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Everything you need to Know About Nonprofit Digital Marketing

Digital marketing Dec 28, 2022

For a long time, the nonprofit sector has struggled with marketing and advertising. One of the main reasons is the lack of budgets. What donors give to the organization goes towards supporting causes. That leaves little, or indeed nothing, to brand-building initiatives.

There is also another interesting, and debatable perception. That is the immorality of nonprofits engaging in capitalistic behavior. The idea that advertising dresses up the sheep in wolf's clothing prevails. Whether this is the case or not, one fact remains clear. Nonprofits need to bring in money to support their causes. And that will only be possible if the public and donors know about the organization.

Well, nonprofit digital marketing is the answer. Online marketing is effective, as the ability to reach a broad audience, and can happen at zero cost. You will want to read on to learn more about nonprofit digital marketing.

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Nonprofit Digital Marketing Is Cost-Effective

Let's get the proverbial elephant out of the room by first addressing the issue of cost. As we pointed out, nonprofit organizations depend on donations. This presents a catch of twenty-two situations for the organization.

The first is to fulfill their promises to the donors. You can imagine the need for accountability in spending any of the money. On the other side, the organization understands the need to spend on marketing.

Enter nonprofit digital marketing as the perfect response to the tricky scenario. The biggest advantage is the terms of opportunities available online. Inside the goodie basket are free or negligible-cost marketing and advertising opportunities.

Take the example of a website. True, there may be the initial cost of setting up one. But, there is always the option of free website builders available.

With a website, you can let the world know about the organization. Your nonprofit digital marketing strategy can include blogs, videos, case studies, and more.

In flexibility, there is so much you can do with the website. Since you have total control, you can change content as and when you wish. Websites are excellent for engaging, informing, and educating stakeholders.

Social media presents another powerful, robust and flexible nonprofit online marketing vehicle. Best of all, the organization does not need to spend a cent on such. Even if you set a budget to ads or boosting posts, the spend will be negligible.

A Nonprofit Digital Marketing Strategy Is a Must

The nonprofit organization must have a clear digital marketing strategy. That entails starting with proper goals of what you hope to achieve. These include:-

  • Brand-building to establish the organization in the market
  • Awareness creation through visibility-generating tactics
  • Attracting volunteer coordinator support
  • Nonprofit online marketing for fundraising
  • Authority building as a way of establishing credibility, and more.

The SMART principle always works when coming up with goals. That means:-

  • Specific without any ambiguity or confusion on what you want to achieve
  • Measurable, thus the need to establish clear metrics from the beginning
  • Achievable
  • Relevant, which requires aligning the goals to long-term objectives
  • Time-bound, thus the need for clear timelines within which you will achieve the goals.

You Must Identify Your Nonprofit Target Audience

Nonprofit digital marketing can be difficult due to the broad audience base. It is easy to think you should spread your messages as far as possible, hoping to reach the right people. But, the spray-and-hope method may be counterproductive.

Like any other organization, it helps to identify and narrow down the target. That means:-

  • Starting with proper market research to know your target audience. Gather intelligence from websites, event registrants, media, etc.
  • Targeting the right supporters for your cause. That requires an in-depth understanding of where they are. Also, you need to know why they may want to spend money on your organization.
  • Coming up with the right messaging that resonates with the target audience.

Use Tactics That Get People to Open Their Purse Strings

For-profit organizations sell tangible products or services. A customer buys and gets something of value in return. The same does not apply to nonprofit donors or supporters. Other than an altruistic feeling, they don't get anything else. You must appeal to the target audience's emotions. That is the best way to get them to open their purse strings.

So, the messaging for your nonprofit online marketing must have this in mind. You must connect on an emotional level with the target audience. You can do this by:-

  • Using stories or case studies as a medium of communication. Ensure you show how the nonprofit organization is changing the world or environment. Not only do you create awareness, but it is a powerful way to bring in donations.
  • Ensure total transparency so that the donors know how you are spending their money
  • Display plenty of testimonials or reviews about your organization. It is a fantastic way to establish credibility and trust with the public and donors.
  • Get placement in sites that evaluate/rate nonprofit organizations. An excellent rating is a sign of credibility and trustworthiness.
  • Sign up to Google for Nonprofits. The search giant gives Nonprofits Google ad grants of up to $10,000 in advertising value. There is also the option of utilizing YouTube for nonprofits. Video content is a powerful communication medium. It is also ideal for showcasing the organization's work.

Don't Forget Public Relations

Your nonprofit digital marketing strategy must include a section on public relations. Think about it. The most powerful endorsement is one that comes from third parties. So, take advantage of Tactics like:-

  • Posting testimonials and reviews on all the organization's digital platforms. That includes your social media and website.
  • Share editorial or newsworthy content with the media. A mention of the organization is excellent for establishing authority in the industry. Further, it is a robust tool for creating brand visibility.
  • Form partnerships with influencers or bloggers to push stories about the organization. Make sure whoever you work with aligns with the organization's values.
  • Ensure you have an active role in the community. If you are an active member of society, people are likely to support your nonprofit.

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Final Thoughts

Nonprofit digital marketing has so many benefits for the organization. The most significant is the tons of savings. There is still an opportunity to achieve a lot with little. The website and social media are quite effective as communication mediums.

Remember to start with a clear nonprofit digital marketing strategy. Appeal to the emotional aspect of people in your communication. And finally, remember the power of public relations.

Keep up the good work you are doing to make the world a better place.


Zoi Kotsou

Copywriter - Content writer - Content Strategist

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