4 Digital Marketing Strategies for Nonprofits

By Isabelle Wigon

It seems like every day there’s a new platform, app, best practice or statistic that will change the game in marketing. Like any industry, nonprofits can take advantage of these trends emerging in the digital marketing landscape. But which trends should you focus on adding into your own nonprofit marketing strategies? 

Our nonprofit channel experts scoured key data to share four digital marketing trends that nonprofits need to keep in mind as they plan their fundraising strategies this year.

Tapping into the Socially Minded and the Digitally Savvy

With each new generation, there are new trends that emerge. As Gen Z (born 1997 – 2012) grows older and enters the workforce, they’ll have increasing influence on the marketplace. Already, Gen Z indirectly influences roughly $333 billion of household spending annually, and has the second highest giving rate during the pandemic at 66%, following millennials. The momentum is real.  

When it comes to nonprofits, Gen Z does their research. According to QGiv, over 57% of Gen Z researches nonprofits before donating, and also look to social media to see a nonprofit’s impact. If you want to attract this fiercely loyal group to your cause, it’s best to develop a robust social media strategy that includes a variety of content topics, like organization updates, ways to stay involved that go beyond donations, and (most importantly) stories of people who were impacted by donations, since Gen Z wants to know how they’ve helped

Subscription Giving: Creating Convenience for Donors

With the pandemic, subscription services are on the rise – whether it’s a new streaming platform, grocery delivery service or clothing rental company. On average, Americans more than tripled their subscription services since the start of the pandemic, so it’s not outrageous to predict that subscription giving will become more popular.  

And when it comes to generating revenue, recurring donations have more impact on a nonprofit’s bottom line than one-time gifts. You’ll not only save time with automatic donations; you’ll also continuously foster a loyal relationship. Recurring donors are more willing to engage with an organization on top of their monthly donations, whether that means attending an event, donating to a crowdfunding campaign or participating in a peer-to-peer campaign. 

As you develop your marketing campaigns, make sure you’re engaging those already sustaining their gifts. Whether it’s sending them a thank you email for their generosity, informing them on social media of upcoming events or sharing blog articles that illustrate the impact of their donations – it’s imperative to continuously engage these donors.  

Identifying Your Audience’s Preferred Platform

As of 2020, there was an increase in social media users by nearly 93% compared to 2015 – that’s roughly 1.9 billion new users over a span of 5 years. You can thank Gen Z for that increase – about 90% of Gen Z uses social media at least once per day, and 77% use it multiple times per day. And the channels they’re using? YouTube (89%), Instagram (74%), Snapchat (68%), and TikTok (54%). Furthermore, all three channels use video as either their primary or one of their main types of content to share.

While these platforms are great for sharing content and engaging your audience, it’s been shown that Facebook is a main platform where individuals learn about nonprofits. Since 25% of individuals make donations through their phone, using Facebook posts and ads can also be an effective part of your digital marketing strategy to ensure you are reaching your audience and prompting action.  

Engaging Through the Right Medium

So now that we’ve discussed the “who,” let’s take a look at the “how” — specifically, content. What’s the best type of content to use to engage donors, whether you’re running a fundraising or content marketing campaign? The answer: video.

In a Google survey, 79% of respondents noted that the most influential type of digital media marketing was video ads, with YouTube being listed as the top platform. Additionally, after watching a video, 57% of people donate to a nonprofit, illustrating how effective video content is at prompting action.  

Putting this best practice into action, we recently partnered with MENTOR to produce a promotional video helping to amplify their mission of closing the mentoring gap in America during the National Mentoring Month of January.

The digital landscape is ever evolving, and donors are seeking digital resources far more often than offline resources — like direct mail — citing content like video as more engaging and useful.    

As an industry, nonprofits rely heavily on their ability to engage a large and diverse group of people. And thanks to digital marketing and its dynamic capabilities, nonprofits can much more easily increase donations and engage audiences with the right content on the right marketing channels.