Today, ‘Not for Profit’ organisations (NFP’S) are seeing great change in the way they operate and their funding – both in opportunities, monitoring and assessment. With funding linked to outcomes or result based and participating in a highly competitive market place, the market that NFP’s have previously known and controlled are now unrestricted.

Clients are empowered to make choices and in order to successfully operate and grow in this environment, NFP’s need to review and reconsider their previous strategies.

Historically NFP’s have had little need to actively market their organisation, however this is no longer the case and marketing has become a vital component to their survival. It would seem that NFP’s will now need to enter the commercial world, become very strategic and begin to operate as a business.

With this in mind, the importance of developing a marketing plan cannot be underestimated and it should be an integral part of any organisation’s business/strategic plan.

The strategic marketing plan is a detailed assessment of the organisation’s current position and lays out the appropriate steps that are required for the organisation to achieve its objectives. In other words it methodically plots a pathway to where you want to be in the future. It is a holistic approach and has both an internal and external effect. Internally by inclusiveness of people in the organisation and externally by sending the organisation’s message to the funding body, stakeholders and the general community.

Marketing is not a dirty word – it is a necessary discipline in a crowded, competitive world. Your community needs to know, who you are; what you stand for; and why you exist – it is an obligation, because if we do not deliver our message effectively the people we serve can rightly say – “you could have helped me, but I did not know you.”