I recently came across a site where this question was posed by the Business Unit Manager at Siemens Energy and Automation:
Does anyone have advice for Marketing for a non-profit community theatre?
As a volunteer consultant on this service project, my team is looking at the marketing strategies of a small community theatre in a neighborhood of
I think this query illustrates that, just because people have a corporate background, it may still be necessary to educate them on the intricacies of marketing in the not-for-profit world. The response received is worth noting too:
I'm assuming for the purposes of this reply that "non-profit community" translates into "very little, if any, marketing/advertising budget."
I'm also assuming that you know:
1) what "call to action" you're driving (i.e., "buy tickets to our event" or "volunteer your time")
2) who you're trying to reach (i.e., you know the demographic of your customers)
I would do anything I can that's free... including making sure you're sending press releases about your events to local media, to leaving business card drop boxes at places where you can have people drop their card, and giveaway one free set of tix. For the other cards, you've got contact info now for a mailing list or email list. But you might try some cold calling of those cards: "Sorry you didn't win, but we can offer at half off" or something like that.
Also, make sure every one who comes to one of your events has a reason to come back and bring someone with them... these are people who already know about you and your events and are the best source of bringing new customers back with them. Give them some incentive to come back, and some incentive to bring a friend.
If this doesn't help, read anything by Seth Godin (he has free e-books on the web called "Knock Knock") and also try reading "Shameless marketing for brazen hussies."
For responses to this question go here: http://www.linkedin.com/answers/marketing-sales/business-development/MAR_BDV/28613-1458915