Customer Stories

7 tips for promoting your non-profit organization effectively

Dr. Ameena Ali, CEO of the Federation of Gender and Human Rights, shares the marketing approach she uses to get the word out about her organization.

Dr. Ameena Ali has been running the Federation of Gender and Human Rights since 2015. She and her team work to help underprivileged women and children deal with humanitarian crises such as human trafficking and other women’s issues, and get access to local resources that can help. They also host talks, events, and workshops to educate people about gender and human rights. 

“Our goal is to let people know that gender and human rights are our rights,” Dr. Ameena said. 

FIGHR (pronounced “fire”) has done incredible work across the globe, making a difference in people’s lives. For instance, when a pregnant girl who had been trafficked into the United States came looking for help, Dr. Ameena and her team got her the support and medical attention she needed. Today, that same girl is happily married and settled in the U.S. with her three children.

Naturally, promotion is a big part of running an organization like FIGHR. It’s the only way people can connect with the organization and become aware of its services and impact. 

Dr. Ameena has a fool-proof approach to promoting FIGHR. Here are the strategies she swears by:

1. Leverage the power of word of mouth

“About 80% of people find us through word of mouth. Someone who’s been with us will tell someone else about us, then they’ll go on to tell someone else. It’s pretty neat,” Dr. Ameena said. 

Dr. Ameena’s word of mouth system is effective because it’s organic. She doesn’t have to ask the people who work with her to promote her organization. However, Dr. Ameena does make sure to create opportunities for people to want to talk about her organization. For example, her team gives out appreciation certificates to the people who attend FIGHR’s workshops and classes. People love getting acknowledged for the effort they put in, so they post their certificates online and share them with people in their networks. 

“Lots of people see the posts and want to know how to get a certificate, and so they reach out to the people who have one. And that’s how they find out about us,” Dr. Ameena said. 

Dr. Ameena credits the PosterMyWall certificate maker for allowing her to create her own professional-looking certificates. “I love that I can edit, play around, and make multiple designs for each gold star certificate template. It’s a very versatile tool,” she said.

2. Create a robust website

FIGHR’s website is a one-stop resource for anyone looking to find out more about the organization. Dr. Ameena uses it as a platform for everything – engagement, awareness, promotion, and contact. 

“We add everything to our website because we want to show people what we do and how they can help,” Dr. Ameena said. People use the site to sign up for internships and to volunteer for ongoing projects – as well as to learn about the organization.

Dr. Ameena stresses the extreme importance of having a simple, clear, and well laid out  website. The FIGHR homepage utilizes a minimalist design with lots of open space so people don’t feel overwhelmed when they arrive. 

However, that doesn’t mean that the website isn’t detailed. The FIGHR website has eighteen pages, each dedicated to a different cause that the organization is fighting for. Dr. Ameena has pages set up for every aspect of her organization, from its projects and volunteer opportunities, to background and contact information. 

Posting projects to separate pages works well because if someone comes to Dr. Ameena asking about a particular project, she can just send them the link to that page.“They can get directly to what they need without stumbling around the site looking for the relevant information,” she said.

3. Reach out to your community

FIGHR is all about helping vulnerable communities and educating them on issues pertaining to gender and human rights. In order to succeed, Dr. Ameena and her team must actively engage with the communities they’re a part of, both within the U.S. and globally. 

She uses Clubhouse, a social audio app, to host a regular talk show, where people discuss and debate gender and human rights issues. The FIGHR team posts the schedule for its talks on its website so people can add it to their calendars. 

Dr. Ameena knows that any sort of new project takes time to build and succeed. When the show started out, only a handful of people listened in. Now, the show draws between 50 and 60 listeners each episode. Here too, Dr. Ameena does whatever she can to encourage people to spread the word. “One time we encouraged people to bring a friend or family member along. We called it our ‘Each One Bring One’ initiative. That got us more than a hundred listeners,” she said. 

4. Network through LinkedIn 

Dr. Ameena streams live on LinkedIn a couple of times a week to talk about her organization, what they do, and why human rights are so important. She also shares stories of people FIGHR has helped – which inspires people to work with the organization. This approach familiarizes other businesses and organizations with FIGHR, which leads many of them to reach out to Dr. Ameena, and has led to many successful collaborations. 

“We also want to let businesses know that their employees have stories. When employers find out about us, they reach out and help us continue to make a difference in their communities,” Dr. Ameena said. 

Dr. Ameena also posts graphics on LinkedIn that advertise her talk show, workshops, and internship opportunities. “I use PosterMyWall to make all my LinkedIn promotions. It’s made my life so much easier,” she said. 

5. Distribute lots of business cards 

Dr. Ameena swears by the effectiveness of business cards. The FIGHR team hands out business cards everywhere they go–including in areas where they are trying to make a difference. This includes schools and universities, as well as in underdeveloped areas. 

In order to make connecting with FIGHR even easier, its business cards have a QR code on them. Scanning the code automatically opens the relevant landing page on the FIGHR website. This way, someone looking for help can scan the QR code on the card and be automatically routed to the information they need. “Data shows that these days, almost everyone has a phone, regardless of their financial status. So people have the access, they just need to know where to look for help,” Dr. Ameena said.

FIGHR creates its business cards on PosterMyWall, making use of the QR code tool. It’s extremely convenient because they can design the cards and add the codes all on one platform. 

6. Host awareness and networking events

This November, Dr. Ameena will be heading to Dubai for a women-centered FIGHR event that will be attended by delegations from different countries across the globe. They’ll be talking about gender and human rights, and celebrating strong women who inspire, particularly refugees and Afghan women. 

These events bring like-minded individuals from all walks of life together to talk and debate. 

And they have helped FIGHR become a notable organization that’s known worldwide as a force for good. 

FIGHR promotes its events online, particularly on the website. Each event has a special poster that outlines important details. For instance, all FIGHR events are child-friendly and offer Halal food – so these details are always mentioned on the poster. 

7. Build your brand through your promotions

Last but not least, Dr. Ameena stresses on the importance of putting your brand front and center in all your promotions. Add your logo or watermark right where people will be able to see it so that they become familiar with it. “I know people who don’t even go through the details in a poster when they look at it. They see our logo and immediately know they want to be a part of whatever it is we’re telling them about,” Dr. Ameena said.

Dr. Ameena suggests keeping your posters minimal and elegant, and doing it consistently so people will associate the design-style with your brand. However, it’s also important to know your audience and their tastes to see what approach will work best with them. She recommends PosterMyWall for creating all kinds of promotions. “PosterMyWall really helps bring my design inspirations come true. There are so many options and tools to play around with that sometimes my team just picks a template and designs for fun,” she said. 

Dr. Ameena has big plans for FIGHR’s future. She wants to do as much as possible to help vulnerable communities. In the coming months, she’ll be working on raising awareness on the prevalence of domestic violence and hosting peace events with religious and tribal communities. 

“When you step out of your privileged bubble, you realize there is so much that needs to be done in the world. I’m so grateful to be a part of it and I’m more determined than ever to make a positive change in our global community,” Dr. Ameena said.