The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

How to Define Your Target Audience: Is Your Nonprofit a Match for Your Community?

Many nonprofits make the mistake of trying to get the people they want to reach to think exactly like them, when they really should focus on getting people to take action by understanding their audiences better. Nonprofit marketing results don’t require the target audience to accept the worldview of the marketer before they take action. Your goal as a nonprofit leader is not to turn everyone into a exact clone of yourself. It is to get people to sense ownership of the problems and take action.  You don’t need people to think like you, you need to train yourself to think like them. A key to knowing how to get people to take action, is knowledge of your market.


Guerrillas understand the context of the people they want to adopt new behaviors and use that understanding to provoke meaningful action. If people don’t respond to your nonprofit marketing campaign, it is likely a sign that your nonprofit’s advocacy is not a good match for the target audience. Non-guerrillas assume people who don’t take action are unresponsive and criticize them as if they are in denial and are unwilling to accept the plain facts. They fail to consider that perhaps the breakdown in connecting with the mind of their target audience originates in their presentation and approach and not having a sound understanding of their context. Guerrillas know their outreach’s call to action needs compatibility with the community to work well, that’s why Guerrillas use research to understand their target audience.

A good place to start your Guerrilla Marketing strategy is by researching as much as you can about your target market. Nobody should know more about your market than you. And if there is someone who does know more, make friends with them and learn. Knowledge increases creativity and is a powerful competitive advantage.

1. The Guerrilla Marketing for Nonprofits book shows you the tools for becoming an expert on the people you want to reach.
2. We show you how to leverage the information your nonprofit already has
3. Give you the steps for designing your own Guerrilla Marketing research
4. How to manage error in research
5. Information on using focus groups, in-depth interviews, secret shoppers, and case studies.

Knowledge of your market is gives your organization a Guerrilla’s edge and helps insure your nonprofits survival in tough times.

Order Guerrilla Marketing for Nonprofits now on Amazon. In stores July 2nd.

This post originally appeared on the Guerilla Marketing for Nonprofits blog. 


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About This Blog

Carrie Saracini
Content Marketing Manager

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

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