In today’s world, nonprofit organizations must reach their audiences online to effectively build community awareness, recruit volunteers, and raise funds. Success with digital marketing, fundraising, and community building requires access to a few basic tools.
Chances are the success of your organization has always been about engaging committed people who are invested in your mission. Whether those people include your staff, volunteers, donors, board members, referrers, or community members, relationships matter. The digital world isn’t much different.
The goal is still to reach the right people and to share your nonprofit’s story and mission. The right tools empower you to do that without spending too much of your team’s time on busy work.
Tools Nonprofits Need for Effective Marketing
Nonprofit Digital Strategy
This isn’t a physical tool, but when it comes to online marketing and communication, you need a solid strategy. Otherwise, it is too easy to throw time, money, and limited resources into advertising or platforms that do not help you meet your goals. Commercial digital marketing, for reference, is based on strategy and monitored by tracking analytics and readjusting the strategy and tactics continually.
Take the time to identify your organization’s goals and intended audiences. Then, map out how you will get there. For example, if you are planning a fundraising event, one goal may be to recruit both volunteers and participants. These audiences will directly influence the messaging you use on posters, social media posts, and more.
When planning your digital strategy, you should:
- Determine goals and messages. These goals should support your core missions.
- Identify ideal audiences. Who are they? What interests them? How do they spend time online?
- Establish visual branding that supports your organization’s mission and purpose. This includes fonts, color palettes, logos, and other elements that your audience will learn to quickly recognize.
- Define needs, interests, and constraints.
- Identify which social media, advertising, and content platforms are easy for you to use, reach the right audience, and are affordable and engaging.
A nonprofit’s website is more than a brochure; ideally, it should be a living, interactive resource that tells your organization’s story in an engaging way and provides crucial information to stakeholders.
It is one asset you have complete control over. You can use local media to share your story, but you can’t control whether they choose to cover you in the way you want. You can use social media like Facebook or TikTok, but you can’t control whether the platform algorithms show your content to all of your followers. Too often, nonprofits overlook the importance of their website and instead pursue social media and earned media.
Tools that enhance your website include:
- Analytics programs to track traffic, engagement, and user demographics.
- A solid Content Management System (CMS).
- Graphic design and content creation resources.
- Brand management tools and more!
A donor database system is like a CRM as it stores contact information for key stakeholders as well as a record of prior communication online and offline. Such a tool used to be the best-kept secret of successful salespeople. Donor databases take CRM a step further for nonprofits and track donations, email history, and more.
Building online and offline relationships with volunteers, donors, funding agencies, attendees, the media and vendors is easier than ever with a robust donor database.
Email Marketing Tools
People often overlook email marketing in favor of social media marketing. They see it as the less glamorous version of direct mail. However, like direct mail, email marketing has the potential to reach your audience directly — but with the added benefit of audience segmentation. Unlike direct mail, email marketing can be directly connected to your donor database tool, letting you send highly personalized messages to your supporters based on their interests or activity, thereby increasing engagement.
Social media is also important (more on that next), but you’re always dependent on each platform’s algorithms.
A free or inexpensive email marketing tool like Mailchimp (free for the first 2,000 subscribers) makes it easy to send newsletters, direct asks, announcements, flyers promoting events, and more via email. The built-in analytics and tools help you refine your tactics as needed.
Social Media Platforms
Social media is essential if you want to reach your community. You don’t need to be active on every platform, this is where audience factors in. Choose the platforms most likely to reach your audience and where your team has the skills to publish engaging content.
You may need to use a few platforms, but don’t overdo it since consistency is essential. Most nonprofits will opt for Facebook since so many people use it. However, if you need to reach a younger audience you may also want to use a second platform like Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube, or Instagram.
Managing multiple platforms can be challenging, especially if you already have a lot on your plate. Fortunately, there are social media management apps that allow you to pre-schedule posts so you can create a series of posts or a campaign and schedule each post in advance.
Event Management & Nonprofit Fundraising Tools
Events and other fundraising campaigns are an effective way to build momentum for your nonprofit’s cause.
While your website, email list, and social media might handle most of your event and fundraising communication needs, you may still need specialized tools to fill in the gaps. A good program, for example, safely collects donations or ticket fees securely. It should also keep track of all sales so you can easily track attendance and follow up with attendees after the event.
Looking for a software that blends all of these tools into one affordable, user-friendly platform? Try UncommonGood. We give organizers unified access to project management, marketing, and fundraising tools to help them increase engagement and maximize efficiency. We help nonprofits of all sizes drive real change.
Contact us today for a free demonstration.