The Three R's of Nonprofit Marketing

A cost-effective way of using technology to assist the nonprofit while employing business-to-business marketing strategies is to use open-source software. This has inherent challenges ranging from familiarity at the end-user level to technical support to compatibility issues. While these challenges persist, open-source software provides a high level of functionality and practicality while keeping costs low. The key is utilizing the software that best meets the need effectively. A useful way to determine which open-source software to employ for any business, not just nonprofits, is to remember the three R’s; research, review and read. Using the three R’s can stop potential problems before they impact performance.


It is critical to determine what solution you are looking for. Whether it’s SMTP protocol software or a campaign specific tool knowing what you need is half the battle. With this you can begin your efforts to find the perfect match. You should not exclusively look for open-source product upon the start of your research. This could steer you away from find the right software. Many times you can find a commercial product and then discover a comparable open-source that has similar features that otherwise overlooked. Try your best not to exclude potential fits or ideas. Some key elements to remember are compatibility, performance and support. You need to think about what impact or value the software will provide your marketing campaign. nonprofits do not have the luxury of making costly mistakes due to not researching needs and capabilities.     

Review and Read

Don't get lazy and let other people handle the work for you. Just because you are a nonprofit does not mean you have it easier than a commercial business. You will have to work harder to make a nonprofit successful. This means doing your homework and finding the most effective solution that best serves your needs. Sometimes it is better to go with an older product that has fewer features than a newer one that has not been fleshed out. This is where reading available resources and taking the time to review the product can determine what the best software to use. So when looking into what open-source software, remember the R’s it is the difference between a success and failure.