How To Engage Your Not For Profit Workforce Using Marketing Tactics

September 28, 2022

The core mission of doing good that drives not-for-profits (NFPs) has never been more relevant in 2022 amidst global economic and geopolitical uncertainty, and the shortage of skilled workers.

A motivated and engaged workforce is essential to the viability of NFPs. With the sector expanding and vacancies an ongoing and increasing problem, a focus on employee wellbeing and engagement is critical.

If compassion fatigue, burnout or decreased engagement has impacted employee turnover you are in the right place. In this article, we are to talk about how to engage your not for profit workforce using marketing tactics. Let’s dive in!

How to engage your not for profit workforce with gimmicks

Aside from the most cynical of souls, a heartfelt thank you is always well received. In NFP sectors where burnout is high, such as disability services, a simple thank you has gone a long way towards addressing staff attrition. For example, Able Australia gave employees thank you packs during COVID to express gratitude for the hard work and dedication they’ve shown throughout a difficult period.


Why does this work? When leaders visibly demonstrate that they value their workforce, this increases the likelihood of a positive work environment. When staff have a positive relationship with their manager, they are more engaged at work. (Word, Norton & Davis, 2011) 

How to engage your not for profit workforce with celebrations

Another organisation in the disability sector took staff recognition a step further. Scope Australia utilised a creative marketing strategy to shine a light on their valued employees. The feelgood campaign features Scope clients delivering messages of thanks to dedicated carers.

This strategy not only gives kudos to a workforce battling fatigue and stress, but it serves a dual purpose of drawing attention to the core mission of Scope, which is to support people with a disability to live their best lives.

NFP staff engagement and mission attachment are directly related. Employees want to work for an organisation whose mission they believe in and where they feel the work they do directly contributes to advancing that mission. NFP leaders must prioritise strategies to create meaningful work for their employees and engaging their workforce using marketing tactics such as these is a critical element.


Create a platform for employee advocacy in your not form profit organisation 

NFP employees are great people. It would not be generalising to say they are caring and community-minded and sign on to work for an NFP due to a shared sense of belief in the organisation’s core mission.

An effective marketing tactic for engaging NFP staff is to harness that belief and create a platform for employee advocacy. This allows staff to not only share their feelings and experiences, but gives employees a greater sense of ‘buy in’ to the organisation.

How it could work: allow staff to share positive stories on social media about your organisation. Creative marketing linking employee voices to a #hashtag will provide great online visibility for your NFP, empowering the workforce and generating a stream of publicity that is genuine and ideally translates to additional revenue.

Internally, employee advocacy leads to higher staff engagement but is contingent upon leadership proactively actioning issues flagged and listening to their team members.


Engaging your not for profit workforce starts from within! 

Many NFPs focus all their marketing energies externally, promoting their organisation to the world beyond the four walls. However, applying the same marketing tactics to your internal communications can reap serious dividends in the form of higher employee satisfaction.

So how to engage your not for profit workforce from within?
Create a positive buzz within an organisation by marketing company-wide or smaller team events through internal channels. Celebrate the small wins (no one gets tired of being ‘employee of the month’) and make some serious noise about the big wins, like great customer feedback or acquiring additional funding.

Setting organisation-wide targets allows leaders to celebrate progress towards those goals when an energy boost is needed. This could be awarding vouchers to high-achieving staff, or rewarding a whole team with a celebratory lunch.

Team-building activities allow people to get to know each other and their managers on a more informal basis. This builds trust and consolidates positive relationships across the organisation. It’s a fact that employees who feel that their efforts are recognised and valued are more engaged with their work.

If you like the sound of these tips and your NFP needs a specific plan on how to engage your not for profit workforce, here at We Are Savvy are all over it. We’re marketing and branding experts and we know the industry. Give Caroline a call on 411 010 090.




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