How to be seen and heard in a competitive NFP environment

September 14, 2021

Share of voice (and wallet) is becoming more difficult to obtain.

We are Savvy conducted an in-depth research this year with over 2000 respondents to understand how consumers feel about the Not-for-profit market.

Turns out it’s difficult for NFP’s to be heard, seen and supported (both in time and money)Why? Well, Not-for-profits face growing competition from big budget “for-profit” commercial corporations introducing “socially good” spin-off services. This is an increasingly regulated and complex market with the ever-present battle for government funding and the constant public scrutiny and demand for financial transparency.

This is an extremely tough climate to operate in, especially “marketing” of NFP organisations and it’s likely to get more challenging each year. This has especially been the case over the last 12-18 months whereby COVID-19 and recent disaster relief initiatives have justifiably, monopolised the general public’s attention that consumers have almost forgotten about other crucial causes to support.

Despite this, there is still time, opportunities and potential business to obtain for not-for-profits and being more strategic with their marketing and communications strategies, ensuring they capture their key stakeholders attention.

We understand it’s crowded out there. The research told us 46% of consumers believe there are either ‘too many’ or ‘too similar’ NFPs operating in Australia, it’s clear the market is saturated and difficult to cut through.

Chart: Consumer perception on the size of the NFP market:



So what does this mean for the industry? Well, strategic marketing and communications has never been more important!

Here are some top tips we recommend to overcome the share of voice and wallet challenges:

1) Create your big picture
More than any other type of organisation, NFPs need to be really strategic and
targeted in their marketing and nurture the right audiences in order to stand out
and gain specific support.
The frame of thinking for an NFP marketing strategy needs to move beyond
considering other NFP players in your sector, and incorporate competition from
emerging players as well as Government organisations and others vying for your
audience’s attention. NFP marketing needs to incorporate audience segmentation.

Be clear on who your different audiences are, what you want from them, where you can engage with them and what the specific action is that you want them to take.

2) Use engagement as part of marketing
To build and strengthen a connection to your organisation using personal, engaging activities that allow the audience to participate is key.
Engagement can also enable grass roots action which, when supported by other
marketing activities, can be amplified and has the possibility of driving media
attention, and / or influencing Government conversations.

3) Engage an expert (you can afford it)
Marketing is now full of small agencies who are experienced, adaptable, talented
and have been established with cost in mind. That means NFPs can now access
specialist strategic,
 creative or implementation services previously limited to those with deep pockets. Look out for agencies with both corporate and NFP experience so that you can get the best of both sets of experience.

As always, We Are Savvy is here for a chat to discuss these insights and industry knowledge in greater detail and to see how we can help! For a copy of our research please email

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