How To Grow Your Nonprofit With Digital Marketing

If you run a nonprofit organization, or are working for one, you’re probably thinking about how to grow your nonprofit with digital marketing. Because knowing how to market your initiatives can get you a great ROI, whether your goal is to increase brand awareness or engagement.

Digital marketing – namely things like using your website and your social media, can help you promote your organization’s work easily. But first you need to know how to position yourself as an organization correctly. With the right strategies you will be able to drive traffic, get lots of high quality content out there and drive user engagement.

So how is digital marketing useful for nonprofits? 

  • It is a low-cost option to promote your work.
  • You reach a wider audience, faster.
  • It allows you to be accessible and makes your messaging available, around the clock.
  • You can measure your performance via analytics in real-time. 
  • You can quickly adapt to any changes in the behavior of your audience.

Website ideas to promote your nonprofit 

A good website for your nonprofit will serve as a brand awareness tool. It will also allow you to get continued support from those who follow you online. For this, you need to be impeccable in telling your brand story. Using brand style guidelines and design elements correctly will help you get your story across.

Use graphics, videos and images that grab attention

Because of the kind of work you do, creating visuals is the way to go with your storytelling. Fun fact: the human brain processes visuals 60,000 times quicker than text! So you know why a picture is worth a thousand words right? (or 60,000 maybe?). Use high-quality photographs, infographics that outline your processes and data, vlogs, and videos.

Use negative space to get attention

Research says that when you use negative space well on your website, it enhances:

  • Customer satisfaction 
  • Understanding of information given 
  • Focus on content that is important 
  • Trust (this is very important for a nonprofit)

So as you’re thinking about how to grow your nonprofit with digital marketing, keep in mind how you can emphasize your messages with negative space.

Have a global ‘Donate’ button that is prominent 

Just like any other brand, nonprofits need a good, strong call to action. And in your case what would this CTA be? Well, the DONATE button.

Responsive design elements 

Your supporters and stakeholders will access your website across many devices. And you can count on mobile devices to be used quite a bit for this purpose. In recent years mobile browsing has surpassed desktop browsing, so it’s important to know what this means for you. To determine whether you need to have a strong mobile strategy, check out your Google Analytics data to find out what proportion of your site visitors are coming from a mobile device. If it’s not the majority, all you will need is a consistently responsive web design to create a good user experience for all devices.

Content marketing through blogs 

We can’t talk about how to grow you nonprofit with digital marketing without mentioning content marketing! Keep on adding search engine optimized blogs as new content consistently. These can speak of your initiatives, press releases, new actions, and plans ahead. You can also write about trends and new stories that relate to a cause that you are working for.

Be sure to include an events page so that you can get more community engagement and use popups and forms for lead generation.

If you want to get some more inspiration, here are some really great website designs for nonprofits. 
Hope for Haiti

Some of the features of the site that you may want to consider are:

  • Vivid and emotional photography 
  • Storytelling through videos 
  • Call to action button that is clearly notable 
  • A color scheme that is consistent 

Oxfam America

Some great aspects of the site that you can take inspiration from are:

  • A fun color scheme that gives life to their cause 
  • High quality photography 
  • Simple navigation 
  • Call to action for not just donations but also for volunteering
And now let’s take a look at some of the social media posts that you can create for your non-profit .

There are many different types of social media posts that you can use to garner attention and generate support for your nonprofit. Some of the most effective options include:

Statistics and facts 

You can share statistics and infographics (we’re exploring infographics below in detail). For this you can pull out numbers from your annual reports or share high quality images with facts. 

You can play curator 

Keep an ongoing list of influencers like journalists, bloggers and news sites, as well as partner organizations. You can retweet and share relevant content from them and you can even repurpose them. The repurposed content can be shared on your social media like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter. 

Use relevant hashtags 

Get cracking with existing, popular hashtags like #MotivationMonday, #WisdomWednesday or #TBT. Having these will automatically get you more visibility. On the other hand, you can actually create your own hashtags. For instance, the Lung Cancer Foundation of America has a series of hashtags that goes as #LivingWithLungCancer which brings to light, a rather human aspect of the disease that they are combatting.

Use Facebook Live or live Tweets 

If you are having any press conference or events, go live then and there. This will allow for your social media to get more attention and you will also be viewed as progressive with your approach to keeping your followers engaged and updated. 

Try out the ‘Humans of New York’ approach 

To grow your nonprofit with digital marketing, share meaningful stories. They will resonate with your audience and expand upon the lived experiences of the cause that you support. To this end you can get your team on your social media and your website as well. Explore stories of those who have been impacted by the actions you have taken and post them up. Give faces to all the behind the scenes and build better connections with your audience.

View this post on Instagram

“He was really scared of my wheelchair when I met him. So it didn’t seem like it was going to work out. But I had a soft spot for him. Ted was the smallest of his litter. He’d been really sick and they didn’t know if he was going to survive. The first time I went to meet him, I collapsed in his owner’s kitchen. But Ted wiggled over toward me and laid down on my chest. Everyone thought it was so cute. It was the first time I’d ever had a health scare that turned into something positive– so it seemed like it was meant to be. There are two options when you get an assistance dog. You can get a dog that’s already been trained. Or you can train the dog yourself—and that’s what I wanted to do. Because I needed something. I have this genetic disease. It weakens every part of my body, but it didn’t get bad until my teenage years. So I had this wonderful life and then it was taken away. I was isolated from my friends for so long. I couldn’t go to school. It reached a point where I couldn’t see a reason to live anymore. I needed something to focus on besides my health. And Ted gave me that. He needed me and I needed him. I watched all the training videos I could find. I read all the books. I reached out to people and asked for help. It gave me a reason to talk to people again. I hadn’t done that in so long. And I learned that I was good at training. Everything just flowed. From day one—we’ve been so in sync. He can fetch me anything. He helps me get undressed. He even watches me when I sleep, and wakes me up if I’m having night terrors. My mom was having to help me with everything before I got Ted. And she loves me so much. But she has two other children, and I know she was getting so tired. But Ted doesn’t get tired. He loves to help. He’s so excited to help. He’ll pick up the same thing seventeen times. It makes him so happy. He’s my world—really. He saved my life. He made me happy again. And he takes so much pressure off my family. He gives me a break from being the disabled child. From being the focus of everyone’s attention. He lets me be a daughter. And a big sister. He lets me be Chloe again.”

A post shared by Humans of New York (@humansofny) on

Imbibe the right vibe

This image gives you a really good feel for high and low energies that you need to design your posts for. When you create social media content, always aim for the high energy feels in your designs. They will get people active and sharing.

Got campaigns coming up? Use infographics to spread the word 

Using catchy imagery with the right wording can really get people moving. Here are some infographic examples from nonprofits that will get your creative juices flowing so you can design your own!

Awareness Infographics

For starters, the awareness infographic below gives people a number that makes anybody go ‘What?!’ Then it directs people to go on the website to help take action.

 Comparative Infographics

Now comparative infographics are where you give people comparative numbers side by side and also lets them see where they can take action on the infographic itself. 

Education & Awareness Infographics

Another type of infographic strategy you can try out is letting people know what specific terminology means. This increases awareness on the subject and also increases intrigue. This will especially help you if you are lobbying for rights or for a bill to be passed. 

Fundraising Goal Infographics

If you have a particular campaign and fundraising goal for your nonprofit, you can also display this by using an infographic. Or you can summarize the progress your organiztion has made.

Try using infographics for a variety of goals. They are helpful to break down lengthy processes and perspectives into compelling snapshots. So go ahead, challenge people to help create positive change,  get creative and leave something for people to think about, or educate them.

But in all of this, one thing is key: consistency 

In all of the examples we’ve shared, consistency is something that stands out. This applies to consistency in your quality of designs, fonts and colors chosen. Why is this so important? Because it gives identity to your nonprofit. It helps people immediately recognize the communications that you send out, and allows for them to remember you off the top of their minds. 

Consistency also means that you can build relationships faster with your audience. It allows you to actually save time too, because you don’t have to keep going back and forth for templates, colors and fonts. Besides, when there is too much variety in your social media posts and web designs, they become cluttered and don’t represent the brand clearly.

Grow your nonprofit with digital marketing

As a nonprofit you may be appealing to a local or global audience. You are reaching out to potential partner organizations. You are asking for donations and volunteers. Across all the goals is a need to evoke emotions. To create moods and motivate people to make a change. 

We’re living in a world that is evolving everyday and to bring about substantial change that can be maintained, you need to be creative, innovative and strategic. And the most effective strategy to communicate all the ways in which you’re doing this, is to share and promote your efforts through digital marketing. So go ahead with launching more campaigns and trying out more design types, and grow your nonprofit with digital marketing!