What Is Nonprofit Marketing? Benefits, Strategies + Examples
Start by setting deadlines. Assign realistic deadlines for each key activity within your action plan. Consider the complexity of the task, the resources available, and any dependencies between activities.
Define your campaign goals – whether it’s raising awareness, increasing website traffic, or boosting donations. Tailor your digital marketing campaign to achieve those specific objectives.
This increased visibility translates to more website visitors, potentially leading to more adoptions.

While financial return on investment (ROI) is a traditional business metric, it’s equally important for nonprofits to measure the impact of their marketing efforts. Here’s how to approach ROI for your cause:

They could share impactful visuals about environmental issues and encourage followers to share the content using a designated hashtag. This approach leverages the power of social sharing to spread awareness about environmental protection.

Tracking and measuring the results of your nonprofit marketing efforts is essential. This way, you can assess the effectiveness of your strategies and identify areas for improvement.

These videos evoke empathy and inspire viewers to donate or volunteer, directly impacting the lives of animals.

Craft Engaging Video Content

Marketing Benefits for Nonprofits

The Nature Conservancy features a prominent Donate Now button on its homepage and offers a variety of one-time and recurring donation options:

Building a strong marketing plan is your key to success. Set clear goals, understand your audience, and craft a message that resonates. Develop an action plan with specific steps, timelines, and budget allocation. Track your results and adapt your strategy as needed.

Remember, even a limited budget can be impactful with careful planning and resourcefulness. Start by reviewing your nonprofit marketing objectives and identify the resources required to achieve them.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Measuring ROI for Your Nonprofit

Don’t forget to also research existing donor data to identify trends. Look for patterns in your existing donor data: analyze demographics, donation amounts, and giving habits. This information helps you refine your target audience and develop more effective fundraising strategies.

The Habitat for Humanity’s website features a dedicated volunteer section with clear descriptions of volunteer roles, locations, and application steps:

Simply put, SEO refers to optimizing your content with relevant keywords to improve your position in search engine results pages (SERPs). This ensures potential supporters searching for causes like yours can easily find your organization.

Develop targeted surveys or conduct focus groups to gain valuable insights into your audience’s pain points and motivations.

In this guide, we will explain what nonprofit marketing is and what the benefits of an online marketing strategy are for charities. We will also share some of the best strategies to boost charity brand awareness and fundraising initiatives.

Brainstorm specific strategies and tactics to achieve each marketing objective you defined earlier.

Analyze these insights to understand your audience’s age, location, interests, and online behavior. Then, tailor your nonprofit marketing strategy and optimize your social media presence to reach a wider segment of your target audience.

Utilize social media analytics tools to understand your existing audience’s online behavior. Most social media platforms offer built-in analytics tools that provide valuable data about your followers.

How to Create a Nonprofit Marketing Plan

Engage With Followers Regularly

1. Set Clear Marketing Objectives

Craft targeted email campaigns that motivate action without overwhelming your subscribers. Personalize your message whenever possible.

Actively engage with your followers by responding to comments and messages promptly. This fosters a sense of community and encourages conversation around your cause.

For example, a nonprofit focused on environmental conservation could track video views, audience demographics, and how viewers interact with calls to action after watching videos about endangered species.

  • Specific. Instead of “raise awareness,” set a goal like “increase website traffic by 20% within the next quarter.”
  • Measurable. Identify metrics to track progress. How will you know if you’ve achieved your goal? Website traffic, volunteer sign-ups, or social media engagement can all be quantified.
  • Achievable. Be ambitious but realistic. Consider your resources and capacity.
  • Relevant. Align your goals with your overall mission and objectives. How will achieving this marketing goal contribute to your organization’s impact?
  • Time-bound. Set a clear deadline for achieving each goal. This creates a sense of urgency and keeps you on track.

2. Analyze Your Audience

Define Metrics and KPIs

Nonprofit marketing focuses on creating social impact and driving donations, while for-profit marketing aims to generate sales and revenue. Both utilize similar tools, but a nonprofit’s marketing strategy prioritizes mission-driven messaging, awareness marketing, and relationship-building with new supporters.

Developing a solid nonprofit marketing plan helps you achieve your charity’s goals. It ensures your marketing efforts are focused, measurable, and impactful. Here’s a breakdown of the key steps:

Maintain a consistent posting schedule to keep your audience engaged. Don’t overwhelm them, but aim for regular updates with a variety of content formats to keep things interesting.


Foster Community and Encourage Sharing

3. Craft Brand Messaging

Develop engaging content formats like blog posts, infographics, or eBooks that address issues relevant to your cause. Offer valuable information and insights that educate and empower your audience.

This content empowers patients and educates the public, establishing the charity as a trusted resource.

Optimize for Different Platforms

Matleena is a seasoned Content Writer with 5 years of content marketing experience. She has a particular interest in emerging digital marketing trends, website building, and AI. In her free time, Matleena enjoys cups of good coffee, tends to her balcony garden, and studies Japanese. Follow her on LinkedIn

Your website is the cornerstone of your digital nonprofit marketing strategy. It’s where visitors learn about your cause, connect with your mission, and take action through donations, volunteering, or advocacy. Here’s how to optimize it for maximum impact:

  • Brainstorm with your team to identify your core values and the impact you create. Consider these questions:
    • What problems are we passionate about solving?
    • What kind of world are we working towards?
    • What are the fundamental principles that guide our decisions?
  • Craft messaging that is clear, concise, and speaks directly to the needs and interests of your target audience. Use the data from your audience research to step into the shoes of potential supporters.
  • Use powerful storytelling elements to showcase the human impact of your work.

4. Allocate a Budget

For example, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society publishes informative blog posts on its website that discuss the latest research on multiple sclerosis, treatment options, and living well with the condition.

The website of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital features patient testimonials and survival rates. This transparency builds trust and motivates visitors to get involved:

Measure Your Impact

Content marketing empowers you to educate your audience about your cause, build trust, and inspire action. Here’s how to leverage it effectively:

Building strong relationships with potential donors is crucial for any nonprofit. Marketing helps you bridge that gap. Through effective communication strategies and engaging content, you can cultivate a loyal base of supporters who are invested in your work.

Review and Refine

  • Explore free and low-cost tools. Many free and low-cost marketing tools are available for nonprofits. Utilize tools like Hostinger Website Builder to create a professional website, or explore free social media management platforms to streamline your social media marketing efforts.
  • Seek in-kind donations. Consider approaching marketing agencies or design firms about potential in-kind donations. You might be surprised at the willingness of companies to support your cause with their expertise.
  • Track and measure results. Continuously monitor the performance of your nonprofit marketing campaigns. Track key metrics like website traffic, lead generation, and donation conversions. Analyze this data to identify what’s working and where you can optimize your budget allocation for better results.

5. Develop an Action Plan

Start by defining your goals. Identify what you want to achieve through social media – whether it’s raising awareness about your cause, increasing engagement with your followers, driving donations to support your mission, or attracting volunteers to contribute their time and skills.

While deadlines are important for structure, it’s crucial to be flexible with your timeline. Be prepared to adjust your plan based on the performance of your marketing efforts and unforeseen circumstances. Here’s how to build flexibility into your timeline:

Make it easy to donate. Streamline the donation process with prominent Donate Now buttons and user-friendly donation forms. Consider offering multiple payment options to cater to different preferences.

SMART goals provide clarity and direction in your nonprofit marketing plan. They help you measure progress, track success, and identify areas for improvement.

Utilize Analytics Tools

Monitor key metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe rates to assess the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts.

Understanding your core values is the foundation for crafting a message that feels authentic and resonates with those who share your beliefs.

Determine the most suitable marketing channels to reach your target audience. This could include social media platforms, email marketing campaigns, or content marketing initiatives.

Launch targeted social media campaigns to raise awareness about specific initiatives or fundraising efforts. Encourage followers to share your content to maximize reach and amplify your message.

6. Establish a Timeline

Leverage online marketing strategies like SEO and social media marketing to reach a wider audience. Create valuable content, use video storytelling to connect emotionally, and build a community through social media engagement. Targeted email marketing further strengthens connections with your audience.

Unlike businesses, nonprofits work towards creating a positive change in the community. A nonprofit marketing plan helps to:

Social media platforms offer a powerful way to connect with your audience, build a community around your cause, and spread awareness. They are also an excellent way of promoting your website for free. Here’s how to leverage social media effectively for your nonprofit:

Tailoring your nonprofit marketing messages and strategies to resonate with your specific audience is crucial for maximizing engagement and impact.

  • Schedule buffer periods. Allocate buffer periods within your timeline to account for unexpected delays or the need to adapt your strategy.
  • Regularly review and revise. Schedule regular check-ins to review your progress and revisit your timeline. As you gather data and analyze campaign performance, you may need to adjust deadlines or shift resources between activities.
  • Communicate effectively. Ensure clear communication with your team regarding deadlines and any adjustments made to the timeline.

Here are some ideas:

For instance, a nonprofit focused on after-school programs for underprivileged youth could utilize website analytics tools to track which blog posts receive the most traffic and engagement. They might also monitor social media to see which content sparks the most conversation.

Week Activity Tasks
1-2 Keyword Research and Content Calendar Conduct research to identify keywords relevant to your target audience. Develop a content calendar for blog posts that address these keywords and interests.
3-4 Blog Post Creation Write and publish two high-quality blog posts optimized for target keywords.
5-6 Social Media Graphic Design Design visually appealing social media graphics to promote your blog content.
7-8 Social Media Campaign Launch Launch a social media campaign promoting your blog posts and driving traffic to your website.
9-10 Monitor and Analyze Monitor website traffic analytics and social media engagement metrics.
11 Strategy Adaptation Analyze data to identify areas for improvement and adjust your nonprofit marketing strategy as needed.

7. Track Results and Adjust Strategy

Feeding America utilizes a multi-channel content marketing strategy:

Nonprofit marketing is about raising awareness, attracting donations, and recruiting volunteers for your cause. It uses strategies like content creation, social media engagement, and data analysis, differing from for-profit marketing’s focus on sales.

Document your learnings and success stories. This will help you build a knowledge base that informs future marketing efforts.

Tailor video content for specific platforms. Keep social media videos short and impactful, while website videos can be more in-depth. Utilize platform-specific features like captions and calls to action for maximum reach.

Top Tips:

Thought-out digital marketing strategies help drive traffic to your website, start more conversations on social media, and even attract news coverage. This puts your mission in front of a much wider audience, increasing public understanding and sparking interest in your work.

The Trevor Project, a crisis intervention and suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ+ youth, creates short, powerful PSAs for social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok:

1. Break Down Objectives

  • Are you on track to achieve your nonprofit marketing objectives?
  • Which marketing channels generate the most website traffic or engagement?
  • What type of content resonates most with your target audience?
  • Are there any areas where your strategy needs to be adjusted?

Often cited as one of the most important web design principles, clarity and ease of navigation are crucial for a great on-page experience. Visitors should be able to find the information they need quickly and effortlessly.

Having a well-defined marketing budget empowers you to execute your plan effectively. With it, you can allocate resources strategically across different channels and initiatives, maximizing your return on investment (ROI).

  • Go beyond money. Track metrics like website traffic, social media engagement, and event attendance to gauge awareness. Monitor volunteer recruitment and new donor acquisition through different marketing channels.
  • Financial ROI considerations. Calculate cost-per-donor acquisition to assess fundraising efficiency. Track donation growth before and after campaigns to understand their impact.
  • Impact measurement. Connect marketing efforts to program results. For example, answer whether a social media campaign promoting a literacy program leads to increased enrollment.

Optimized Donations and Volunteering

Move beyond simple facts and figures. Produce videos that tell powerful stories about the people your organization helps, the challenges you address, and the positive change you make.

If you’ve never done email marketing before, read our guide on how to create email newsletters to get started.

Top Nonprofit Marketing Strategies

A strong nonprofit marketing plan can open doors for collaborations with other organizations and businesses that share your values.

Build a Nonprofit Website

Gain a deep understanding of the target audience you’re trying to reach. This includes demographics like age, location, and interests, as well as psychographics like values and motivations.

To Do:

Now that you have a solid foundation for creating your nonprofit marketing plan, let’s delve into specific strategies to maximize your impact:

It’s also worth noting that first impressions matter. High-quality images, videos, and a consistent color scheme create a professional and engaging experience.

Define specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals for your marketing efforts. These goals should directly connect to your mission and objectives.

Your core values are the fundamental beliefs that guide your organization’s actions. What principles are at the heart of your mission? Are you driven by compassion, innovation, or social justice?

The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) creates emotionally-driven videos highlighting animal rescue stories and the work they do in animal shelters:

PPC allows you to create targeted advertisements on search engines and social media platforms. You pay a fee only when someone clicks on your ad, maximizing your reach to specific demographics and interests aligned with your cause.

Craft your action plan like this:

Encourage volunteering by clearly showcasing opportunities with detailed descriptions and easy application processes.

For example, with Hostinger Website Builder, you can choose from various designer-made charity website templates to help you get your nonprofit organization online in no time.

Follow our guide to learn how to write SEO-friendly content for your nonprofit website.

Embrace a Growth Mindset

Matleena S.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has a dedicated Our Work section with clear explanations of their conservation efforts:

Develop a clear and concise message that captures the essence of your nonprofit organization. This key message should communicate your mission, values, and unique selling proposition (USP).

Example: imagine an animal welfare organization focusing on dog adoption. By strategically incorporating long-tail keywords like dog adoption near me, adopt a shelter dog, and rescue dogs, their website is more likely to appear at the top of search results for people interested in adopting a dog.

This data would help them understand the topics that resonate with their audience and allow them to tailor future content to maximize impact and secure support for their youth programs.

Not everyone has the resources to donate financially, but many want to volunteer their time and skills to nonprofit organizations.

An action plan is a roadmap that translates your nonprofit marketing goals into concrete steps. It outlines the specific strategies, tactics, and activities you’ll undertake to achieve each objective.

Prioritize a Digital Marketing Strategy

Here’s a simplified example of a timeline for the nonprofit marketing objective “Increase website traffic by 20% within the next quarter”:

This data helps them understand the effectiveness of their video content in raising awareness and potentially driving donations to support their conservation efforts.

If you want help in creating an impactful homepage, follow this guide on how to create a homepage that drives sales and conversions.

By analyzing data and metrics, you can learn what’s working well and what needs tweaking, helping refine your approach for better results.

Find Partners

Develop a Social Media Strategy

Distribute Content Across Multiple Channels

Schedule regular reviews – weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly – to analyze your performance data. Here’s what to consider during these reviews:

Timeline Example

Having a clear action plan ensures your marketing efforts are focused, efficient, and measurable.

To get you inspired, we will also showcase examples of organizations that have succeeded in effectively sharing their nonprofit’s mission online.

2. Identify Channels and Tools

This multi-faceted campaign could raise awareness, drive website traffic, and ultimately encourage donations to support their mission.

Crafting Compelling Digital Campaigns

Example: A nonprofit focused on animal welfare could use social media to share heartwarming stories of successful pet adoptions, post educational content about responsible pet ownership, and run engaging campaigns to encourage donations for their animal shelter.

  • SEO. Optimize blog posts about the importance of reading.
  • Social media. Share inspiring stories of children discovering the joy of reading.
  • Email marketing. Reach out to potential donors with information about their literacy programs.

Imagine a world where more people know about your cause. An effective nonprofit marketing strategy makes that happen.

Focus on Content Marketing

If you’re new to paid marketing, read our tutorial on how to get started with Google Ads.

Use video analytics tools to track video views, shares, and click-through rates on calls to action. Analyze how video content contributes to fundraising efforts to gauge its effectiveness in driving donations.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)

By leveraging your marketing efforts, you can showcase the benefits of collaboration and propose mutually beneficial initiatives.

Find answers to the most common questions about nonprofit marketing below.

Targeted marketing campaigns with compelling messages can attract passionate individuals who are eager to contribute. By showcasing the experience and the real volunteers make, you can create marketing materials that resonate with people who have the skills and interests perfectly aligned with your needs.

Nonprofit marketing refers to the strategies and activities nonprofit organizations use to promote their causes, attract donations, and recruit volunteers. In comparison, business marketing goals include selling more products and generating more revenue.

Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your marketing objectives. KPIs could include website traffic, lead generation like email signups or volunteer applications, email open rates, social media engagement metrics, or donation conversions.

Based on your research and resource limitations, prioritize your marketing channels and allocate your budget accordingly. Remember, flexibility is key. Be prepared to adjust your nonprofit marketing budget as needed based on campaign performance.

User-Friendly Design

Digital marketing helps your nonprofit organization reach a vast audience beyond the limitations of physical location. Online marketing is also more cost-effective than traditional marketing campaigns. Here’s how to leverage its power for your nonprofit:

Bonus Tip: Leverage Website Building Tools

Creating a clear timeline keeps your nonprofit marketing plan on track and ensures you meet your goals within a defined timeframe. This way, you establish milestones and deadlines for each key activity and objective, fostering accountability and progress.

Use Video Marketing to Tell Your Story

They share blog posts, infographics, and video content on their website and social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. This diversified approach keeps their audience engaged and raises awareness about hunger and food insecurity in the United States.

Nonprofit marketing is an ongoing process of experimentation and adaptation. Use your data to inform your decisions and continuously refine your approach for long-term growth and impact.

Measure Video Marketing Success

Download Free Web Accessibility Checklist

Outline the key activities required for each tactic. For example, if a strategy involves social media marketing, your key activities might include creating engaging content, scheduling social media posts, and interacting with followers.

Attract Volunteers

These videos raise awareness about their services and encourage young people in need to seek help.

Their marketing team could use the following strategies:

Besides your website, share your content across various platforms like social media and email marketing campaigns to maximize reach and engagement by utilizing different channels.

Next, identify key milestones that represent significant progress toward achieving your overall goals. Milestones could include launching a new social media campaign, publishing a white paper, or reaching a specific website traffic target.

Matleena Salminen

Nonprofit marketing involves strategies to spread awareness, solicit donations, and attract volunteers. It utilizes content creation, social media engagement, events, and data analysis to achieve these goals.

American Red Cross’ website uses powerful imagery and a user-friendly interface to connect with and evoke feelings in visitors:

Video marketing lets you connect with your audience on an emotional level and showcase the impact of your work in a compelling way. Here’s how to leverage video marketing for your nonprofit:

Publish compelling stories that showcase the impact of donations. Show how a single contribution can make a real difference. Utilize targeted online advertising to reach individuals most likely to be moved by your cause, expanding your donor pool and securing the resources to make a lasting difference.

Their ads might display captivating images of a lush forest alongside a compelling call to action like Donate to Protect Our Trees. These targeted ads would reach people interested in environmental causes, potentially generating new donors and raising awareness about deforestation.

Next, research the typical costs associated with different marketing channels you plan to utilize. This could include social media advertising costs, email marketing platform fees, or website development expenses.

  • Impact stories. Share stories of the positive change your organization creates, highlighting the real-world impact of donations and volunteer efforts.
  • Behind-the-scenes glimpses. Offer followers a unique perspective on your work by showcasing what goes on behind the scenes of your organization.
  • Educational posts. Provide informative content related to your cause, educating your audience about the issues you address and the solutions you propose.
  • Calls to action. Encourage your followers to take action, whether it’s donating, volunteering, signing a petition, or simply sharing your content to raise awareness.

Segment your email lists based on demographics, interests, and donation history. This allows you to send more relevant and impactful messages.

Track the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts by analyzing key metrics like website traffic, social media engagement, and email open rates. This data helps you understand what resonates with your audience and refine your content strategy for greater impact.

Create Valuable and Informative Content

Spread the Word

Consider looking into social media AI tools to help you streamline your social media marketing efforts.

The charity:water’s website exemplifies this. Their homepage features a clean layout with prominent menus and a large, impactful donation form urging visitors to take action:

Clearly articulate your organization’s mission, values, and the impact you create on your website.

Grow Your Donor Base

This often means taking stock of your existing resources, including staff time, volunteer availability, and access to design or content creation tools.

  • Images. Eye-catching visuals can grab attention and effectively communicate your message.
  • Videos. Videos can be a powerful storytelling tool, allowing you to showcase your work and the impact you create in a dynamic way.
  • Text-based posts. Informative text posts can share updates, statistics, or interesting facts related to your cause.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital utilizes email marketing to share patient stories, fundraising updates, and event invitations. They segment their email lists to target specific donor groups with relevant content, leading to increased engagement and support. This is done by asking the subscriber to indicate their interest during the signup process:

Pro Tip

Example: an educational nonprofit could use social media to share inspirational quotes, post thought-provoking questions related to education, and run interactive polls to gauge audience interest in different educational topics. This variety of content keeps followers engaged and interested in learning more.

Leverage Email Marketing to Connect With Your Audience

Example: an environmental organization could use social media to launch a campaign promoting Earth Day.

3. Define Key Activities

Most marketing channels offer built-in analytics tools that track performance metrics. Utilize these tools to monitor your progress and get valuable insights. Popular website analytics tools include Google Analytics, while social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram offer built-in analytics dashboards.

A strong brand message creates a powerful emotional connection with your audience, motivating them to take action and support your cause.

Example: an environmental nonprofit organization working on forest conservation could utilize targeted PPC ads on social media platforms.


A strong marketing strategy helps nonprofit organizations raise awareness for their cause, attract recurring donors, and recruit volunteers to fulfill their mission.

Many website builders have user-friendly features specifically designed for nonprofits, allowing for easy creation of donation pages and volunteer signup forms.

15min Read

Nonprofit Marketing FAQ

Highlight your impact by using data, statistics, and success stories to showcase the positive change you’re making.

What Are the Key Components of Nonprofit Marketing?

Any nonprofit organization would agree that they could use some extra hands and donations. Setting up effective nonprofit marketing campaigns gets charities noticed and connects with potential donors and volunteers.

Why Do Nonprofits Need Marketing?

Mission-Driven Content

What Is the Difference Between Nonprofit Marketing and For-Profit Marketing?

Example: a children’s literacy nonprofit might launch a digital campaign during National Read a Book Day.

The author
Next, craft a content calendar. Plan and schedule engaging content that aligns with your goals. This could include:

Apr 18, 2024

Similar Posts