Island Savings

Marketing for Non-Profits

As a non-profit organization you have to market yourself to two different groups: the people who benefit from the services that you're providing and the people who want to support those services.


Introducing yourself to the community

Once you’ve officially opened the doors on your new non-profit organization, you’re ready to introduce yourself to the communities where you’re planning to make a difference. You can do this through advertising, online tactics and word-of-mouth.

You also need to get the word out to the people in the community who would like to support your cause, either by volunteering their time or by donating money, building space, materials, etc.


Avoid viewing advertising simply as fundraising—marketing your non-profit is more than just trying to get the money to roll in, you’re communicating your reason for existence and your plan for making a difference.

Advertising considerations

  • You’ll need to carefully consider how your target audience gets new information about organization’s such as yours—for example, if you’re targeting homeless individuals, they may not have a computer to view your website information.
  • Word-of-mouth is an inexpensive and easy way to get information out to your target audience. Information will be spread quickly throughout the community to the people who can use your aid.
  • Posters and local newspaper advertising may be effective at reaching your target audience as well.
  • Take advantage of free advertising—in some cases, a publication may provide advertising space to you organization free of charge.


Consider posting the results of your fund-raising efforts and the impact that those funds have had in the community—people like to know how their donations of time and money have helped further the cause.

Using social media to spread the word

  • Social marketing is seen as a reliable source of peer-to-peer or consumer-generated information.
  • Unlike conventional marketing tactics, social marketing is really based on bringing about social change; making it the perfect medium for non-profits marketing a cause.
  • If you use social marketing mediums to build your non-profit following, it’s important to get everyone in your organization prepared to reply to inquiries related to the social media campaign you launch.
  • Consider Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites, as a way to build a following for your non-profit cause—couple this with an obvious link to making a hassle-free donation online and you’ll see the positive result.
  • Use Facebook or Twitter to conduct surveys to find out how the public is feeling about your non-profit and the cause you support—the feedback you get may give you improvement ideas.
  • Youtube has a non-profit program which includes extra uploading capability for videos—this could prove useful if you want to market a video explaining and demonstrating your non-profit cause.

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