Digital Marketing Basics For Your Non-Profit

In large part, getting donations and awareness for your non-profit is not the same as it was 10-15 years ago. The reason is that mostIn large part both the awareness building and the donations are done online. That is why you need to at least have your digital marketing basics down when you’re just starting your nonprofit. Here are the digital marketing basics your nonprofit needs.


In many ways, your website is the core or heart of your online presence. Be wary of anyone who tells you that you don’t need a website. Though it is true you can get by using just other avenues such as social media, all it takes is that platform to change its rules or algorithm and poof goes your traffic and maybe your content. 

When you create or have your site created, it should be clear and easy to navigate. Also, make sure your content on your site is well written. 

2 Thing to include on your website

  • Include a subscription box or sign up to an email newsletter so people can keep up with what is going on in your organization. 
  • Make sure you have a donation page. Your organization’s donation pages should be clear and to the point. You want to make it as easy for them to donate to your organization online as buying anything else such as a shirt or sweater. 

Blog/ Content

Though this could be put as the third thing to include on your website, it is so super important that its deserves its own section. The more content you put out on your website, the more you’ll be seen as an organization that is thought out, feels it’s cause is important and has something to say about it.

Your content could include articles, fact sheets, digital resources, long form case studies on your chosen cause or success stories. One BIG thing to note is this does not just help your reader understand who you are but Google and other search engines as well. Google reads written text for their search algorithm, so well written content is key if you are wanting to appear on search results.

Email list and marketing

This brings us to our third digital marketing basic — emails. In many cases, people are not going to donate right off the bat from your website. So you want to have a newsletter or updates that potential donors and followers can read and keep up with who you are and why your organization is important. When it comes time to do donation drives, you can use this list that has signed up to ask for donations. They will be more likely to donate as they have gotten to know your organization. 

Social media

While your website is the heart of your online presence, social media in many ways is the blood pumping through the heart and out to your extended limbs of your digital marketing. Though there are many different social media platforms to choose from such as twitter, Facebook, Instagram and even TikTok, it is best to focus on just one or two to start with, so you are not overwhelmed. When choosing which ones, that takes just a little digging and research to find out which ones your potential donors use. You need to know your basic demographics of the people you’re aiming at.

For example, Instagram is primarily used by people in their late 20’s to 40’s. The goal of your social media presence should be first to update and educate the online community about your cause and why it is important. The more you regularly post on your chosen social media, the more traction you will get. Always remember to have your social media profile have a link back to your website so people can learn more about you. 

Now of course, this is the basics. Within each of these subjects, there could be a lot of ground to cover. Yet if you’re just starting your nonprofit, it can be extremely overwhelming. So, our advice is just to get each of these started and working and then fine-tune later. Even if you feel like you’re crawling through the process, it’s much better than never having left the starting line.

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Chris Hughbanks
Chris Hughbanks

Chris is the owner of Hughbanks Design, a Houston web design and digital marketing company.