Digital Marketing for Nonprofits

Pretty much everything occurs online these days. Supporting a good cause or donating to charity isn't any different. Remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that went viral over social media back in 2014? Their use of digital marketing brought in a massive amount of exposure to the ALS Association all because of a video. With that being said, your nonprofit organization might not operate for profit, but that doesn’t mean it can’t gain from nonprofit digital marketing. Whether it be through increased traffic, funds, or awareness, nonprofit marketing will surely benefit your organization. Afterall, in this day and age, if you want your organization to stand out, having an active online presence is key. Here is everything you need to know about digital marketing for nonprofits:

Digital Marketing 101

So, what exactly is digital marketing? Digital marketing is promoting and selling products and services by taking advantage of online marketing tactics such as social media marketing, email marketing, and search marketing. Basically, digital marketing is how businesses today are conveying their message to their best prospects and customers.

Now, what exactly is nonprofit marketing, then? Nonprofit marketing is the use of marketing strategies and tactics to amplify an organization’s mission and cause, attract supporters and volunteers, and solicit donations. So, what do you get when you put the two together? Digital marketing for nonprofits.

Essentially, digital marketing isn’t much different from traditional marketing. Both strategies ultimately strive to develop mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics. However, digital marketing has replaced many traditional marketing tactics, considering it’s designed to reach customers in a world where technology is constantly advancing.

Why Should You Turn to Digital Marketing?

If you still aren't convinced that digital marketing can benefit your organization, consider this: when was the last time you made a big purchase? Maybe it was for a new car or maybe you hired someone to fix a broken appliance in your home. Regardless of what it was, the first thing you probably did was pull out your phone or computer and search the Internet to learn more about your available options. Consequently, your ultimate purchasing decision was then based on the features and pricing you researched, and the reviews that you read.

With that being said, an online presence is strongly recommended, regardless of what products, services, or benefits your company or organization offers. At the end of the day, nonprofit organizations still need to draw in volunteers and donations—and where will those potential supporters start their search? The Internet.

Digital Marketing Strategies for Nonprofit Organizations

There are many different strategies you can use to optimize digital marketing for your organization. Each of them have their own benefits, and when executed effectively, they will benefit your organization. Here is a list of digital marketing strategies you and your marketing team can easily utilize:

Email Marketing

You probably use email already to either confirm online donations or contact volunteers. However, there is much more you can do with it. Email marketing is actually a highly effective marketing resource, especially for nonprofits. How can it be such a powerful tool? Because emails are personable. Here are a few ways you can optimize email marketing:

  • Send out a weekly newsletter that includes updates about your organization and any volunteer needs

  • Send monthly emails with donation needs or new opportunities.

  • Automate an email sequence for new subscribers thanking them for joining and providing a brief introduction about your organization.

Here is a digital marketing tip: use automated emails as much as possible. Email marketing automation platforms like MailChimp or ConvertKit help your team save time and energy, and can be the key to growing your email list.

Social Media

Social media is one of the most popular marketing strategies among nonprofits—and the best part? It’s free! In addition, it allows an organization to portray its brand personality and engage with their followers and supporters.

Not sure what to post on your organization’s social media? You can share news and updates about your organization, recruit volunteers and employees, boost brand awareness, and recognize donors or any other supporters. Implementing user-generated content is also a great way to let your supporters feel involved with your organization, and it helps lighten your team’s workload. Facebook also has a donate button that you can add to your page, so make sure you’re getting the most out of each social media platform you use!

It is also important to keep your social media posts targeted and consistent. You can easily manage all of your social media accounts and plan posts through services like Hootsuite. This way, you can constantly maintain your relationship with your followers and continue to make new connections.


It is extremely important that every nonprofit organization has a website. Essentially, a website is the digital home base for your organization. It should include all of the important information, like what your mission is and how people can participate to help your cause.

It is vital that your website is clear and easy to navigate. Just think: nobody wants to fumble around a website just to find out how they can volunteer. In addition, your website should contain any upcoming events information, links to your social media pages and blogs, contact information, and basically the rest of your marketing materials.

Google Ads Grants

Google Ads are another powerful tool for nonprofit digital marketing. It is a fairly simple service that is designed to provide advertising solutions for nonprofit organizations of all sizes.

Whenever people search for nonprofits like your own, Google Ads will appear next to their search results. They will still be under the ads of paying advertisers, but Google Ads Grants are free! Furthermore, it will draw in more traffic to your website and potentially help your organization gain exposure and attract supporters. Also, if you’re worried about putting your organization in the hands of another, you will have complete control over your campaign through Google Ads Grants.

Video Marketing

People prefer video content over anything else. In fact, 72% of people prefer to learn about a product or service through a video. Afterall, sometimes it’s just easier to watch a short clip rather than read page after page of information about an organization you may eventually realize you aren’t even interested in. Therefore, video marketing is a great way for nonprofits to sell themselves and garner support from all types of audiences.

Videos are also a great way to implement that personal element, which can inspire empathy in viewers. This can’t really be done in other types of marketing. Furthermore, videos are interesting, educational, and shareable if you're posting them on social media. Video marketing has the opportunity to showcase your organization and connect with your viewers. You really can’t go wrong!

Make Your Nonprofit Stand Out Through Digital Marketing

Ultimately, digital marketing for nonprofits can raise awareness for your organization, increase funds, recruit volunteers, and promote your services—all through the use of technology. By implementing even a few of the digital marketing strategies listed above, your nonprofit organization can have the potential to grow so much more. Why not take a chance and activate your nonprofit’s online presence?

For access to free digital marketing courses, click here.


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