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Non-Profit Fundraising: 8 Tips to Raise More Money with Digital Marketing

Updated on September 13, 2019

6 Min Read

As a non-profit organization, it can sometimes be a challenge to raise the money and resources you need to make a genuine difference in the causes you and your team care so much about.

While raising some money is certainly better than none at all, many of the issues nonprofits tackle, need substantial funds to make considerable progress. You already know another $5 donation isn’t going to cut it.

Although most non-profits today leverage digital marketing to drive awareness and raise money, a few small tweaks to your digital marketing strategy can significantly increase the amount of money you’re able to raise.

Let’s take a look.

1. Build a Website That Stands Out

This can’t be overstated.

Putting together a digital marketing fundraising campaign will not be effective unless you are sending potential donors to a website that delivers an exceptional content experience.

Having a well-designed and story-driven website is ideal, but at the very least make sure your website is fast and secure (here’s how). It also gives you the opportunity to rank in Google.

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After building out your home base, there are seven more tactics you can use to direct people back to the website to engage with more content, leading to more fundraising.

adding donation card to videos

2. Add Donation Cards To Your Videos

One of the easiest ways to raise money through digital marketing is by making it easy for your community to donate.

If you create videos and publish them on Youtube, for example, you can add a donation card to your videos which will pop up on the screen after the video has been watched and ask your community to consider donating.

This one simple tweak to your videos can drastically improve the amount of money you can raise with a very little added effort.

To add a donation card to your video, simply sign up for the YouTube Partner program and once accepted, you will have the option to add the donation card to your videos.

3. Have A Specific Call To Action

Many non-profits today spend hundreds of hours investing in producing high-quality videos, blog posts, interviews, and more. Unfortunately, they often leave a ton of opportunity to engage their community by not having a specific call to action (CTA).

For every piece of content you publish, you should have a clear CTA to ask for your community and audience.

“Sign up today and learn more about our latest work.”

“Subscribe to our YouTube channel and watch our weekly videos.”

“Click here to donate 5,10,15 dollars a month – every donation helps.”

monthly charity

Check out how  Charity Water encourages its audience to “give monthly,” for those who resonate with the cause.

The more you can guide your community with a specific action, the better results you’ll get.

Do all your blog posts have a clear call to action? Do your videos encourage your viewers to learn more and get involved?

While each call to action shouldn’t necessarily ask for money, you want to give your community a clear action to take after they consume your content.

The more engaged your audience is with your cause, the better the chance they will donate or contribute over time.

4. Level Up Your Email Marketing

If you’re not leveraging email marketing at your non-profit, you’re missing out. While many non-profits spend a large portion of their marketing budget on ads; email marketing is a fantastic way to build trust with your community and develop a meaningful connection.

Emailing your community members regularly is a relatively low-cost investment to keep them engaged and solicit funds when needed. When someone signs up for your email list, they are demonstrating a desire to learn more about your cause and get involved – don’t let their interest go to waste!

Sending out weekly or monthly updates, in addition to other email marketing best practices, allow you to highlight the importance of your cause and show the progress your organization has made.

To get the most from your email marketing efforts, sharing a mix of videos, blog posts, and updates can help you stand out in a competitive non-profit world.

According to the Millennial Impact Report, 65% of millennials surveyed prefer non-profits to email them news and updates from the organization.

Having an email list can significantly increase your digital marketing efforts and is a must for any non-profit.  You can get started with an email list with a service such as MailChimp which offers a free plan for those getting started.

5. Invest in Content Marketing

Just as investing in an email list is important for building trust and raising money, your content marketing strategy also plays a vital role in building an engaged community.

Your content marketing strategy should incorporate all the major media channels which your community uses regularly.

Consider publishing regular blog posts, videos, and podcasts, and interviews to keep your audience engaged.

While some enjoy consuming the written word i.e. blog posts, others like learning about the non-profits they support through audio and video as well. It’s crucial that you produce content through a variety of media.

Consistently publishing content across all channels allows you to share your message where your community spends most of their time.

When producing content, do remember that the content should first and foremost provide value. Highlight the individuals your non-profit has helped. Give actionable tips on how your readers can get involved.

Upload videos of the day in the life of your team. Publish interviews with those in your industry. Highlight how your supporter’s donations are making an impact.

6. Connect With Your Current Supporters

Another effective way to raise more money is by making a conscious effort to connect with your current supporters.

Those who have already donated to your cause are far more likely to continue contributing if you make an effort to share updates and engage with them on a regular basis.

At the very least, you should be connecting with your current supporters once a month to share the latest updates on what your organization has been able to accomplish.

While many non-profits spend time and resources looking for new donations, showing you are actively involved with those who have already donated is a powerful way to stand out.

According to the same Millennial Impact Report, 54% of Millennials say they want to hear, “Your support will make an impact; here’s how…”

Thank those who support you on social media. Reply to every email when possible. Keep in contact with your community consistently, not only when you are looking to raise money.

7. Experiment With Different Social Media Channels

It’s no secret the majority of people who use the internet spend a significant portion of their day on their favorite social media platforms.

You can extend the reach of your website by utilizing as many social media platforms as possible.

Are you investing in your Facebook page? Do you have a Twitter account? How about Instagram?

While it’s impossible to use every single social media account at an instant, you should aim to be active on platforms your community uses the most.

Having an active social media presence can quickly establish trust for those who are considering supporting your cause.

Distributing your content across a variety of social media channels can improve engagement and generate more awareness for your organization.

8. Invest In Influencer Marketing

While influencer marketing may seem like an overused buzzword to many, there’s no denying the impact of partnering with the right influencer for your brand.

Just as many for-profit organizations invest in influencer marketing to drive business results, nonprofits can benefit greatly from connecting with influencers who also believe in your cause.

Choosing the right influencer to partner with your brand is far more important than connecting with the most ‘popular’ influencer in your space.

Consider having your team reach out to five to ten influencers who clearly are passionate about your cause and work to develop a mutually beneficial relationship.

If you’re a non-profit focused on the animal rescue, for example, work to partner with celebrities or influencers who love animals as well.

The right influencer can drive significant traffic and donations to your site and make a world of difference.

Build from the Inside Out

By leveraging all of the suggestions above, you can dramatically increase the amount of money you’re able to raise for your organization.

But where should you start?

I highly recommend starting this process right from (your website), and working out from there:

  1. Your website
  2. Call to action
  3. Current supporters
  4. Your content
  5. Content marketing
  6. Email marketing
  7. Social media marketing
  8. Influencer marketing
  9. Add donation cards to videos

By pursuing these steps in the right order, you’ll not only likely see big results, but also garner the necessary buy-in from other members of your organization.

Note: This article is a guest blog post by Brendan Hufford on Cloudways Blog

** Editor’s Note: This article is edited for clarity.


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Brendan Hufford

Brendan Hufford learned everything he knows about business by putting some skin in the game and starting his own. After successfully selling his ecommerce company and his first blog, Brendan founded SEO for the Rest of Us and joined Clique Studios as their SEO Director. Brendan is an instructor of digital marketing at the University of Chicago and writes often on his personal blog.


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