2020 Digital Marketing guide for NGOs and Nonprofits

When someone mentions the term, “digital marketing,” chances are the first thing that pops in your mind is a small business or large corporation.

However, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and churches need a solid digital marketing plan just as much (if not more!) 

Online marketing for a nonprofit just works towards a different goal than a business does.

  • Government agencies want to disseminate valuable information to their citizens.
  • Churches aim to attract members to their ministry or raise funds for a cause.
  • Nonprofits want to recruit volunteers or solicit donations.

Here are some tools that your nonprofit or NGO can use in 2020 to launch highly successful digital marketing campaigns:

Blogging

One of the best ways for a nonprofit to increase donations and recruit volunteers is by creating (and consistently updating) a blog.

Blog posts enable your organization to inform people of what you are doing, and why they should partner with you.

Blogs and newsletters are not only a great and easy way to keep your current members and donors informed, but they are also a great way to attract potential donors and volunteers to your site.

Blogging regularly shows that you are an expert, provides valuable information, and gives search engines an idea of what your organization’s website is all about.

Newsletters are especially helpful after a fundraising event where you can thank those involved and tell how much money was raised. You could take information in a newsletter and put it in a blog and get two for the price of one.

Table of Contents

man drawing water out of a well provided by a nonprofit organization

Have Questions about Digital Marketing for your Nonprofit or NGO?

Send us a message, and lets come up with a personalized digital marketing plan for your organization.

Historically, nonprofits used email to call for volunteers or to confirm an online donation, but that’s not enough.

Email marketing is a highly effective marketing resource that nonprofits should add put on the top of their digital marketing strategies.

Why?

It’s personal and powerful.

And it’s free.

Here are a few ways that your organization can leverage the power of the email marketing campaign to reach your audiences

  • Send a weekly newsletter with your newest content, updates about your organization, industry data, and volunteer needs.
  • Send monthly emails with donation needs and opportunities.
  • Set up an email sequence for new subscribers thanking them for joining and educating them on your organization.
  • Set up an email sequence for new donors thanking them for their contribution and sharing how else they can support your organization.

Be sure to put calls to action on your website that shows visitors how they can subscribe to your newsletter or email list.

Social Media

Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are perfect tools for marketing your nonprofit organization. 

  • You can post pictures and videos from events. 
  • You can target a younger audience. 
  • You can post messages that you want to get to the general public. 

screenshot of afya foundation global nonprofit social media campaign

Nonprofit organizations often get comments and shares on the posts because people are interested in them. 

Create engaging content, and your followers will share your content, and your reach can expand exponentially.

Unfortunately, in 2020, much of your social media reach will depend on your organization’s willingness to spend money to boost posts or pay for ads.

Don’t worry, there are still steps you can take to create a consistent voice and meaningful presence without a big budget. 

However, each social media platform is different.  Make sure that you adapt your approach to each. 

Facebook’s lack of character count means you can tell more of your story in your post, while you’ll have to be more concise on Twitter, instead you should focus on getting people to click through to your website.

Hashtags are also useful for participating in timely and relevant topics. 

Take time to learn which hashtags are used by your peers and which are trending to help you get seen by more people. Consider using branded hashtags for all of your organization’s posts, such as #yourcompanyname, #yourcampaignname, etc.

Respond to questions and comments on your organization’s posts and join relevant groups on Facebook and LinkedIn where you can contribute your expert knowledge.

Suggestion from our experts: Social media analytics and marketing can help guide your strategy. We recommend collecting and examining the data consistently. You can learn what content and which topics are resonating with your audience and build your future posts based on what’s already working. While the built-in analytics for tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are a good place to start, social listening platforms can offer even more insight.

Your Website

We probably don’t have to remind you of the importance of having an awesome, yet functional website for your nonprofit.  

Your website’s design should allow for easy navigation and provide a top-notch user experience.

There are a few things that you can do to maximize lead generation and donation revenues such as:

Adding popups – These are a good way to encourage visitors to subscribe to your newsletters.  The benefit is twofold – they stay informed, and you grow your email list. You never know, these visitors may become volunteers or donors down the road.

Creating donation pages – Remember to make your website donor friendly.  Create individual pages for your campaigns, and make them easily accessible.  You can link to these pages from your menu, or (if you’re using WordPress, you can insert a widget on any post or page you want).

These donation pages should be clear and to the point. The easier it is for your visitors to donate, the more likely they will.  Create individual pages for your campaigns, and make them easily accessible. You can link to these pages from your menu, or (if you’re using WordPress, you can insert a widget on any post or page you want).

Make sure you also provide a recurring donation option for people who are willing to commit smaller amounts on a monthly basis. They’re not likely to notice the extra $5 or $10 out of their budget every month but over time your charity or nonprofit will. 

Making it easy for supporters to donate to your organization on a recurring basis also helps keep supporters connected to your organization and cause over the longer term.

Lastly, don’t forget to make it easy for others to share your donation page with friends, family members, and social networks.

Video Marketing

One of the best ways to reach your awareness and fundraising goals is to leverage video marketing as a primary channel. 

Video engagement makes up an enormous part of all web traffic (roughly 80%), and according to one study, 57% of online donors make a gift after watching an inspirational fundraising video

For nonprofits, video marketing is particularly valuable because this type of storytelling around your organization can help your viewers feel that they’re part of your mission, and see how their involvement is directly making a difference.

Many nonprofits fail to implement video marketing because they think it’s too expensive.  That’s simply not the case.

Just about anyone with a smartphone can shoot a decent video that can help you reach your marketing goals.  You can:

  • Create a YouTube video.
  • Go live on Facebook.

Remember, it doesn’t have to be polished and look like a Stephen Spielberg production.  Just get your message across!

Google’s Free Tools for Nonprofits

Because Google loves nonprofits, they offer a multitude of resources available to your organization for free.

Their Google for Nonprofits platform will provide your organization with:

  • G Suite for nonprofits – “Help your nonprofit collaborate more effectively with smart, secure business apps like Gmail, Docs, Calendar, Drive, and Hangouts Meet, so you can focus on what matters.”
  • Google Grants – “Attract donors, raise awareness for your organization, and recruit volunteers with in-kind advertising on Google Search.”
  • YouTube Nonprofit Program – “Unlock the power of video storytelling, so you can reach a global audience and amplify your cause. Plus, make it easy for supporters to give with YouTube Giving features (currently available in the U.S.).”
  • Google Earth and Maps – “Develop compelling data visualizations to track and share your organization’s impact. Plus, use Google Maps Platform to help people locate community programs and resources closest to them.”

 

Conclusion

Nonprofit digital marketing is really just traditional marketing with a twist.  Of course, all of the usual marketing tactics and tools still apply (SEO, content marketing, etc.)  But, we hope this gives you a general overview of tools and tactics that you can incorporate into your marketing plan to help your organization meet and exceed its’ goals.

If we managed to lose you, or you have more questions, please do not hesitate to contact us, and we’ll be glad to answer them.

And, if your nonprofit of NGO doesn’t have the staff or resources to tackle your nonprofit’s marketing, give Baton Rouge’s leading nonprofit digital agency a shot. 

We specialize in churches and nonprofits.

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