How to Find Success with Nonprofit Marketing

As a nonprofit, you can create a digital marketing strategy that includes smart tactics to express your mission to a wider audience, inspire giving, and motivate more people to volunteer with your organization.

How to Find Success with Nonprofit Marketing

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As a nonprofit organization, you have your work cut out for you when it comes to marketing.

Yet, while resources may be tight, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a robust nonprofit marketing strategy to help you achieve your goals.

You just need to use smarter, more efficient marketing tactics.

With these, you can express your mission to a wider audience, inspire giving, and motivate more people to volunteer with your organization.

Designing and implementing a digital marketing strategy like this today can also take less time and use fewer resources.

To help, we narrow down what you need to know about nonprofit marketing and how you can make it work for your organization.

    What is Nonprofit Marketing?

    Nonprofit Marketing consists of strategies and tactics to reach people, raise donations and amplify a specific message.

    Its objectives are to: 

    • Create awareness of the supported cause.
    • Promote the nonprofit’s mission and services.
    • Encourage donations.
    • Facilitate fundraising efforts.
    • Inspire supporters and partners.
    • Attract volunteers.

    Marketing your nonprofit is a beneficial way to get your cause in front of more people and also keep your current donors and partners involved and contributing.

    Why Use Inbound Marketing for Nonprofits?

    Inbound marketing involves the creation of valuable experiences and content tailored to your specific audience, making a positive impact.

    For nonprofits, inbound marketing is beneficial in that it can help engage and inspire the community and attract new donors, partners, and volunteers.

    More specifically, inbound marketing for nonprofits can provide the following benefits.

    Raise Awareness and Funds

    Raising awareness of your nonprofit and its championed cause is an essential step in your marketing strategy and overall plan.

    Inbound marketing spreads the word about your organization, raising this awareness and gaining the interest of a wider audience.

    Along with this increased awareness comes the ability to raise more funds for the organization’s cause and services.

    Encourage Donor Memberships and Continuing Donations

    If your nonprofit offers donation memberships, or monthly giving pledges or programs, inbound marketing can encourage more donors to join, leading to continuing donations.

    These recurring donations can lessen the need to actively fundraise all the time and can serve as a solid way to raise money.

    Also, in most instances, average monthly donations exceed the one-time gift donations.

    Recruit More Dedicated Volunteers

    Nonprofits depend on volunteers to help further their cause, and a focus on inbound marketing can help you recruit those dedicated volunteers to your organization.

    In addition, dedicated volunteers are more likely to donate to the organization than non-volunteers, providing you with a double benefit.

    Promote Causes

    Your cause is at the heart of who you are as a nonprofit.

    Inbound marketing focuses on creating content and experiences that have a profound or positive effect on people.

    Combine these two, and you can build relationships and find those who are also passionate about what your organization cares about.

    Create content to educate others about all facets of your mission and to promote your cause. This way, you can keep their interest and inspire them to act.

    Promote Services

    As a nonprofit, you need to get the word out about what services you provide and how you help your cause in concrete ways.

    Inbound marketing can help you promote these services, informing people that you not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk.

    Drive Political and Social Changes

    Underlying everything you do as a nonprofit is the desire and the pursuit to bring about positive change in the world.

    With inbound marketing tactics, you can drive both political and social change by building support and using this to convince or put pressure on decision-makers, opinion-leaders, power groups, and individuals.

    How to Create a Nonprofit Marketing Plan

    With smaller teams and limited budgets, nonprofits need to approach their marketing efforts in a systematic way.

    That is why creating a nonprofit marketing plan is essential. It outlines goals, strategies, budget, and more, providing a guide to make the most effective use of their efforts.

    To create a nonprofit marketing plan, keep the following in mind.

    1. Establish Goals and Objectives

    Establishing goals and objectives to serve as the foundation of your marketing strategy needs to occur early on. These will serve as a guide to all your actions going forward.

    Ultimately, your marketing plan needs to translate your nonprofit’s mission into actionable goals and objectives. 

    Make these as concrete as possible, such as to increase awareness, encourage volunteering, or raise donations.

    Once you determine what these are, turn them into SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely).

    2. Identify and Understand Your Audiences

    As a nonprofit, you will need to identify and understand your various audiences. These most likely include community members, constituents, partners, donors, and volunteers.

    Create donor personas (similar to buyer personas) and let these guide your marketing plans and campaigns, including content, messaging, and the channels you use.

    3. Create a Way to Follow Up with Your Donors and Volunteers

    Don’t forget about your current donors and volunteers.

    You want to keep them involved with your nonprofit, so make them a priority in your marketing strategy.

    To do so, consider using specific marketing tools to keep them engaged, such as email newsletters, phone calls, direct mail, and events.

    4. Gain Familiarity with Donor Psychology

    Gain familiarity with donor psychology to understand the behaviors of donors in general and use this to better your marketing efforts.

    For example, learn what motivates donors to give monthly or why they are more likely to donate to a fundraising campaign that is nearing its end.

    5. Use Visual Storytelling to Build Connections

    Connect with your various audiences on a more personal level by using visual storytelling.

    For this, you can use empathetic marketing techniques to create an authentic, compelling narrative to go along with your visual content.

    Let that visual content tell a story that touches emotions and builds a deeper connection with your audience.

    6. Prepare Visual Content

    In today’s digital world, visual content attracts wider audiences and can boost engagement with your nonprofit.

    Examples of visual content for nonprofits to prepare include:

    • Infographics, which present facts, statistics, and other important information in a viewer-friendly way.
    • Videos or photos of how your nonprofit is making a difference already.
    • Testimonials.
    • Short-form videos to share on various platforms.

    7. Set Budget and Timeline

    With your objectives defined, goals established, and content strategy devised, it’s time to set a budget and timeframe.

    Determine how much of your budget to allocate to each content type and marketing activity. Also, create a timeline to keep your team and overall strategy on track.

    What are The Best Marketing Strategies for Nonprofit Organizations?

    A wide variety of marketing strategies are available today to help you achieve your nonprofit’s goals, including the following.

    Email marketing

    Email marketing continues to be a highly effective method for nonprofits. With it, you can create a powerful, personal approach to reach your audiences and build stronger relationships.

    Create an email sequence strategy using sales sequence software for each need, including for new subscribers, new donors, recurring donors, partners, and volunteers.

    Online Ads

    Today, more than ever, you can find programs to run online ads without having to go overboard on your budget. 

    Google offers unique opportunities for nonprofits, such as their ad grants, which allow you to run a campaign at no cost to you.

    Event marketing

    Event marketing nears the top of the list when it comes to ways to raise awareness, expand your community connections, gain support for your particular cause, and, ultimately, raise funds.

    People love a fun event, especially when it is tied to a cause they believe in and support.

    Different kinds of events include silent auctions, competitions (such as a charity run), and various types of fundraisers.


    By partnering with others, such as a corporation, celebrity, or influencer, your nonprofit gains publicity and access to that partner’s connections and targeted audiences.

    Video marketing

    The majority of people online today prefer video content over all others, making video marketing essential.

    By creating educational and inspirational videos and making them shareable across various platforms, your nonprofit can reach a wider audience.

    Social media

    Social media today plays a larger role in people’s lives. As a result, nonprofits need to develop a strong social media marketing strategy to showcase their personality, broadcast a cause, and engage with the community.

    Things to share on social media include news about your nonprofit, achievements relating to your cause, volunteer opportunities, employee openings, and fundraising activities.

    Search engine optimization

    To ensure visibility and reach your audience, search engine optimization (SEO) techniques for your content are highly valuable.

    With these techniques, your nonprofit can rank higher in search engine results pages, drive traffic to your website, and get in front of a wider audience.


    Your website is the face of your nonprofit. It’s where people go to learn more about you, your cause and services, and how they can donate or volunteer. 

    You need it to be your best marketing tool, so take the time to create one that will inspire and engage your visitors.


    Offering webinars is a way to get your audience more involved and provide more information about your cause and services. 

    Create free webinars for donors, volunteers, and those interested in what you are doing to create change.

    Public speaking

    A public speaking strategy involves arranging speaking engagements for your leadership team. 

    These speaking engagements can serve as a great way to promote your nonprofit, cause, and the services you provide.

    Content marketing

    Content marketing is a highly beneficial strategy for a nonprofit. You can create various types of content, including text, video, and audio, to reach your audiences on different platforms. 

    Use this content to educate, inform, and inspire.

    Wrap Up: Find Success with Nonprofit Marketing Strategies

    Marketing is an essential element for nonprofit success today. 

    By using smarter tactics, you can express your mission to a wider audience, inspire giving, and motivate more people to volunteer with your organization.

    It all starts with creating a solid nonprofit marketing plan and allocating a budget to make it happen.

    Need help with establishing and allocating that budget to keep expenses under control? Download our marketing budget control kit here to get started!


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