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Digital Marketing 9 min read

12 Digital Marketing and Fundraising Strategies for Nonprofits

Sarah Edwards photo

Written by Sarah Edwards

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

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Expert reviewed by Dallin Porter

Marketing Director @ Galactic Fed

Published 11 Oct 2023

For-profit businesses understand the importance of brand awareness. But nonprofits can also leverage digital marketing, online fundraising strategies, and other methods to promote their organizations. 

In fact, the digital world has made it easier for any nonprofit to raise awareness about the organization and its cause, engage the community for donations, or promote volunteer opportunities.

With just a little planning and knowledge, your nonprofit can benefit from the best digital marketing and online fundraising ideas.

Why Nonprofits Need a Marketing Plan

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Does your nonprofit organization need a marketing strategy? A well-designed campaign can assist you with:

  • Fundraising online
  • Promoting awareness of your organization and its causes
  • Advertising local volunteer opportunities
  • Maintaining long-term support
  • Advancing your values or mission

To achieve these goals, you’ll need a marketing plan that raises awareness about your organization or your immediate goals. A well-run marketing plan can increase engagement with your existing followers and enhance your visibility among members of your community.

The Best Digital Marketing and Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits

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Digital marketing doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Here are 12 of the most affordable marketing ideas you can use for your nonprofit.

1. Focus On Website Optimization

Many nonprofits operate a website. But how easy is it for visitors to find your site? Marketing professionals rely on the art and science of search engine optimization (SEO) to boost your online visibility.

Make sure to use keywords that help internet users find your website. Don’t forget to include words related to your geographic location, such as “schools in South Carolina” or “where to volunteer near San Diego.” 

Good SEO helps your site appear near the top of search engine results pages and increases the chances of engaging with visitors that align with your organization’s goals.

2. Use Google Business Profile to Stay Local

In addition to website optimization, make sure to optimize your Google Business Profile listing to rank higher in local search results. This will increase your visibility among your local customers and stakeholders and help you connect with a wider network within your immediate area.

If you don’t already have a Google Business Profile listing, you can sign up for free. Asking members of your network to leave a review can help your organization rank higher and receive more visitors.

3. Personalize Your Content Marketing

Publishing blog posts, videos, and other content has always been a valuable digital marketing strategy. But your web content can also assist in your online fundraising campaign marketing. You can develop content that explains more fully your fundraising goals, what you hope to achieve, and how others can be involved.

Don’t forget to conclude each post with a strong call to action. You can invite readers to partner with you by participating in fundraising efforts or to contact you about volunteer opportunities.

4. Create Engaging Infographics

Does your online fundraising campaign marketing require you to communicate a lot of data? If so, make it visual. Many organizations create infographics to collect and summarize the most important information. 

A clear infographic makes it easier for followers to understand the immediate needs of your organization and how their donation will address those needs. Because the completed infographic is visual, you can share it on social media or through your blog posts and digital marketing campaigns.

5. Conduct Targeted Email Campaigns

Email marketing is alive and well for businesses and nonprofits alike. An email campaign offers the chance to explain to your current followers the importance of your fundraising campaign and provide a clear call to action to encourage donations.

You can also use email marketing campaigns to engage new followers. If you connect with new visitors online or at in-person events, you can use email campaigns to introduce your organization to these contacts and invite them to connect with you at future events or to participate in your fundraising project.

6. Stay Active on Social Media

Nonprofit organizations can raise awareness by remaining active on social media. Social media is also a great place to promote your website. According to recent data, roughly 30% of nonprofit website traffic comes from social media. Facebook and Instagram posts can help you drive visitors to donation pages or informative content.

Additionally, nonprofits might consider diversifying their social media channels to reach new demographics. For instance, Instagram users tend to be young adults between the ages of 18 to 24. Leveraging these platforms may help you connect with younger generations.

7. Host Virtual Events and Webinars

Webinars and virtual events can help you promote your nonprofit organization. A typical webinar generates between 500 and 1,000 leads, and virtual events have become much more common in post-COVID America.

Consider virtual events or webinars that introduce your audience to your organization. You might also host an event that raises awareness about your organization’s goals or cause and then invite attendees to make donations. Charging admission may cause your audience to shrink, but a small admission fee can also be used to assist with online fundraising.

8. Hold Online Auctions

While online auctions may require their own form of digital marketing, online fundraising campaigns may reap the benefits of these online sales. If you or other members of your organization have unique goods or services to offer, you might auction these off to the community.

An online auction may be more successful than simply asking for donations since donors get something in return. Also, the auction may attract a different community demographic than a webinar.

9. Leverage the Power of Influencers

Celebrity endorsements could help you promote your nonprofit or a particular cause. Social media influencers have a preexisting network of followers, usually across multiple social channels. 

They’re called “influencers” for a reason: According to data from 2023, 50% of millennials trust product recommendations from influencers, while only 38% trust endorsements from other types of celebrities.

Just make sure to seek out an influencer whose values align with your organization. If your goal is simply marketing, you may consider paying for endorsements from popular influencers. But beware of high fees that may conflict with your online fundraising goals.

10. Consider Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is easily the simplest and most direct type of online fundraising campaign marketing. Nonprofits can partner with popular crowdfunding platforms to collect donations online. While the crowdfunding platform will take a cut of the donations as payment, this is still an efficient way to collect donations across your network.

A typical crowdfunding campaign will raise an average of $28,656. Crowdfunding can therefore be a simple way to generate funds for community projects or the organization’s internal needs.

11. Create Video Content

When it comes to digital marketing, content is king. But the type of content matters a great deal. In many cases, a video is truly worth a thousand words, and web users may be more inclined to watch a video than read through a lengthy blog post.

In 2022 alone, 83.3% of web visitors accessed digital videos. Nonprofit organizations might use video content to connect more directly with their target audience or to make a more direct appeal regarding fundraising efforts. You might also include interviews with community members who will be most directly impacted by your fundraising campaign to help viewers visualize the results of their donation.

12. Leverage Google Ad Grants

Depending on the nature of your organization, you may be eligible for Google Ad Grants. Qualifying businesses gain access to as much as $10,000, which can be applied to Google Ads. These ads will appear when web users search for related topics, and you can adjust the settings to specifically target individuals in your geographic area.

That’s good news for nonprofits whose operating budgets may already be stretched thin. A Google Ads campaign could be a powerful way to reach your local community. You’ll also receive analytical data to evaluate the effectiveness of your ad campaign, allowing you to refine your efforts for the future.

A Plan That Works for You

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These 12 tips can empower your nonprofit organization to reach a broader audience and engage with your community about an important cause.

Whether your goals are digital marketing, online fundraising, or simply raising awareness, you’ll need a plan that aligns with your budget and vision. With the right solutions and an expert marketing partner, you can reach your audience — and your goals.

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Sarah Edwards photo

Sarah Edwards

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed