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Why Your Nonprofit is a ‘Best-Kept Secret’ and How to Fix It

By Pat Heffernan on 10/12/17 10:00 AM

Dog hidden behind a fence representing Why-Your-Nonprofit-Is-a-secret

If ‘best-kept secret’ is a phrase you’ve ever heard used to describe your nonprofit, you are not alone. Perhaps it’s just the popularity of the Best-Kept Secret book, but it seems as if a larger-than-usual number of reluctant marketers self-described as a ‘best-kept secret’ have crossed my path lately. Yet knowing you are not alone does not ease your concern about knowing you cannot advance your mission if no one knows you exist.

 Click-to-Tweet_You cannot advance your mission if no one knows you exist

Let’s look at seven likely reasons why your nonprofit is a secret. Ask yourself if any of the following common barriers to effective nonprofit communications could possibly be true for your organization.

  1. Deep down, you, your board and your staff believe mission commitment and marketing communications are mutually exclusive
  2. You don’t want to ‘compete’ with your partners and collaborators by marketing
  3. You think marketing is a dirty word
  4. You’re doing the same things you did 10 years ago
  5. Your funding has been cut, so the marketing communications budget was first to go
  6. Your donors think good works speak for themselves
  7. You’re not sure what Integrated Marketing for nonprofits is anyway

Why Your Nonprofit Is A ‘Best-Kept Secret’ And How To Fix It

If any of these common rationalizations resonate as true for your situation, then you have a starting point to correct the problem. (And I’ll be diving deeper into each in future posts.) You know your mission cannot be achieved if no one knows you exist—tackle this challenge with the same passion you bring to work every day. Meanwhile, here are a few inspirational examples and resources for effective nonprofit communications.

Nonprofit Marketing Resources

Nine Digital Marketing Lessons Nonprofits Can Learn from charity: water

Graphic for 21 Free Epic Quotes from Changemakers


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About Change Conversations

The Change Conversations blog is where changemakers find inspiration and insights on the power of mission-driven communication to create the change you want to see.


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