Individuals who enter the non-profit world are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that advocacy and charitable contributions are collected for those who are less fortunate. These individuals are not only advocates, but they are also skilled in writing grants and organizing charitable functions. Individuals employed in this profession should have tremendous fundraising skills.
Most organizations need individuals who can continually encourage financial contributors to give. Philanthropy can take place in a number of organizations. Some popular non-profits include homeless shelters, educational enhancements for the less privileged, abused and battered women or children, under-represented minorities, and advocates for the environment. Those who work for non-profits and other philanthropic organizations should have skills that enable them to interact in business, politics, labor organizations, and other civic and social organizations. Each of these contacts will be essential in accomplishing their jobs within a non-profit organization.
These individuals should also promote human rights of all individuals regardless of race, creed, religion, color, disability or gender. Most non-profit marketers will be instrumental in the fundraising activities. Therefore, they should understand people, their motivations for giving, be outgoing, and personable. Individuals employed in non-profits may work in public relations, fundraising, canvassing or as community managers. Each of these individuals may have a role in marketing for a non-profit organization.
Public relations is an instrumental part of marketing that allows the community to become aware of non-profits and the work they perform in the community. These individuals interact with the local media, contribute to political campaigns, represent the non-profit for special interest groups, and they may be involved in conflict mediation. Public relations marketers often play an instrumental role in fundraising at some point during their development. These professionals will be involved in gift requests from individual donors, apply for grants, host special events, and launch phone and letter appeals.
Training and Education Requirements
Non-profit employees should be skilled in a number of areas. Many non-profit workers come from a variety of backgrounds. Individuals in non-profit marketing should understand how to promote a non-profit organization in such a way that encourages individuals to give and participate. Therefore, marketers should be trained in communication, fundraising, and sales of an organization’s mission. Non-profit marketers should understand all aspects of marketing, including the use of information technology in marketing endeavors.
In a student’s studies they should learn about pay-per-click campaigns, search engine optimization, email marketing campaigns, use of social networking media, basic marketing strategies, and a host of other skills. Therefore, technical skills will be required in order to effectively complete the job. Other skills may include accounting, management, information systems, finance, and in some instance a second language. Most marketers will be required to have at least a bachelor in marketing or in a public relations field. A public relations degree teaches individuals to promote and represent a company. Individuals who have an understanding of human psychology may also develop good marketing campaigns. Most companies require a strong understanding of internet marketing skills.
For advancement, non-profit marketers should possess an advanced degree in marketing with a specialization in social services, public relations, or some other field that will prepare marketers for marketing to individuals for fundraising. Individuals who pursue a marketing degree can expect to take classes in business law, economics, mathematics, management, accounting and statistics. Students may also study marketing, market research, consumer behavior, sales, communication methods and technology, photography, visual arts and art history. Individuals with a focus in public relations will take political science, advertising, creative writing, technical writing, public speaking and public affairs.
Salary and Wages
Individuals who are employed in a public relations type of marketing position may make between $50,000 and $57,000 per year. Marketing managers may make more. Some managers in upper level positions could earn more than $90,000 annually. Salaries will vary significantly by the candidate’s experience and the budget of the non-profit organization. Organizations with smaller budgets will pay significantly less. However, working for a non-profit does not automatically equal low salary. Some non-profit executives make considerably high salaries for providing a service to humanity.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Candidates who have at least 5 years of full time work experience in public relations may take an examination to earn an Accreditation in Public Relations. These individuals must provide a written review and a portfolio review. Candidates may also receive an accreditation from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). Candidates who successfully complete the accreditation will earn an Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) title. This also requires that the candidate have at least 5 years of experience, pass a written exam and pass an oral examination. The candidate must also pass a bachelor’s degree. Most employers look favorably on these certifications. Earning certifications may result in promotions and higher salaries.
Marketers can enjoy the benefits of many professional associations. These associations are used for networking purposes, fundraising purposes and others. Though these are not the only organizations that are available to non-profits or marketers, this is one organization that will help non-profit marketers with ideas to promote their organization. The Public Relations Student Society of America provides a forum for marketers that is not expressly affiliated with non-profit organizations.