Framework for Basic Nonprofit Marketing and Promotions Plan

(including plans for public and media relations, sales, advertising and promoting, and customer service)

© Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC.

Description

The following framework will guide you through completion of a basic nonprofit marketing and promotions plan. Associated plans include public and media relations plan, sales plan, and advertising and promotions plan.

Guidelines are provided to fill in the section and links to additional resources are provided.

Readers are encouraged to work with a planning team in their organization to fill in this framework. After completing this framework, readers can move information from the framework to a more suitable document to be the final version of the plan document, if desired.

Also see
Related Library Topics



[NAME OF YOUR NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION!]

MARKETING AND PROMOTIONS PLAN

[date!]


TABLE OF CONTENTS

MARKETING AND PROMOTION OF ORGANIZATION

Public Relations Plan

Media Plan

MARKETING AND PROMOTIONS OF EACH PROGRAMS/SERVICE

Description of Service

Target Markets and Client Profiles

Competitor Analysis

Collaborator/Partner Analysis

Pricing Analysis

Sales Plan

Advertising and Promotions Plan

Production Planning

Distribution Planning

Customer Service Plan

EVALUATION OF PLAN

GOALS, RESPONSIBILITIES, TIMELINES AND BUDGET


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MARKETING AND PROMOTIONS OF ORGANIZATION

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Public Relations Plan

Mission Statement

Portrays the basic purpose of our organization, the groups of clients that it services and generally how it serves them. The mission statement should be referenced when designing and implementing the marketing and promotions plan. (For assistance, see Basics in Developing a Mission Statement.)
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Positioning Statement

Portrays the unique role of our nonprofit and how it fills that role. The statement depicts how we want others to view our nonprofit. This statement is the essence of how we want the media, and others, to recognize our organization. The statement is the basis for wording used in ads and other methods of promotion. (For assistance, see Positioning.)
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Script for Representing Our Nonprofit to External Stakeholders

Portrays key points to make when representing the nonprofit to external groups. The script is referenced by key personnel (board members, chief executive, etc.) to represent the nonprofit to external stakeholders, for example, funders/investors, reporters,
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Stakeholders, Messages and Methods (Media Plan and Calendar)
Consider the major stakeholders for your nonprofit, for example, employees, volunteers, board members, funders/investors, reporters, collaborators, associations, etc. Consider what you'd like each stakeholder to think of your nonprofit. What media do they read and listen to and when? What media is most practical for you to use in terms of access and affordability? The following link might be useful to you in this activity: Major Methods of Advertising and Promotion.

Stakeholder
Group

Message to Convey
(consider what's important to them)

Method

When to Use
Method


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Additional thoughts/comments and any actions we should take:
What do we need to do to make the above happen? What major steps must occur? What must be developed? Who should be contacted? What resources might you need?

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Actions in this area should be worded as specific goals and organized into the section "Goals, Responsibilities ..." later in this plan. That section includes goals, responsibilities, dates for completion and the budgeted amount to achieve the goals.



Media Relations

(For assistance, see Managing Media Relations.)

Procedure for Managing Media Contacts

The following procedure will be used for all calls from and to reporters, or other contacts with the media, including, for example: newspapers, magazines, television, radio, etc.

1. ________________________________________________________________

2. ________________________________________________________________

3. ________________________________________________________________

4. ________________________________________________________________

Preferred Media and Contacts

The following media and contacts are preferred when promoting our organization. These media (newspapers, television, radio, etc.) and contacts have been used in the past, understand our organization and our marketplace, etc.

1. Media ______________________ Contact: _____________________________

Comments _________________________________________________________

2. Media ______________________ Contact: _____________________________

Comments _________________________________________________________

3. Media ______________________ Contact: _____________________________

Comments _________________________________________________________

4. Media ______________________ Contact: _____________________________

Comments _________________________________________________________

4. Media ______________________ Contact: _____________________________

Comments _________________________________________________________

Additional thoughts/comments and any actions we should take:
What do we need to do to make the above happen? What major steps must occur? What must be developed? Who should be contacted? What resources might you need?

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Actions in this area should be worded as specific goals and organized into the section "Goals, Responsibilities ..." later in this plan. That section includes goals, responsibilities, dates for completion and the budgeted amount to achieve the goals.


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MARKETING AND PROMOTIONS OF SERVICES

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You should consider addressing the following subsections in this overall section for each of your programs and/or major services.

Description of Service

The overall goals of the organization very much determine whom you want to serve and the nature of the service to serve them. For example, strategic goals might be to expand the number of clients you have now, get new clients, get more revenue from current clients, etc. You may want to develop new services in a current or new market, or expand current services in a current or new market.

Describe your service. The description should be written as if your clients are the readers. In the description, include the specific groups of clients served by the service, nature of the method(s) in the service, outcomes for clients and any other benefits to them, and where they should go next if they are interested in using the service. Be careful to describe the services in terms of benefits to clients, not to you. For example, address pricing, convenience, location, quality, service, atmosphere, etc.

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Any additional thoughts/comments about the service description:

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Actions in this area should be worded as specific goals and organized into the section "Goals, Responsibilities ..." later in this plan. That section includes goals, responsibilities, dates for completion and the budgeted amount to achieve the goals.



Target Markets and Client Profiles

(For assistance, see How to Identify a Target Market and Prepare a Customer Profile.)

Target markets are the specific groups of people whom you want to benefit with your service. The target markets are determined by your program goals, outcomes and strategies. At this point, it may help to reference your completed Framework for Basic Nonprofit Program Structural Design. For example:

  • Example Program Goal 1: Support at least 600 drop-outs from Minneapolis high schools to obtain diplomas or equivalent levels of certification
  • Example Outcome 1.1 -- Drop-outs from Minneapolis high schools obtain high school diplomas or equivalent levels of certification
  • Example Outcome 1.2 -- Within three months after getting certification, participants obtain at least half-time employment or enroll in an accredited program to further their education
  • Example Program Strategy/Service 1.1 -- Conduct high-school equivalency training programs to drop-outs from Minneapolis high schools
  • Example Program Strategy/Service 1.2 -- Provide free transportation to enrollees in the program
  • Example Program Strategy/Service 1.3 -- Provide subsidized child care to enrollees in the program

Target Markets

Primary Benefits of Our Service to Them

Target Market 1 for Service 1.1: Dropouts from Minneapolis high schools - Opportunity to earn high school diploma in convenient and supportive environment
Target Market 2 for Service 1.1: Counselors in Minneapolis high schools - Alternative to suggest to dropouts so they can earn high school diploma
- Source of ideas for improving traditional high school programs
- Potential collaborator to help reach mission of the high school
Target Market 3 for Service 1.1: Parents of drop-outs from Minneapolis schools - Alternative to suggest to their child for a high school diploma
- Source of counseling for dealing with stresses of their child dropping out of high school
Target Market 4 for Service 1.1: Job placement services, seeking to help people find jobs - Source of job candidates for referrals to jobs (after they've graduated from the program)
- Potential source to conduct job training to future job candidates
- Potential collaborator to help reach mission of placement service
Target Market 5 for Service 1.1: Local businesses looking for employees - Source of job candidates (after they've graduated from the program)
- Potential collaborator to help reach mission of the local business


Your Target Markets and Primary Benefits of Service to Them

Target Markets

Primary Benefits of Our Service to Them

Target Market 1 (Optional: Goals ____, Strategies ____ )
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Target Market 2 (Optional: Goals ____, Strategies ____ )
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Target Market 3 (Optional: Goals ____, Strategies ____ )
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Target Market 4 (Optional: Goals ____, Strategies ____ )
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Target Market 5 (Optional: Goals ____, Strategies ____ )
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Profiles of Your Target Markets (Client Profiles)
The more you know about your clients, the better you might be at serving them. At this point, write down a customer profile, or description of each of the groups of clients (or target markets). Consider, for example, their major needs, how they prefer to have their needs met, where they are and where they prefer to have their needs met and demographics information (their age ranges, family arrangement, education levels, income levels, typical occupations, major interested, etc).

Target Market #1: ____
Make copies of this section as needed for your number of target markets
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Actions in this area should be worded as specific goals and organized into the section "Goals, Responsibilities ..." later in this plan. That section includes goals, responsibilities, dates for completion and the budgeted amount to achieve the goals.


Competitor Analysis

(For assistance, see Competitive Analysis.)

Name of competitor's organization ________________________________________

Name of their service__________________________________________________

Common markets that we serve __________________________________________

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Benefits of their service__________________________________________________

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Comparison of their pricing and ours _______________________________________

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Strengths and weaknesses of their service ___________________________________

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How our service compares to theirs ________________________________________

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Additional thoughts/comments and any resulting actions we should take:
How do you plan to compete, for example, offer better quality services, lower prices, more support, easier access to services etc?

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Actions in this area should be worded as specific goals and organized into the section "Goals, Responsibilities ..." later in this plan. That section includes goals, responsibilities, dates for completion and the budgeted amount to achieve the goals.



Collaborator/Partner Analysis

(For assistance, see Organizational Alliances.)

Name of potential collaborator's organization ________________________________

Name of their service___________________________________________________

Common markets that we serve __________________________________________

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Similarities between our services __________________________________________

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Potential areas of collaboration ____________________________________________

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Advantages of collaboration _____________________________________________

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Disadvantages of collaboration ____________________________________________

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Additional thoughts/comments and any resulting actions we should take:
What can you do next to initiate consideration of collaboration with other nonprofits? What needs to happen next? Who needs to be involved? What resources do you need?

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Actions in this area should be worded as specific goals and organized into the section "Goals, Responsibilities ..." later in this plan. That section includes goals, responsibilities, dates for completion and the budgeted amount to achieve the goals.



Pricing Analysis

(For assistance, see Pricing.)

What's the current fee for services?

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How much is it costing us to provide this service?

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Are we recovering our costs to produce and provide the service?

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Is the current fee affordable to clients?

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Is our pricing competitive?

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What should be the pricing structure that we use for this service (for example, sliding-fee scale, deferred payments, installment payments, etc.)?

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Additional thoughts/comments and any resulting actions we should take:
What do we need to do to make that happen? What major steps must occur? What must be developed? Who should be contacted? What resources might you need?
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Actions in this area should be worded as specific goals and organized into the section "Goals, Responsibilities ..." later in this plan. That section includes goals, responsibilities, dates for completion and the budgeted amount to achieve the goals.



Sales Plan

(For assistance, see Sales.)

Target Markets

Sales Methods
to Generate Leads, Follow-Ups, Presentations and Closing Sales

Sales Goals
(number of contracts and/or dollars in revenue and/or other units?)

Target Market 1
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Target Market 2
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Target Market 3
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Target Market 4
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Target Market 5
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Sales Plan (Cont.)

Additional thoughts/comments and any resulting actions we should take:
Consider: What do we need to do to make the sales methods and goals happen? What major steps must occur? What must be developed? Who should be contacted? What resources might you need? Should staff attend sales training?

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Actions in this area should be worded as specific goals and organized into the section "Goals, Responsibilities ..." later in this plan. That section includes goals, responsibilities, dates for completion and the budgeted amount to achieve the goals.



Advertising and Promotions Plan

The plan includes what target markets you want to reach, what features and benefits you want to convey to each of them, what methods and media you will use to convey it to them, who is responsible to implement the methods and how much money is budgeted for this effort. The plan often includes plans for a promotional campaign, including an advertising calendar and media plan. The goals of the plans should depend very much on the overall goals and strategies of the organization, and the results of the marketing analysis, including the positioning statement.

When selecting methods, consider what communications methods and media will be most effective in reaching target markets (groups of clients) and when. What are their preferences for media and when do they use them? (The link Basic Methods to Get Customer Feedback might be helpful now.) Consider, for example, radio, newsletters, classifieds, displays/signs, posters, word of mouth, press releases, direct mail, special events, brochures, neighborhood newsletters, etc. What media is most practical for you to use in terms of access and affordability? (The link Major Methods of Advertising and Promotion might be helpful now.)

(For additional assistance, see Advertising and Promotion and Planning your Advertising.



Markets, Messages and Methods (Media Plan and Calendar)

What do you want your target markets to think about your service? What media do they read and listen to and when? What media is most practical for you to use in terms of access and affordability? The following link may be helpful to you when completing the following table: Major Methods of Advertising and Promotion.

Target Market
(client group)

Message to Convey ("What's in it for client?")

Method

When to Use
Method


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Additional thoughts/comments and any resulting actions we should take:
What do you need to do to make the above happen? What resources are needed to accomplish the methods? Who is responsible to implement the methods?

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Actions in this area should be worded as specific goals and organized into the section "Goals, Responsibilities ..." later in this plan. That section includes goals, responsibilities, dates for completion and the budgeted amount to achieve the goals.



Production Planning

Production includes the resources and processes needed to continue to develop the service to meet the demands of the clients. Note that the development and implementation of various production methods do not have to be addressed in detail in a marketing plan -- these topics are usually included in the operations or management planning for the program. However, production should be generally considered during the marketing analysis to ensure the eventual detailed production planning takes into consideration the needs of target markets and having their needs met on time.

Will services be produced in time to meet current needs of the target markets?

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Will services be produced in time to meet future needs of the target markets (for example, over the next three years)? What's needed to ensure the future needs are met?

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What major resources and activities will be needed in the near future?

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Additional thoughts/comments and any resulting actions we should take:
What do we need to do to make the above happen? What major steps must occur? What must be developed? Who should be contacted? What resources might you need?

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Actions in this area should be worded as specific goals and organized into the section "Goals, Responsibilities ..." later in this plan. That section includes goals, responsibilities, dates for completion and the budgeted amount to achieve the goals.



Distribution Planning

(For assistance, see Distribution Channels.)
Distribution includes the resources and activities required to bring your product/service together with the client in order to benefit from it. Matters of distribution of service can be critical for nonprofits, especially if they are providing critically needed services to specific groups of clients. For example, low-income clients may not be able to afford transportation to other areas to receive your services. (The link Distribution may help you.)

What is the best means to distribute the service to clients?
(Consider, for example, should clients come to your facility? You go to them? Are there other means, for example, services over the phone?)

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Additional thoughts/comments and any resulting actions we should take:
What do we need to do to make the above happen? What major steps must occur? What must be developed? Who should be contacted? What resources might you need?

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Actions in this area should be worded as specific goals and organized into the section "Goals, Responsibilities ..." later in this plan. That section includes goals, responsibilities, dates for completion and the budgeted amount to achieve the goals.



Customer Service Plan

(For assistance, see Customer Service.)

When considering how you will ensure strong services to clients, consider: Are clients very satisfied with your services? How do you know? If not, what can you do to improve customer service? How can you do that? What policies and procedures are needed to ensure strong customer service. Include training in your considerations, including to develop skills in interpersonal relations, such as questioning, listening, handling difficult people, handling interpersonal conflicts, negotiating. (For assistance, see Customer Service, Basic Methods to Get Customer Feedback, Questioning, Listening, Handling Interpersonal Conflict, Handling Difficult People and Negotiating.)

Are clients highly satisfied with the service and how do you know?
(This section might include references to other reports, eg, program evaluations, etc.)

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What should we be doing to ensure that clients are highly satisfied?
(Consider policies and procedures, staff training, scheduled evaluations, basic forms of market research, etc.)

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Additional thoughts/comments and any resulting actions we should take:
What do we need to do to make the above happen? What major steps must occur? What must be developed? Who should be contacted? What resources might you need?

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Actions in this area should be worded as specific goals and organized into the section "Goals, Responsibilities ..." later in this plan. That section includes goals, responsibilities, dates for completion and the budgeted amount to achieve the goals.


======= MONITORING AND EVALUATION OF PLAN ============
Responsibilities and Frequencies for Monitoring and Evaluation

Plan section, goals, etc.

Completion
date

Responsibility

Written description
of results to:

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Key Questions While Monitoring Implementation of the Plan

The following questions should be modified to suit the nature and needs of the organization.

Monitoring and evaluation activities will consider the following questions:

1. Are goals and objectives being achieved or not? If they are, then acknowledge, reward and communicate the progress. If not, then consider the following questions.

2. Will the goals be achieved according to the timelines specified in the plan? If not, then why?

3. Should the deadlines for completion be changed (be careful about making these changes -- know why efforts are behind schedule before times are changed)?

4. Do personnel have adequate resources (money, equipment, facilities, training, etc.) to achieve the goals?

5. Are the goals and objectives still realistic?

6. Should priorities be changed to put more focus on achieving the goals?

7. Should the goals be changed (be careful about making these changes -- know why efforts are not achieving the goals before changing the goals)?

8. What can be learned from our monitoring and evaluation in order to improve future planning activities and also to improve future monitoring and evaluation efforts?

Additional questions:

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Reporting Status of Implementation

Results of monitoring and evaluation will be in writing, and will include:

1. Answers to the "Key Questions While Monitoring Implementation of the Plan"

2. Trends regarding the progress (or lack thereof) toward goals, including which goals and objectives

3. Recommendations about the status

4. Any actions needed by management

Procedure for Changing the Plan

Regarding any changes to the plan, write down answers to the questions:

1. What is causing changes to be made?

2. Why the changes should be made (the "why" is often different than "what is causing" the changes).

3. What specific changes should be made, including to goals, objectives, responsibilities and timelines?

Reminders:
Manage the various versions of the plan (including by putting a new date on each new version of the plan).

Always keep old copies of the plan.


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GOALS, RESPONSIBILITIES, TIMELINES AND BUDGETS

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As much as possible, goals should be specified to be "SMARTER", that is, specific, measurable, acceptable to those people working to achieve the goal, realistic, timely, extending the capabilities of those working to achieve the goals and rewarding to them, as well.

Goal

Responsibility

Completion Date

Budget for Goal

====== MARKETING AND PROMOTING ORGANIZATION ===========
Public and Media Relations Plan:
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==== MARKETING AND PROMOTING PRODUCTS AND SERVICES ===
Description of Product or Service:
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Target Market and Benefits:
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Competitive Analysis:
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Collaborator Analysis:
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Pricing Analysis and Policy:
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Advertising and Promotion Plan:
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Production Planning:
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Distribution Planning:
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Sales Plan:
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Customer Service Plan:
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Submit a link


For the Category of Marketing:

To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may want to review some related topics, available from the link below. Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.

Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been selected for their relevance and highly practical nature.

Related Library Topics

Recommended Books

Basics, Planning and General Information

Market Research and Trends

Competitive Intelligence

Nonprofit



Basics, Planning and General Information

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a "bubble" of information might be displayed. You can click on the title of the book in that bubble to get more information, too.



Market Research and Trends

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a "bubble" of information might be displayed. You can click on the title of the book in that bubble to get more information, too.



Competitive Intelligence

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a "bubble" of information might be displayed. You can click on the title of the book in that bubble to get more information, too.

Note to nonprofits: Nonprofits "compete" with other nonprofits, too. They compete for funding, attention from their communities and for staff. Also, funders often want to see if their grantees have closely considered whether other nonprofits are already offering the same services in the same areas. So nonprofits should use competitive intelligence, too.



Nonprofit

Nonprofit Program Design, Marketing and Evaluation - Book Cover Field Guide to Nonprofit Program Design, Marketing and Evaluation
by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC. There are few books, if any, that explain how to carefully plan, organize, develop and market a nonprofit program. Also, too many books completely separate the highly integrated activities of planning, marketing and evaluating programs. This book integrates all three into a comprehensive, straightforward approach that anyone can follow in order to provide high-quality programs with strong appeal to funders. Includes many online forms that can be downloaded. Many materials in this Library topic are adapted from this book.

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