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Digital Marketing Strategies that Nonprofits can use to Reach Potential Donors

Working for a nonprofit organization is a very rewarding experience. Knowing that your daily work is making a positive impact is definitely a great push to keep you motivated. However,  when it comes to reaching potential donors, your job can get a little tricky. Fundraising money or getting new donors’ attention can sometimes turn into one of the most exhausting, and sometimes discouraging, situations for most nonprofit marketers. Our digital marketing team explores how you can generate digital marketing strategies for nonprofit organizations to reach potential donors.

A lack of resources, budget, and time are challenges that nonprofits can experience when they need to reach potential donors to support their cause. While most nonprofits have turned to the online environment looking for help, most of them continue to struggle with communicating the right message to the right audience. In fact, according to Content Marketing Institute’s research, 92% of nonprofit professionals use content marketing, but just a quarter of those professionals believe they are effective.

So, as the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland would say “Let’s start at the beginning!” Since your main digital marketing goal as a nonprofit is to reach potential donors, some of the questions to answer are: How do donors behave online? How do they select which organizations or causes they want to donate to? Well, let’s find out:

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That’s right. Nowadays, digital resources are a critical part of a potential donor’s decision-making process. A well-planned digital marketing strategist can and will help nonprofits drive donors to act. The formula is simple: Attraction + Engagement = Conversion. Today, we share some of the most effective strategies to keep your donor base strong and growing. Let’s get started!

    1. Strong Social Media Platforms:  Building a social media community that believes and supports your cause is imperative. In order to do that, creating compelling posts and sharing real stories from your nonprofit’s efforts through social media on a daily basis will help to increase your cause awareness. Promoting how others have already helped with your cause and the impact they have made by doing so will also encourage others to donate. Tell their story by mentioning them in the post and include pictures of the process, and you’ll increase the chances of others to help support your cause. In addition to this, let’s go over some other more specific options that will have a real impact on each of your social media channels: Don’t forget to encourage them to spread the word via social media.
      1. Facebook: Adding a Donate Now tab to your page using an app like DonateTab will make it easier and more visual for your users to donate from your Facebook page. Also, if you have created your Facebook page as a nonprofit, as you should have already, you’ll have the option to customize your Call To Action (CTA) button to a Donate Now button that you can link to your donation page or form. While all these actions will grab the attention of your potential donors, the sad reality is that this won’t be enough to successfully accomplish your main goal. Facebook has become a pay-to-play place where the only way your organization can get the visibility you need to increase the amount of leads or donors is by running some ads. On a positive note, this is also one of the best platforms to run a very targeted ad. Whatever your nonprofit’s cause is, chances are that some users have declared your cause as their interest. By adding that to the several targeting options that Facebook offers, you are likely to run a very targeted ad within a very healthy Click Through Rate (CTR) range.
      2. YouTube: If your nonprofit hasn’t signed up for Google for Nonprofits yet, then you could be missing out on a great opportunity to interact and engage with a very targeted video community thanks to the YouTube Nonprofit Program. Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 10.57.20 AM
      3. Twitter: This social media channel is a great option to run a giveaway contest. Offering something as simple as an ebook or a t-shirt to those who like and retweet your tweet could be turned into a great opportunity to spread the word of your charity efficiently. For these occasions, software Pay With a Tweet is your best bet to turn your followers into your best brand ambassadors.
    2. Compelling Images: Infographics remain a very effective and entertaining way of presenting data to communicate your message in one simple image. Great images will also captivate the attention of your potential donors and convince them to take action. As humans, we like to see and have concrete data that proves that the nonprofit that we are helping is really making the world a better place.
    3. Effective Videos: Before you hit the record button, set up the different goals that you are planning to achieve with the video. Do you want to increase the amount of donations? Maybe just raise awareness? According to Think With Google, 57% of users made a donation after watching a nonprofit online video. While videos should be your top content marketing priority, if not strategically planned, it could become a total waste of time. The nonprofit Water Charity does a great job with their video creation:
    4. Powerful Messaging: The art of storytelling is achieved the most here. Always try to make an impact in your community through powerful content. Define your target audience and write about stories that your potential donors can relate to and feel empowered by; make them want to be a part of your organization. Use your blog to share inspirational and life-changing stories to show how your organization truly makes a difference.
    5. Responsive Website: Since mobile usage has already surpassed desktop usage, those nonprofit websites that haven’t been yet adapted to fit mobile or tablet screens will be just decreasing the chance to engage and be found by their community effectively. Here are just some of the main opportunities you could be missing out by not having a responsive website: Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 10.57.50 AM
    6. Be Transparent: Keeping your donors and potential donors informed of the donation process is essential for the success of your online fundraising. Let your community know:
      1. How close you are to reaching your fundraising goal.
      2. How much money you have raised so far.
      3. How you are going to spend their money.
      4. How your previous fundraiser made a difference to your cause.
    7. Google Grants: Online advertising has proven to be a great digital marketing opportunity for nonprofits. On one hand, it influences a potential donor’s decision to donate to a specific nonprofit organization. On the other hand, it drives both online and offline donations. With this in mind, Google Grants is a great option for nonprofits to highly increase the amount of impressions at very low cost. In comparison with Facebook ads, this platform offers free advertising for those organizations who qualify. Don’t miss out on this opportunity! All of those answers will become some of your best tools to encourage the participation of your community. Add this to your donation form, and wait to see the great response of that fundraiser. Remember, humans need to see to believe! Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 10.58.51 AM
    8. Reach Out to Your Influencers: Reaching out to those more involved with your cause with a strong online community could be a wonderful opportunity to help your nonprofit get your word in front of new potential donors. Check your nonprofit’s Twitter followers, and see which one of those supporting your cause could help you double your success by becoming one of your brand’s ambassadors within their very targeted and huge community.
    9. Keep the Momentum Going: The confirmation page you send to your donors after making an online donation is a great opportunity to not only thank each of your donors but to also encourage them to join your mailing list or to subscribe to your blog. Make it simple.
    10. Non-Stop Tribe Building: Don’t leave your content abandoned. Once you have posted it on your blog and shared it through your nonprofit’s social media channels, keep looking for new opportunities to share it. Media such as forums, LinkedIn groups, or Facebook groups are all great options to increase the chances of getting new donors.
    11. Track Your Actions: Taking into account all the digital marketing actions you will be implementing, measuring the impact of these actions is imperative. In order to be able to track some of your actions, as well as all the links that you share in your emails, Facebook ads, or forums, the Google URL Builder is your best solution. Log into your Google Analytics, and find out which campaign worked best for you or which video helped to increase your donations. The better you track your actions, the better insights you’ll get from your online donor’s behavior.

As we mentioned at the beginning of our blog, since most nonprofits don’t have huge budgets for marketing, these digital marketing strategies are relatively inexpensive, and they become a great choice for nonprofits to enjoy a better Return of Investment (ROI). To show the cost comparison, outbound marketing costs 62% more per lead than inbound marketing. Additionally, something to take into consideration is that three out of four inbound content marketing outlets cost less than any outbound channel.

Educate, inspire, and provoke people to make a difference through the click of a button. Once you have them engaged, be sure to update them frequently on the results of their contributions so they can see their support come to fruition. Do this, and the sky’s the limit as to how successful your fundraising campaign can be.

Good luck!