Benchmarking NFP
Value Propositions, 2021

Not-for-profits (NFPs) are like no other organizations.

Eight Insights to Drive Your Value Proposition.

This first annual report is designed to help NFP leaders and executives understand where to make strategic, organizational investments to develop the long-term resilience of their organizations.

Halmyre set out to benchmark how CEOs view their organization’s strength and readiness related to their

  • value propositions
  • pricing strategies
  • audience engagement
  • changing audience wants and needs
  • data analysis
Halmyre Insight #1

1. Only 49% of NFPs Have a Value Propsition

A value proposition is a succinct statement of your NFP’s fundamental strategy or reason for being. It answers the existential question, “Why are we here?”

"The value proposition is not universally understood and as such many management teams have not purposefully created a value proposition statement for their NFP. It is a very clear and specific marketing strategy that benefits all organizations."

– David Lloyd, Vice President, Marketing Intelligence, Halmyre

2. 88% of Respondents with a Value Proposition are Confident in their NFP’s Implementation of their Strategic Plan


  • Of the 51% without a set value proposition, 61% nonetheless responded that they believe their NFP is implementing the plan effectively.
  • Among those that do have a set value proposition, confidence in implementing their plans grew to 88%.

Halmyre’s Insights

  • It is striking that confidence in leaders’ ability to implement strategic plans is not tied to whether or not they had a set value proposition to start with.
  • Results may indicate a lack of alignment between CEOs, board members and their operational teams.
  • DYK? NFPs that had more, and more engaged, volunteers seemed to have a better grasp of their members’ needs. Is that because they are more “in tune” to listening to them?

"There is misalignment between NFP leaders, boards and administrative staff on a value proposition strategy. This ultimately wastes an NFP’s two most valuable resources: time and money."

– Christine Saunders, President, Halmyre

Did you know?

NFPs that had more, and more engaged, volunteers seemed to have a better grasp of their members’ needs. Is that because they are more “in tune” to listening to them?

Halmyre Insight #3

3. Only 56% of all NFPs Use A Specific Pricing Strategy


  • 44% of all NFPs do not have a pricing strategy.
  • Of organizations that have value propositions, only half have a specific pricing methodology.

Halmyre’s Insights

Risks in pricing
  • One risk of not having a pricing strategy is that you leave money on the table.
  • Lacking a price strategy sends the wrong signals to your audiences about the quality of your offering.

"Take a good look at your pricing. It’s fundamental and getting it right is worth it. Getting it wrong can undermine success."

– David Lloyd, Vice President, Marketing Intelligence, Halmyre

4. More than 50% of Respondents have a Negative View of their NFP’s Pricing


  • 51% of respondents have a negative sentiment, which may indicate they don’t think their NFP’s pricing strategy is effective.
  • 30% of respondents are at best neutral on their pricing strategy.

Halmyre’s Insights

  • The most commonly used terms with respect to CEOs’ negative view of their pricing strategy were “data,” “association” and “variables.” This speaks to a lack of trust in the data on how they should price and in the value they provide to members.
  • Most CEOs also ranked optimizing pricing strategies as one of their lowest priorities with respect to success factors in their overall strategy.

"In the “negative” and “neutral” categories, the terms seem to be about the inherent structure of NFPs themselves. I think these two sentiments offer insight about how leaders feel they’re on their back foot. They don’t command their value equation (pricing). They feel that audiences, members and the markets do."

– Christine Saunders, President, Halmyre

Halmyre Insight #4

Did you know?

43% of respondents did not answer the question about whether the Board is aligned with a pricing strategy.

5. “Benchmark” and “Cost-Plus” Pricing Strategies are the Most Popular

Benchmark pricing involves comparing your prices to competitors’ prices within your market segment. Cost-plus pricing involves adding a markup to the product’s unit cost.


  • 15.8% use a benchmark pricing strategy and have a positive sentiment about its effectiveness.
  • 15.8% use a cost-plus pricing strategy and have a moderately positive sentiment about its effectiveness.

Halmyre’s Insights

  • Both pricing strategies are easy to manage and understand, and are the least aggressive in terms of positioning the NFP for growth.
  • They are not ideal strategies for growing your communication of holistic value to your audiences.
  • DYK? 43% of respondents did not answer the question about whether the board is aligned with the pricing strategy.

"Commodity pricing strategies will communicate a commodity value proposition. Find the areas where you are best, find the wants and needs you fulfill better than anyone, and set a price that signals that it is worth it."

– Christine Saunders, President, Halmyre

6. Only 7% of Leaders are Very Confident they Know their Audience’s Changing Wants and Needs


  • Respondents rated their confidence in having a good understanding of their audience’s changing wants and needs:
    • 7% were very confident
    • 72% were tentatively confident
    • 13% were either not confident or not at all confident

Halmyre’s Insights

  • A member-centric value proposition starts with understanding the wants and needs of your audience.
  • The ability to confidently know if, how and when the group you serve changes is essential to creating a resilient value proposition.

"When we reviewed the responses, there was a sense of “I guess” rather than “I know” to the answers on this issue. If respondents are not prepared to listen to their members (i.e., not investing in data-driven insights), and if COVID-19 has changed what they are able to do (no more in-person events), they will need help to successfully communicate with and advocate for their membership."

– Ursula Green, Vice President, Customer Experience, Halmyre

Halmyre Insight #6
Halmyre Insight #7

7. Value Proposition Is Intimately Tied to Confidence in Audience Engagement


For NFPs without a value proposition:

  • 11% have a great understanding of customer engagement
  • 35% have a good understanding of customer engagement
  • 4% do not understand customer engagement

For NFPs with a value proposition:

  • 4% have a great understanding of customer engagement
  • 64% have a good understanding of customer engagement
  • 8% do not understand customer engagement

Halmyre’s Insights

  • NFPs with a value proposition have much greater confidence in customer engagement – the percentage that are “confident” or “very confident” is almost 1.5 times greater than for organizations without a value proposition.
  • Engagement is the unique measurement of your value proposition.

"Engagement is a feeling and an attitude. Data can help, but quantifying engagement is not the same as looking at open rates. It goes so much deeper into complex behaviours than that."

– Ursula Green, Vice President, Customer Experience, Halmyre

8. 54% of Respondents Have No or Low-Level Plans to Invest in Data Analysis


  • 54% of respondents have no or only weak plans to invest in data analysis, but only 21% of those respondents are confident in their data insights.
  • Confidence in data insights rises to almost 50% in the 22% of respondents with moderate investment plans.

Halmyre’s Insights

Why do many NFPs have trouble collecting and analyzing data? Value proposition and size seem to matter.

  • Organizations with revenue greater than $3 million believe they spend the right amount of time on data analysis and have higher confidence and better-developed investment plans than others.
  • Those with a clear value proposition are more likely to be confident in what to do with the information they collect.

"Data is confusing if you don’t know what to measure. Lack of direction in data collection and analysis can lead to a shotgun approach, as well as poorly conceived reports that end up confusing as opposed to illuminating issues."

– David Lloyd, Vice President, Marketing Intelligence, Halmyre

Halmyre Insight #8

Are you Ready to Dig a Little Deeper?

Has this report sparked thinking about your organization?

Is it time to do things a little differently and get the marketing leadership you need to grow?

Contact us to speak with one of our experienced – and friendly – marketing strategy consultants.

About this Report

  • Open invitation sent to leaders of NFPs of all types across North America
  • Quantitative survey consisted of 25 questions
  • Survey opened in October 2020

Please feel free to download the full report.

Halmyre is a team of marketing strategy consultants committed to help organizations build the fundamentals of the Halmyre Marketing Ecosystem™ to find real value and long-term results.

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