profit company. What they are doing is developing big donors in place of recruiting employees that have the same vision. One marketing similarity that they do share with for-profits is to target a particular audience, and this forms other advantages of non-profit marketing strategies.  

The aim is to develop an image so they can advertise to others, use it to help their donors identify with them, and make the most of non-profit marketing this way. Just like the for-profits, they too need to attract new donors, have a brand to promote and how they see themselves as an organization, their branding, and promotion of the same is what makes a difference. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *