Marketing for Good: Community Partnerships for Small Nonprofits

By Alex Johnson, Founder of Breakout Productions and Fantasy Sports-Con.

Most nonprofits, not just small ones, have similar challenges with less than adequate marketing budgets to promote their mission. The average nonprofit only spends close to 5 percent of its total revenue on marketing, while small businesses spend at least 10-12 percent. This can make it difficult for nonprofits to get their message out, fundraise, promote events, and find new volunteers. So, what can you do to increase your marketing efforts without having the budget to do so?  

One thing local businesses struggle with is separating themselves from the competition. Why work with company A versus company B if they sell a similar product or service at a similar price? Customer Service? Somehow, they each are the ‘best’ in their industry. Family owned? If that mattered, then Amazon and Walmart wouldn’t be destroying mom & pop shops nationwide. With the increased awareness around social issues, businesses that are not only doing good in their community, but talking about it, see more success than those that don’t. Marketing for Good has been gaining traction over the last several years and is now a pivotal part of businesses’ overall marketing strategy. You’ve likely already seen it done on a national level. Pro sports leagues, shoe brands, and tech companies are spending mega dollars supporting national movements like Black Lives Matter, women and LBGTQ rights, and health-related causes like cancer research. 

So, what is Marketing for Good? Instead of a company promoting only their product or service, they promote local causes and charities in their community with their marketing budget. Local nonprofits can partner with local businesses and ‘piggyback’ on their marketing efforts via social media, traditional advertising like radio or tv, and even community events like festivals or parades. Not only do smaller nonprofits get a big bump in awareness, but also get in front of new audiences via marketing channels they likely could not have afforded previously. These can come in the form of radio spots promoting the needs or mission of a nonprofit supported by local businesses, social media ads promoting a nonprofit fundraiser with local businesses as sponsors, or even sharing booth space at a community event paid for by a local business. 

Finding these local partners is easier than you think. Start writing down which local businesses you see or hear advertise on the radio and TV. At your next community event make a point to go talk to the businesses that have booths or sponsor in some way. Go to your local media groups to share with them what you’re working on and how businesses can get involved. Their sales teams can then pitch current advertisers about supporting your nonprofit in future campaigns. 

Marketing for Good is so important for our local communities and for our culture as a whole. Instead of just being bombarded with traditional ads for the newest car, phone, sandwich, or how much we can save on insurance, we can see what is being done in our local community to better the lives of those less fortunate. Businesses are not just doing this on their own, so it’s up to nonprofits to bring the idea to them and start building strong community partnerships. Marketing for Good benefits everyone involved, particularly nonprofits and the community.


Breakout Productions is a full-service sales and events consulting company that believes every relationship has value. Founded originally to produce the first ever fan-focused fantasy sports convention, Fantasy Sports-Con, Breakout Productions has evolved to support business and event growth during the recent challenges facing the country. Business development, sales training, and strategic partnerships are often core challenges organizations struggle with while they increase their marketing and lead generation capabilities. Breakout Productions helps capitalize on those new leads to generate more revenue with its experienced team and vast professional network.

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