Digital Marketing Guide for Nonprofits


Digital marketing for nonprofits is the way of the future.

If you aren’t leveraging digital marketing to reach new audiences and drive more membership dues, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to grow your organization.

Digital marketing helps you spread your organization’s message and make a lasting impact on the community you serve. It helps you build relationships with members, volunteers, sponsors, donors, and those who have yet to hear about your organization—and it gives you the tools to turn those relationships into meaningful action.

This article will help you understand how to get started with digital marketing for your nonprofit.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is the use of digital technology to promote brands, products, and services. Digital marketing uses multiple channels to reach consumers through different devices and platforms. It uses social media, search engines, online ads and email. Digital marketing helps reach and build relationships with your target audience.

Why Incorporate Digital Marketing Into Your Nonprofit’s Strategy?

  • It’s affordable. Digital marketing costs less than traditional methods because it doesn’t involve printing or distributing anything physical.
  • It’s an efficient way to reach more people with less effort. In fact, digital marketing has greater reach than other marketing mediums as it can increase brand awareness by 80 per cent.
  • It’s easy to measure results. Digital marketing helps you track day-to-day campaign performance to know what is and isn’t working to help you achieve the highest return on investment.
  • It’s sustainable. As the population continues to age, it’s important to consider what channels the next generation of decision makers and members are active on. On average, 59 per cent of 18-24 year olds spend 3 plus hours each day on social media and 49 per cent of consumers in this age group reported making a purchase after seeing an online advertisement. To ensure the success of your nonprofit, it’s important to know where your next pool of volunteers, donors, and members live and build strong relationships with them on those channels.

How to Develop a Digital Strategy

To leverage the power of digital marketing, the best place to start is to develop a strategy. Developing a plan will allow your organization to grow faster and make a stronger impact on the community you serve. Below are four key aspects of building a successful strategy.

1.Know Your Audience & Where They Live

In today’s digital landscape, the first thing you need to do is figure out exactly who your target audience is and which digital channels they use. Once you know this information about your audience, it’ll be easier for you to tailor your marketing efforts towards them.

The best way to find out about your audience is by doing some research. Implement a membership survey, conduct a series of interviews with key stakeholders, and look at other nonprofits that have similar missions. Once you have a better idea of who your audience is, then you can decide which channels will work best for reaching them.

2.Build a Strategy

Once you understand your target audience and what channels to optimize, it’s time to build a strategy. Your strategy should include:

  • A clear set of goals for your strategy. Are you trying to achieve awareness? Generate donations? Drive membership acquisition and renewals? Increase volunteer signups? Ensure you define the key metrics to keep you on track.
  • The marketing tactics for the project. Are you going to launch an email marketing campaign? A new blog series? An influencer marketing TikTok campaign?
  • A timeline for the project. Is this an annual marketing strategy? How long is each marketing tactic going to be?
  • The budget for the project. This will help you determine where and how much money to spend on different parts of the campaign (i.e., paid advertising vs. organic promotion).

3.Monitor Your Progress

What are the metrics you should be measuring for your digital marketing strategy?

The answer is: it depends. The most important thing to measure is ROI, because that’s how you know if you’re getting your money’s worth from your efforts. Consider monitoring the number of donors or member sign ups that have come from your marketing channels (i.e. conversion rates).

However, there are other metrics worth keeping an eye on as well.

One metric to monitor is user engagement. If people aren’t engaging with your content, then it’s not working out as well as you’d hoped—which means you may need to make adjustments to your strategy.

Another way to measure success is by looking at the reach of your content—how many people saw it and engaged with it (e.g. like, comment, share) vs. how many just ignored it completely.

4.Iteration is Vital

When it comes to a digital marketing strategy it’s important that you are able to iterate.

The digital space is constantly changing and evolving. This means that you will need to keep up with these changes in order for your strategy to be successful. You need to keep a pulse on new opportunities, experiment and test these opportunities, and implement those successful opportunities on a larger scale.


Digital marketing is an important part of a nonprofit’s strategy. When used correctly, it can help you reach new donors, build your membership, and enhance relationships with key stakeholders.


Hailey Rodgers is business development & marketing strategist at Redstone Agency Inc. Looking for a toolkit to get started with your marketing strategy? We’ve put together a free template to help you create a marketing strategy that will take your organization from good to great. Download now.



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