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The Only Nonprofit Marketing Plan Template You Need

Starting from scratch can be tricky. That's why we gathered some resources to help you write the perfect nonprofit marketing plan.

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It takes a lot to push a marketing plan and budget through the nonprofit leadership pipeline.

Prior to joining the team at SimpleTexting, I worked at a nonprofit. It was intimidating to start these kinds of proposals from scratch. That’s why a template can be an easy way to organize your ideas in a marketable way.

In this article, in addition to providing a marketing plan template, we’ll share some quick ways you can incorporate texting into the mix to give your marketing efforts a leg up against the competition!

Nonprofit Marketing Plan Template

Every good nonprofit marketing plan consists of three elements:

  1. An analysis of your target donors
  2. Your plan to reach them with your messaging/materials
  3. Tactics to turn donors into longtime supporters

Determining Target Donors

Not sure where to begin when it comes to your target donor audience? An excellent first step is to outline your organization’s mission and vision.

Mission statements are the core of what drives and defines your organization. For example: “Organization XYZ exists to strengthen children, families, and communities through healing, teaching, and play.”

Alternatively, vision statements are your projection of what your impact looks like should your nonprofit achieve all of your goals. St. Jude’s vision statement, for example, is “to accelerate progress against catastrophic disease at a global level”.

From here, you can develop a profile of what your ideal donor looks like based on these ideals. What kind of person stands for these causes and where would they be found?

How to Reach Your Target Donors

What makes your mission different from the rest—why is it worth your target donor’s time, treasures, and talents?

The second phase of your marketing plan is to determine what your nonprofit’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is.

Many folks refer to this phase as a SWOT analysis, which stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. 

However, it’s most important to focus on the strengths and opportunities portions of the analysis for the sake of a marketing template.

The process of finding how you’ll reach your target donors through your strengths and opportunities is best explained through an example.

Let’s say you’re an animal shelter appealing to animal loves as your target donors. Having adorable puppies that tug on your heartstrings is a strength when it comes to your marketing strategy. Ergo, you may want to focus on events-based fundraising where you can allow people to interact with the pets to appeal to their philanthropic side!

Let’s take it a step further and say you’re the only no-kill shelter in your county.


There is your USP that turns a good fundraising event into a great one. That’s what sets you apart and makes your nonprofit worthy of their donation.

Achieving Donor Retention

Last but not least, you need to determine the tactics you’ll use to leverage your momentum from the USP and turn it into years of support from your donors.

Instead of just asking what makes your nonprofit unique, you now need to ask what makes your nonprofit worthy of support over time?

Some common tactics for donor retention include:

  • Pledges
  • Annual reports
  • Impact stories
  • Regular donor thank you’s
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising events
  • Year-end appeals
  • Regular social media presence
  • Open houses
  • Lunch and learns

You want to be sure your tactics align with everything you’ve gathered about your donors so far. As a result, your final template will end up looking a little something like this:

Organization name:

Mission: 1-2 sentences

Vision: 1-2 sentences

Donor Profile:

  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Annual income
  • Education level
  • Annual giving level

USP: One concrete statement following the format: Because [organization] does/has [USP] we are the best. 

Donor Tactics: [combine 5-10 different strategies]

How to Work SMS Into Your Donor Tactics

It’s no big secret that we’re a big fan of incorporating SMS into marketing plans. But we’re not alone.

We work with thousands of nonprofits who use texting to connect with donors more frequently and on a more personal level.

Some quick facts about SMS:

  • Text messages have an average read rate of 98% and around a 40% response rate.
  • 82% of text messages are read within 5 minutes, but consumers only open 1 in 4 emails they receive.
  • 78% of US consumers say receiving a text message is the fastest way to reach them for important service updates and purchases.
  • 75% of people would like to have offers sent to them via SMS.
  • In business, SMS response rates are 295% higher than the rates from the phone calls.

For these reasons, texting is an ideal message delivery system for some of the donor retention tactics we mentioned above.

For example:

  • Schedule pledge reminder texts to reduce the number of defaults
  • Text out links to impact stories and use MMS to include compelling images
  • Share feel good “just because” thank you texts with donors just to let them know you’re thinking of them
  • Send invites and collect RSVPs for open houses and lunch and learns
  • And so much more!

It’s easy to get started, and we happen to offer a 15% discount on monthly plans to all 501c3 organizations.

Learn more about getting started here!

Meghan Tocci
Meghan Tocci

Meghan Tocci is a content strategist at SimpleTexting. When she’s not writing about SaaS, she’s trying to teach her puppy Lou how to code. So far, not so good.

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