Getting Over the Hump: Digital Marketing Strategy for the Maturing Non-profit

By RJ Paulisick in Non-Profit on September 3rd, 2013

Stop us if you've heard this one before: your non-profit organization is well-established, but you feel you're missing out on leveraging a Digital Marketing Strategy that can broaden your audience? We’ll show you how you can manage your organization’s imposing workload and take simple steps to grow your non-profit’s audience.


First thing's first: it’s important to recognize that a digital strategy should co-exist with your business plan. Developing a solid web and social presence is supplemental to your existing mission and organizational strategy. But your digital strategy needs to be flexible because technology is too fluid to realistically plan out five years into the future, the way you would a business plan. In scoping digital strategy, some pieces may appear obvious (website, social media presence, etc.), however a solid email campaign coupled with a mobile-friendly site are now main attractions and no longer budget leftovers. Building emails to be sent out regularly is key for reaching out to that wider audience (think monthly newsletters or bi-weekly events). Remember to retain consistent brand identity on all email correspondence and always include click-throughs that drive users back to your website. And with mobile donations on the rise, developing a mobile site with bulletproof navigation is a must. Start by considering the main navigation on your desktop site and choose only the essential pieces (such as about us/mission, programs, donate, contact us) as the basis for your mobile navigation. These pieces should represent the core of your organization, and enable users who are on-the-go to easily interact with your non-profit. But let's not beat around the bush: the goal is money, right? Most non-profits do excellent work for their respective communities, but all of them have one major goal in mind: conversions. Be it in the form of raising memberships, donation dollars, or global awareness, your main outlet (typically, your website) should focus on that conversion process. The ability to quickly and intuitively donate, join or sign up to volunteer when users arrive on your site is paramount. Incorporating a digital strategy doesn't mean you have to revamp your entire organization's priorities. When implementing a digital strategy, it helps to view it as more of an agile approach rather than as several small, fixed-cost level projects. It's not going to be easy at first, but a reasonable mindset and proper infrastructure (creating a digital strategy 'task force' in-house or responsibly outsourcing these tasks to a partner) are essential to maintaining sanity in the office while achieving success.
But remember: if you don't expand your non-profit organization's horizons… who will? Your non-profit exists because of passion and hard work. Approach your digital strategy with the same gusto. Want to learn more about digital strategy for non-profit organizations?  Get in touch with our non-profit team!