5 Reasons Digital Marketing is the Right Answer for Your Non-Profit
Non-profits often think of themselves differently than other businesses, but this is not always the right approach. The more money you bring in as a non-profit, the more good you can accomplish. In most cases, nonprofits are hesitant when it comes to fundraising, but it helps to think differently. Your patrons are your customers, and you need to market to them the same way any other business would.
This includes many things, but one of the primary ones (and one of the easiest to do) is to engage in digital marketing. It's an inexpensive and realistic way to reach your audience and increase interest and awareness of your cause, and bring in more donations.
Here are five reasons digital marketing is the right answer for your non-profit.
It Increases Your Discoverability
The number one issue nonprofits have is that there are several for each cause you can think of, not to mention museums, educational foundations, and others. In order for patrons to support you, they need to know that you exist.
Discovery Through Your Website
Typically, people search for things they are looking for or are passionate about on the internet. This means that you need to have a website with a domain name that captures their attention. This domain name must have a few elements in order to work well for you:
- Relevant: Your domain name must be relevant to who you are or what you do, or a combination of both. If you can use the name of your organization, that is a great start.
- Easy to Say, Spell, and Type into a Browser: Someone should be able to tell someone else the name of your website, and they should be able to easily type it into a browser without a mistake.
- Appropriate: Many businesses and even other non-profits have created unfortunate website names by not paying attention to abbreviations or words they form by running things together. Be careful about this when choosing a domain name.
Discovery Through Social Media
Your discoverability does not stop with just a website. You also need to have a social media presence on at least a few platforms. Which ones depend on your patrons and where they spend their time online. Pinterest, Instagram, and other more visual sites work well for many non-profits because visuals help patrons find you.
Having a Facebook business page is essential. It helps ensure sure that people can find not only who you are, but where you are, what your hours are, and how to interact with you or donate. It is also a great place to create events, both in person and online fundraisers.
The other more neglected social media site is LinkedIn, but it is a great place to find both volunteers and donors, as it is populated primarily with professionals and para-professionals looking to network. Many of them are looking for volunteer opportunities in certain areas to boost their resume, and your organization might be the perfect fit for them.
It Raises Brand Awareness
Once you have solved the discoverability issue, you also need to understand branding. A non-profit, like any other business, should have consistent messaging and branding across all of these platforms. Whether on social media or your website, your brand should be easily recognizable.
This means that fonts, colors, and your logo need to be unique and set you apart. Also, your vision and mission statements need to be a part of everything you do. They should guide the creation of any content you produce, from brochures, flyers, and programs to your social media or blog posts.
Branding is Essential, Non-Profit or Not
Whether you like the idea or not, your nonprofit is a brand, and the most successful organizations you can think of are well branded. From the pink ribbons of the Susan B. Komen foundation to the Red Cross and Salvation Army shields, nonprofits have a brand.
The better your branding, the easier it will be for new patrons to find you and recognize you when they do.
It Creates a Donation Portal
Digital marketing, whether that is through your social media presence or your website, provides a portal for donations. Giving money to your cause should be easy, and people should have a variety of ways and places they can do so. These can include:
- Your Facebook business page
- Your website
- Via donation codes at Amazon and other online retailers.
Donors should be able to use various payment methods, just as if they were checking out with a purchase through an online store. The more payment options you offer, the more likely people will be to donate, even if they do not use that particular option themselves.
The point is that no matter where a donor finds you, they should have a way to give money to your cause, and you should invite them to do so. Most donors say they would give more to causes if they were simply asked. Your digital marketing gives these donors the means and opportunity to give.
It Compliments Your Physical Marketing
Digital marketing also lets you do one very important thing: sell merchandise. This merchandise can not only make you money, but it can serve as physical marketing itself, increasing public awareness of you and your cause.
There is nothing wrong with offering donors something in exchange for their donation or just selling items that are related to your non-profit. The goal of a non-profit is not to keep from making money but to make more money so you can do more good. One way to do this is by offering items for sale as a part of your digital marketing plan.
It's Not About Making Money – It's About Serving a Greater Good
Many nonprofits are hesitant to talk about applying basic business principles to their operations, afraid it may make them seem greedy or otherwise unsavory. However, marketing and branding are part of any successful non-profit's long-term plans.
Take these five reasons and begin implementing digital marketing for your non-profit. You will be able to do more good and reach a broader audience if you adopt it as a part of your overall plan to increase your donations.