Simple marketing tips to better promote your organization

by Sharon Kutsop

Correctly marketing your organization may mean more visitors and therefore increased potential adopters for the pets in your care. Many small, overworked organizations have minimal resources for marketing opportunities, but there are a few simple tips you can use to spread the word about your organization and its mission. Before you start promoting your organization using your logo and mission statement, take a moment to review them. Is your logo a fair representation of your agency? Once your logo is perfected, don’t forget to add it to your Petfinder page! Are you meeting your adoption and spay/neuter goals, therefore meeting the realistic mission statement you’ve based your planning on? A mission statement should be clear, meaningful and stick in the minds of the community. Define your mission on a local level. Be clear that the problem is solvable, and you know how to do it! Otherwise, people are overwhelmed by the sheer numbers we face every day in animal welfare.

Adoptable kitten in NJ

Kittens such as this one can be costly if they come into your organization at a very young age, needing to be bottle fed with formula in addition to the other expenses such as vaccines and spay/neuter cost.

If you are looking to raise money to cover your budget, you should set a revenue goal. You can share that goal, letting the public know exactly what it takes to run your organization successfully. If the overall goal is overwhelming, break it down into categories people can digest and donate to. For example, $1 buys a jar of baby food to entice one sick cat to eat. $10 pays for a set of 3 vaccines for an adoptable dog. Then add more options on lower price items such as a can of puppy/kitten formula through higher cost options, such as surgeries. Give the public a call to action! People love a specific goal that they can help meet. And focus on the good you’ve done in addition to what you need, such as reporting the collective impact of support from the previous year and the results from that support. So, you can state something along the lines of “In 2012 we raised $750,000 and spayed/neutered 10,000 dogs and cats in our community in addition to successfully starting a pet food bank”. Celebrate your successes and people will want to help more!

Most of this can be done on a local level with flyers and strong community presence. Advertising is great, but it is expensive. It’s a nice idea to create some standard ads of different sizes and ask advertisers to plug them in as remnant ads when they have space. And of course, no well-written mission statement nor any amount of advertising can make up for a lack of excellent customer service, so always wear a smile!  For some more suggestions, please read this article written by Bonney Brown.