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How to build a nonprofit movement through good marketing

2 min read
Sep 21, 2023

In the age of AI, we’re asking ourselves what it means to work smarter. And the answer to that question is as complex and unique as the individual reading this post (hello, there!). So today, let’s zoom out and explore the concept of momentum. 

If you were paying attention in physics class, you know that an object in motion continues moving unless an external force acts on it. So how do we, as purposeful marketers, build and fuel momentum? 

Let’s turn to the real world - our favorite place to explore. Earlier this month, Jon McCoy and Becky Endicott joined us in the Good Marketing Unplugged studio to break down how they’ve started a movement with We Are For Good, their new media ecosystem, on a path to impact more than 1 million change-makers by 2025.

Embrace Marketing as Mission

“The way that we storytell can actually be a catalyst to the solution.” - Jon McCoy

Jon + Becky launched a values-based company on the principles they learned as nonprofit pros launching an employee giving campaign in the midst of organizational crisis. Best practices at the time suggested gimmicks and events that would drive employees to give, but they weren’t convinced. They listened when intuition told them purpose was better than a party and designed a campaign centered around employees’ personal connection to the organization and the impact of their work. The result? An employee giving campaign that broke all expectations.

So when it was time to launch We Are For Good, they did it with a powerful storytelling engine - a podcast. Each week, they interview inspiring social good champions, best-selling authors + disruptive thought leaders on the We Are For Good Podcast, which in three short years has generated over 450 episodes and 500,000+ downloads.

Know Yourself + See People

“Know who you are, know your values, know what you stand for, and say it out loud.” - Becky Endicott

It’s hard to find an episode of the podcast where Jon + Becky don’t lift their organizational values, but the true magic happens when guests echo back those values to them. Sometimes we forget that values are designed to be shared. As marketers, we get to design the story, but members of our community are the storytellers. We’re designing for them, and we can never lose sight of that.

To mobilize a movement, organizations should strive to be hosts, not heroes. The stories and voices of your community are the most powerful tools in your arsenal. By fostering authenticity, embracing storytelling, and actively engaging with your supporters, you can create a powerful movement that drives positive change.

Don’t forget people in the process. When building a movement you have to place equal value on net worth and network. People are going to respond at the level to which they are seen. Express appreciation of what they’re bringing to the table and communicate with them about how their contributions advance your mission.

Fuel Momentum

Marketing isn't just about convincing, converting, targeting, or reaching. It's actually about mobilizing people and instilling courage or confidence to impact the future. 

What does Good Marketing look like?

  1. Reinforces connection with the cause.
  2. Builds confidence that we - as the organization - are the right group to take action on that cause.
  3. Fosters community amongst people who believe that.  

Internally we all need to understand and communicate the change we’re making in the world. From there, we attract believers in our mission and equip them to carry that mission forward in new, unexpected ways. And that creates momentum that will carry you forward.

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