Five Digital Marketing Strategies for Nonprofits

Matt Reid

Special to the Philanthropy Journal

By Matt Reid, CMO of EZ Texting

The reality of running a nonprofit organization is that you’re limited on funds. You don’t have the marketing budget to throw money at a variety of tactics and hope one proves successful. Marketers at nonprofits need to be smart and strategic when allocating funds and establishing priorities, particularly in the digital space. Discovering the tactics and tools to allow your organization to balance affordability and effectiveness is imperative, and these digital marketing strategies will guide you in the right direction.        

  1. Leveraging Videos

Videos serve as a great asset in nonprofit marketing, particularly during a fundraising campaign. It gives potential donors and stakeholders a better idea of what you’re doing in the field to improve the community. Well-produced videos also convey emotion and purpose more clearly than pictures and still imagery. So much so, in fact, that 57 percent of people who reported watching a nonprofit video went on to make a donation.

Marketers should continually encourage members, employees, and volunteers to record while in the field, or even at the office. It’s as easy as taking out a smartphone for a couple of seconds to capture the work being done on behalf of your organization.           

Videos are not only effective and easy to create, but they’re extremely versatile and can be leveraged in almost any digital marketing campaign. Make sure to post on all relevant social media accounts, the nonprofit’s website, e-newsletters, and include links to videos on other collateral when appropriate. 

  1. Instagram Stories and Blogging

Similar to utilizing the power of video, Instagram offers many of the same capabilities in a more public fashion with episodic blogging. Many brands and larger companies use the story feature located on Instagram, but nonprofits can benefit from this social tactic as well. It gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look into the mission and lifeblood of your organization. As a feature many digital users enjoy, it’s also quick, user-friendly, garners additional followers and potentially spurs a donation or incentivizes volunteering.

Specific types of content to leverage with your Instagram blog includes:

  • Volunteer or employee interviews and testimonies
  • A day in the life of an organization stakeholder
  • Videos recorded in the field or during an event
  • Pictures and videos with links to donation or volunteer forms
  1. Utilizing SMS Text Marketing During Events

SMS texting continues to replace email as the most effective way to communicate with a mass audience, as 90 percent of text messages are opened and read within minutes. Stakeholders prefer personalized, one-on-one communication, and SMS messaging gives nonprofit organizations the opportunity to take advantage of this when promoting volunteer outings or events. It’s become easier to utilize these services, as well, with the adoption of keywords and shared short codes and text-to-landline services.

Organization leaders can send dates and times, floorplans, and emergency messages to volunteers ahead of or during an event. Marketers can also ensure attendees’ awareness of necessary information with text reminders and event announcements.

  1. Facebook’s “Charitable Giving Tools”

Facebook offers many effective marketing tools for nonprofit organizations to utilize, including event pages, advertisements, and Charitable Giving Tools. However, the easiest tool to implement and increase contributions right away is adding the “Donate Now” button to your Facebook page with no additional fees and it allows supporters to donate without leaving Facebook. As marketing professionals know, you want to make the call-to-action as easy as possible for the targeted stakeholder to complete. And, the “Donate Now” button accomplishes this goal!        

Some other Charitable Giving Tools available through Facebook include verified page fundraisers, live video donations, and connecting off-Facebook fundraisers to your profile.

  1. Google for Nonprofits

Businesses and companies are already aware of the effective nature of Google Ads. Now, with Google for Nonprofits, your organization reaps the benefits and rewards associated with the tool as well as receive additional perks. You can increase awareness of your brand and mission while attracting volunteers and donations.

With Google Ad Grants, if you qualify, your nonprofit receives up to $10,000 in grants every month. The additional financial flexibility gives your organization a great opportunity to reach all marketing goals, and even hone in on targeted messaging. Whether you’re on a local, national, or international level, Google Ad Grants help reach those audiences. 

Incorporating all of these digital marketing strategies into your plan will help you reach your goals, while also staying within the constraints of your budget. These tactics and tools offer effective forms of personalized communication and give you greater flexibility, time and money to devote aspects of your organization. Nonprofits need to keep with the changing digital landscape, similar to any other business or company, in order to compete for members, volunteers, and donations.    

Matt Reid currently oversees global marketing with more than 20 years of marketing, strategy, and management experience at various technology companies. Prior to EZ Texting, Reid served as vice president of marketing for Velocify, a market-leading SaaS provider of sales automation technology acquired by Ellie Mae in late 2017. He also led marketing for adtech company OpenX and built the sales and marketing teams for Eucalyptus Systems, an open-source platform acquired by HP. Reid also led product marketing for all SaaS technologies at Citrix, directing the initial market launches of GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar.

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