Dear Nonprofits: Marketing is not a dirty word

I've spent a great deal of my career working in the non-profit sphere. I understand the almost overwhelming desire to separate your organization from anything resembling a business. 

Your organization is about the people.

Your organization is about the mission.

Your organization is about justice and equality.

And it is vitally important that nonprofits keep these values at the front of their minds, their policies, and their daily practices. But their are other realities as well.

Your organization needs to be funded.

Your organization needs to be sustainable.

Your organization needs volunteers and clients.

And those needs aren't just magically met. Many organizations have been lucky enough to have those needs met through non-conventional marketing efforts that never needed to be directly called "marketing" like asking friends and relatives for support, relying on a few large donors, or acquiring grant money from governments and foundations.

But increasingly, non-profits are needing to find a way to get their messages out to the masses and get what they need so that they can best fulfill their mission.

Marketing is how you do that. Ethical marketing.

Embrace it. Enjoy it. Understand it. Use it.