Marketing For Charities

Do Charities Need To Market

In the UK there are over 200,000 registered charities spanning a wide range of causes, some of the more popular being:

  • Cancer research and care
  • Animal welfare
  • Child protection
  • Religion
  • Global poverty
  • Water purification

Most of the main charities we know of (Children in Need, Oxfam, RSPCA, McMillan) spend vast sums on their marketing. But why, do charities need to use marketing?

Indeed they do, without marketing, they would not have awareness for their cause and not get donations in. There is an element of competition also, as one would expect with 200,000 charities competing for donations each wanting their share of the countries giving.

The controversial issue is that donors money is being used by charities to market their cause rather than going to the cause; however without marketing, there would be no donations, a difficult balance to get right. homeless charity essex

What Kind Of Marketing Do Charities Use

There are a wide range of marketing tools that charities will make use of:

  • Websites – Most charities have functioning websites that are fresh, modern and need updated regularly. This needs to be paid for either by outsourcing to a design agency, or by paying someone to do the design and development work internally.
  • Internet Marketing – Most charities use paid advert on search engines (PPC) to ensure they can attract donor’s. These adverts need funded as the click cost goes to the search engines.
  • TV Advertising – Most of the big charities (McMillan, Oxfam, RSPCA etc.) use TV advertising to gain awareness and push for donations. These need to be planned, developed and run on a campaign (something that is very expensive). There is normally an upturn in charity TV adverts around Christmas to encourage charity.
  • Leaflet Drops – Many charities do leaflet drops to domestic houses, which needs to be arranged (leaflets designed, printed and paying people to distribute them).
  • PR – Public relations plays an important roll for many charities, as it is fairly low cost (in comparison to other traditional forms of marketing).
  • Brochures – Most charities have printed materials, flyers, posters etc. that all need to be designed and produced.
  • Social Media – This is a new area for charities but one that many are getting involved in; however social media does need time and work in order to be effective. Something charities either need volunteers for, paid staff or outsourcing.
  • Sponsorship Events – Many charities use sponsorship to gain exposure (McMillan was involved in sponsoring the London Marathon) which although does create awareness, does cost a lot of money.
  • Promotional Gifts – Most charities use promotional pens, post it notes, cups t-shirts etc. to raise awareness of the charity, again all costing money do produce and distribute.

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