Did you know only 26% of nonprofit organizations can say they have a sophisticated business content plan?\nThis is because not-for-profit organizations face one of the biggest marketing challenges: scarce funding.\nHowever, in many cases, these organizations are also equipped with an important strength — passion for fulfilling their mission.\nNonprofit marketers are driven by the desire to make the world a better place, and creating real change is of the utmost importance to them.\nThis is why digital marketing for nonprofit organizations is crucial. Targeted efforts to promote their goals will help them thrive and raise more awareness, as well as attract more funding for their mission.\nThe greatest hurdles to successful nonprofit marketing\nTo promote a nonprofit, you need branding and marketing that reaches your target audience with the right message at the right time. There are many channels you can use, including content marketing, print ads, video campaigns, emails, online ads, organic and paid social media content, and more.\nBut before we dive into different approaches, let’s first address the most common challenges of successful marketing strategies for nonprofit organizations one-by-one:\n\nThe lack of digital skills\nIncreasing cynicism and competition for donor dollars\nIncreasing competition from organizations with bigger budgets\n\n\nLack of digital skills\nAccording to Skills Platform, the lack of funding and the lack of skills create almost equal obstacles to organizational growth.\nWhat’s more, almost half of charities interested in going digital are facing leadership obstacles, meaning that their management does not prioritize nonprofit marketing strategy.\nIn fact, only in 36% of nonprofits is digital transformation being led from the top down.\nAt the same time, organizations are acknowledging the potential impact of digital transformation within their culture.\nThe good news is that staff can actually create content and run digital campaigns on their own, while gaining buy-in from leadership. This makes more sense for budget-conscious nonprofits as they can send team members to training or dedicate time to refining these skills without a huge financial investment.\nAcknowledging this challenge and using it as rationale for improving skills will pay off for your organization.\nCompetition for donor dollars\nMany worthwhile nonprofits exist, often in the same or similar spaces as your own. This can make the competition for donations difficult.\nCombined with this fact is potential cynicism from the general public, driven by organizations who mismanage funds or high-profile news stories that encourage distrust of nonprofits.\nIf it makes sense, you can try to combat this mindset by encouraging transparency across the organization. Release your year-end reports in a major way, making sure to thank donors and let them know exactly how their dollars were spent.\nYou can read more on this topic in the marketing plan for securing donations below.\nTrack your marketing effortsUser-friendly time tracking and productivity softwareSign up free\nCompeting with organizations with bigger budgets\nSimilarly, you’re also facing competition from larger, well-known nonprofits that often get thought of first when a particular issue arises.\nOf course, working to advance your mission is good no matter what. But you still have goals to hit and objectives to solve.\nSo how do you stand out?\nWhile many nonprofits do not have abundant financial resources, they have another great resource: a caring and passionate human force.\nUse your strengths to your advantage, and embark on a new marketing journey that helps you bring in donations, attract volunteers, and raise awareness for your biggest issues.\nDeveloping a marketing strategy for nonprofit organizations begins with finding existing resources and reaching out to the target audience with an important message.\nYour free marketing plan for nonprofits\nIt may sound overwhelming to develop a nonprofit marketing strategy. However, the first step should always be to audit existing resources to see what’s available. You may discover marketing efforts to refresh or build upon.\nTo start a nonprofit marketing plan from scratch, follow these steps:\n\nUpdate your website content and design\nCreate content around your mission, donors, and volunteers\nHost events and consider other marketing tactics\nTest digital ads and PPC\nUse analytics and research to improve efforts\n\n\nThe main objectives that most nonprofits have are:\n\nGetting donations\nGetting volunteers\nRaising awareness\n\nHere are strategies that help address each goal, using the marketing plan outline above.\nGetting donations through nonprofit marketing\nWhile the target of any nonprofit organization is raising awareness, attracting funding is no less important.\nThese digital marketing tactics for nonprofits will help you do just that.\n1. Update your website content and design\n\nAdd a Donate! page to your website’s main navigation so it’s visible\n\nIf you’re not sure where to start, check out these donate page examples for inspiration\n\n\nOn the home page, place a Donate! call-to-action button with a way to donate online or mail donations\nCreate landing pages for each campaign as part of your not-for-profit marketing\n\nBe as specific as possible so potential donors know what initiatives they’re supporting\n\n\n\n2. Create content around your donors\n\nWrite blog posts about donors and success stories to raise inspiration\nThank your donors with timely emails or notes\nCreate a mailing list and update your target audience about your progress\nCommunicate with your supporters on social media and make use of fundraising tools like Facebook Fundraisers\nSpend time on your annual report, giving credit to donors and letting them know how their donations were spent\n\n3. Host events and consider other marketing tactics\n\nGet creative about fundraising events\n\nCheck out the example of the contactless payment dogs from Blue Cross to make your heart melt\n\n\n\n4. Test digital ads and PPC\n\nUse A\/B tests and PPC marketing with no investment whatsoever to boost your conversions and make sure you are really performing up to your potential with a digital strategy.\nPPC marketing is a paid marketing tool, but for nonprofits aiming to boost their digital footprint, Google Ad Grants program offers it free of charge. Actually, Microsoft and Google are some of the largest non-profit investors in the world. Together, they donate almost a billion of dollars annually.\n\n\nHow does Google make money, you ask? The program limits some of the digital endeavors enjoyed by non-profits. For instance, a bid of $2 CPC and no more than $10,000 can be spent on digital nonprofit marketing monthly.\nFor a free option, these numbers are still pretty attractive.\nDon’t forget about A\/B testing. The concept is as simple as it sounds: any time you can, test out two different options with one change.\nYou can test two different subject lines in your email campaign and see which one performs better (brings in more email opens).\nThis tells you something about your audience – what messaging they prefer, and what they are passionate about. Another example of A\/B testing is testing titles or call-to-action button colors.\nYou can apply this testing approach to most of your marketing efforts, so keep it in mind when you’re starting new campaigns.\n5. Use analytics and research to improve\n\nTrack your donations with Google Analytics conversions\nSearch for digital investors through Google Grants, as mentioned above\n\nThis option helps set up email campaigns, video-based fundraising, and even a mobile app for nonprofits\n\n\n\nUse nonprofit marketing for volunteer recruitment and management\nTo move your mission and speak to people’s hearts, make signing up and volunteering easy and accessible.\nHere’s how to apply your marketing plan to your nonprofit if the priority is volunteer recruitment.\n1. Update your website content and design\n\nNext to your Donate! button, place the one that says Volunteer! and link to the volunteering options at your charity organization\nKeep the website structure simple, and keep the Volunteer! option visible\n\n2. Create content around your volunteers\n\nSpeak about your volunteers on your blog, with pride and gratitude\nShare volunteering opportunities across social media and ask your partners to share\nThank your volunteers by emailing them regularly and updating on the progress of their efforts\n\n3. Host events and consider other marketing tactics\n\nStart an ambassador program that your volunteers or potential supporters can join with ease\nThere are volunteer management systems that help post and track volunteering opportunities on different websites and social media\nSegment your mailing lists and set up a campaign to email potential volunteers who visit your Volunteer page\n\n4. Test digital ads and PPC\n\nFor this objective, it might not make sense to spend precious marketing budget on paid ads\n\nThere are exceptions, if, for example, you need a large number of volunteers for a large-scale fundraiser\nFor this, consider Google Grants again\n\n\n\n5. Use analytics and research to improve efforts\n\nTrack volunteer sign-ups with analytics tools, such as Google Analytics\nSee how email open rates and clicks improve with more consistent marketing efforts\nCompare which social media posts get the most engagement and create more like them\n\n\nWhile 88% of charity marketers realize that email and website are their top sources of traffic in terms of volunteers and donors, 47% of them are actually making money from email marketing.\nIn addition to email marketing, there are many digital sources at play, such as search engine marketing (SEM) and social media traffic.\nManage volunteers betterHours tracking and scheduling softwareTry it free\nNonprofit marketing ideas for raising awareness\nSecuring funding is great, as is finding volunteers.\nHowever, your marketing goal may sometimes be to raise awareness of an important issue and get people talking.\nBe warned: building buzz and engagement isn’t necessarily easier than the other two objectives.\nTo do this, make sure you stress the importance of your work.\nMost people volunteer or donate after hearing new reports or seeing nonprofit campaigns around pollution, for example. Reminding people of current issues can encourage them to tell their friends, change behaviors, or sign up for more information.\nHere’s how to do it.\n1. Update your website content and design\n\nOn your About page, tell a story about who you are and what your mission is\n\nDigital storytelling is powerful when it comes to raising awareness\nAccording to Forbes, video content works best\n\n\nCreate an elevator pitch as part of your nonprofit marketing plan and place it at the top of your landing page\nAdd calls to action that do not demand any investment from the visitor, such as joining the newsletter, to attract those who are just surfing around to help a good cause\nMake signing up for your newsletter easy, preferably with one click – avoid endless contact forms\n\n2. Create content around your mission\n\nContent marketing for nonprofits will require some SEO effort when it comes to blog posts\n\nSimply search keywords you think your audience might try and then incorporate them wisely into your digital stories\nThis way, you will appear on top of search engine results\n\n\n\n3. Host events and consider other marketing tactics\n\nDo not join all social media channels at once when it comes to raising awareness\n\nPut real effort into those that your target audience prefers to use on a daily basis\n\n\nCreate a posting schedule or use a scheduled posting tool to maintain a social presence on a constant basis\nUse popular hashtags on every social media platform\n\nYou can simply research those by looking at larger organizations for inspiration or seeing how volunteers use them\n\n\n\n4. Test digital ads and PPC\n\nThe appeal of digital advertising or PPC campaigns is that you can be more targeted in who you want to message\n\nCreate an audience persona based on who you think will respond best to your campaigns\nThen, use analytics and results to make adjustments to creative or PPC content\n\n\n\n5. Use analytics and research to improve efforts\n\nWhile less tangible than counting donations or volunteers, you can measure the impact of raising awareness in a few different ways\n\nNewsletter signups\nEngagement on social media\nPaid ad clicks and impressions\nYou can even use tools that tell you how often your hashtags have been used or links have been shared\n\n\n\n\nSocial media is becoming more important for successful donation marketing strategies. In the past few years, donors who have shared their affiliated charities online have brought them about 35% of their income through networking.\nOn average, every 5th share on social media will result in a donation!\nNext steps: How to get started with nonprofit marketing\nHow can you make sure your not-for-profit marketing efforts do not get lost in the sea of worthwhile nonprofits?\nFollow the steps in this article, and measure your impact along the way.\nThese simple steps are done by every digital business daily, and they provide accurate benchmarking for your nonprofit marketing strategy’s success.\nLast but not least, don’t be afraid to fail and start over with new and fresh ideas generated by your team.\nThe best digital marketing players are not perfect, but they definitely know how to stand up after falling.