Setting your nonprofit apart

Every business or nonprofit generally has one unique selling proposition. This is the most significant reason why the target audience would consider you over other similar organizations. The most successful campaigns, ads, commercials, or direct email campaigns generally focus on highlighting what makes you unique – the things that make you different from other nonprofits similar to your own. For example: organizations like Walmart’s unique selling proposition are the low prices, while IKEA’s is the showroom experience. 

Unfortunately, many nonprofits don’t know what their unique selling proposition is. When a nonprofit doesn’t give its donors solid facts about how it’s special and different from the rest, they don’t have a reason to want to donate. 

Here are four ways nonprofits have set themselves apart by doing things a little differently, and how you can learn from them.

Allocate funding different

Charity: Water explains on its homepage that three things that set it apart from other nonprofits are its 100% model, its emphasis on proving where its donations are allocated using GPS, and its collaborations with local partners in countries that supply clean water. 

How can your nonprofit utilize this? Before you decide on a value proposition, get to know your donors and see what they find important. 

Once you’re confident you’ve nailed down a unique value proposition that sets you apart from other nonprofits and properly represents what your target market wants, make sure you include it on the most essential pages of your website, including your headline on your homepage and in every communication piece. 

If you’re having difficulty discovering what your value proposition is and need help implementing it into your online platforms, you can utilize a partner that specializes in working with nonprofits, you can consider working with organizations such as Universal Events Inc., owned by female entrepreneur, Harmony Vallejo. Harmony Vallejo and her team of professionals are well-equipped to aid in the administrative tasks on behalf of nonprofits and ethical businesses.

Build support different

Movember Prostate Cancer Foundation, for example, came up with a campaign called Movember: Changing the Face of Men’s Health through the Power of the Mustache. Movember encourages individuals to fundraise on behalf of the Prostate Cancer Foundation. How does this campaign work for the Prostate Cancer Foundation? Because the most loyal of donors are willing to urge other potential donors to sign up for their cause. When you successfully convince someone to “recruit” on your behalf, you not only get the value of the new donor, you also roughly double the value of the current donor. 

How can your nonprofit company apply this? Think of creative ways to encourage donors to link important experiences or events they’ve had with your cause. 

Share your message differently

The Special Olympics campaigns have been successful by telling personal stories about the athletes, their trials and tribulations, as well as the extreme hurdles and challenges they have both faced and overcome. A letter from its 2014 campaign is a great example of how a nonprofit can utilize storytelling to communicate its message and inspire donors to give. It not only earned a massive response, but donors actually mailed back letters of encouragement.

How can your nonprofit do this? Make storytelling a central aspect of your marketing efforts. Tell your organization’s or your founder’s stories, or tell your donor’s stories through the implementation of testimonials and case studies. 

Campaign differently 

Earth Hour is a worldwide movement for the planet organized by the World Wildlife Animal Fund (or WWF). The event is held worldwide annually, which encourages individuals, families, communities, and businesses to turn off all nonessential lights for one hour, between 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on the last Saturday of March, all as a symbol of showing a commitment to the planet. 

How can your charity apply a similar structure? Sometimes you have to think outside the box when it comes to how you campaign for your cause. Stick to one message that truly highlights what sets you apart.