Is your charity making a profit? If so, you should be proud, but you might have mixed feelings. Charities often are called "nonprofits," so it does seem like a conflict. But charitable profit has a purpose. Clover Frederick, independent marketing professional specializing in nonprofits, would like to change the world's opinion of nonprofit profit.
"We would never begrudge a company's purchasing advertising to reach their market," she said. "Why does America judge the nonprofit for doing so?" The difference, she admitted, is that charities must reinvest funds into their missions. With Frederick's help, her clients have increased budgets as much as 40 percent to inject new life into missions.
Frederick long ago chose nonprofit marketing as a career niche. It also fulfills her personal desire to do good works. "Everyone wants to go home feeling they did a good job. I've always wanted more," she explained. "I want to go home feeling I made an impact on my corner of the world."
According to Frederick, large nonprofit organizations often market successfully. The Arbor Day Foundation, she said, has perfected direct mail to the point that other nonprofits and businesses emulate it. The Susan G. Komen Foundation's marketing is so strong, businesses want to align with them.
Small- and medium-sized nonprofit organizations usually need Frederick's help. "They are often short-staffed, and marketing is assigned to someone without skills," she said. In fact, Frederick often finds herself overbooked, because so many nonprofits need marketing help. She also provides consulting for fundraising and gives speeches about fundraising and nonprofit marketing.
Fortunately, Frederick pointed out, "Many socially conscious millennial college graduates hope to make an impact, and more businesses are encouraging employees to volunteer." Perhaps the world's opinion of nonprofit profit is indeed changing.
Kindra Foster is our ground reporter for Lincoln, Neb.