Content Marketing for Nonprofits: A Comprehensive Strategy Guide

Mel Parker
02.27.24
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Read on for your comprehensive guide to content marketing for nonprofits. With these nonprofit marketing strategies, you can reach new donors, generate donations, and accomplish your goals. Establish your content marketing plan today.

Define Your Marketing Goals

Before applying the rest of these marketing tips, define your SMART goals. Draft goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. For example, you may want to:

  • Increase online donations by 15%
  • Generate 10% more website traffic monthly
  • Acquire 500 new donors by July
  • Increase attendance at your annual gala by 15%
  • Convert 200 one-time donors into recurring donors
  • Gain 500 new email subscribers by 2025
  • Attract 1,000 new social media followers by 2026

Specify how you’ll accomplish each goal. For example, you can use content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) to generate website traffic.

For each goal, establish a key performance indicator (KPI). You can track donations, website traffic, social media followers, and email subscribers. Give each goal a deadline.

Defining your marketing goals will give you and your team direction. Break your larger goals into smaller ones with monthly deadlines. If you’re not reaching those benchmarks, you’ll know to reevaluate your strategy.

Understand Your Donors

To appeal to your target audience, you first need to understand them. Gather demographic and psychographic information about your past donors. Consider their:

  • Pain points
  • Motivations
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Marital status
  • Online behaviors
  • Buying behaviors
  • Interests
  • Hobbies
  • Education
  • Careers
  • Income
  • Communication preference
  • Relationship (first-time donor, lapsed donor, etc.)

The average age of donors in the US is 64. About 27% of donors are more likely to give non-cash assets. However, their online giving did increase by 21% in 2020.

You may struggle to reach these older donors using social media. However, they may also prefer media galleries and forms of visual storytelling over long blog posts.

Look for ways to retain previous donors. Nonprofit organizations achieved a 25% retention rate for first-year, online-only donors. The retention rate for multi-year, online-only donors is 66%.

For example, you can tell them how their contribution was used. Show them the good they’ve done.

Segment your target audience into smaller donor personas. Create personalized marketing messages to connect with them on an emotional level.

Leverage Multi-Channel Marketing

As you draft your content marketing plan, consider sharing different types of content on different marketing channels. A multi-channel marketing strategy will expand your nonprofit outreach. It will help you appeal to donors at different stages of the buyer’s journey.

When creating content, consider:

  • Blog content/articles
  • A nonprofit podcast
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Polls
  • Quizzes
  • Webinars

Share your content using email marketing, social media, and your blog. Combine these with traditional marketing messages like direct mail or email.

Update Your Website

Donors are visiting your website to learn about your nonprofit. Make sure you’re offering them the best possible online experience.

Improve the user experience on your website by following Google’s Core Web Vitals. Following these guidelines will make your website easier to use and explore. Your organic search engine rankings will improve, helping you reach new donors.

Your website should be:

  • Fast
  • Mobile-optimized
  • User-friendly
  • Secure

Make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices. About 28% of online contributions are made from phones and tablets. Half of all nonprofit website traffic comes from mobile devices.

Add a compelling call-to-action to the header of your website. Simplify how you accept online donations to reduce the risk of losing donors.

Use Visual Storytelling

Visual storytelling will help you deliver more sophisticated, appealing content. Your content can give donors a personal connection to the cause. Visual content marketing ideas include:

  • Photos and videos of those impacted
  • Short videos for social media
  • Vlogs from fundraisers, staff, and volunteers
  • Testimonials from donors or the people you’ve helped
  • Infographics with data about the organization’s work
  • Media galleries of volunteers at work

Combine your content marketing strategy with SEO trends. Optimizing your content for searches will help you generate more website traffic. More website traffic can mean more donations.

Leverage donor psychology. What motivated your donors to give a recurring gift instead of a one-time donation?

For example, younger donors are prompted to give based on current events. These donors want to see everything in real time. Consider sharing more live videos to demonstrate how their contribution helped the cause.

Segment Your Marketing Ideas

Not every supporter is at the same point in their journey with your nonprofit. You can’t communicate with a recurring donor the same way you would with a first-time donor.

Segment your marketing ideas to create personalized messages for each donor persona. Send first-time donors an invitation to become recurring donors. Turn your long-time donors into ambassadors.

Create Unique Social Media Experiences

Each social media platform offers users a unique experience. You can use social media to engage donors around the globe. Create a distinct strategy for each platform.

On Instagram, use photos, Stories, and carousels to generate engagement. Share Reels and apply topics to reach new audiences.

Use keyword insights on TikTok to see top-performing phrases. The heating feature can help you generate more views by appealing to broader audiences.

Use Facebook’s new Group features to build a community. Generate engagement with exclusive content.

Test Your Nonprofit Marketing Campaigns

Once you apply these marketing ideas, test everything. Use A/B testing to determine how specific visual elements perform. You can test:

  • Headlines
  • Social media captions
  • Call to action language
  • “Donate” button colors, placement, and shape
  • The type of visual content you share

Test one element at a time. Track your campaigns and make improvements to boost your ROI over time.

Once you start generating donations, send customized thank you messages and donation receipts. Show donors how their contributions are making a real difference.

Effective Content Marketing for Nonprofits

Using content marketing for nonprofits can help you gain new and recurring donors. Use these marketing ideas to get started. Otherwise, partner with an experienced marketing agency.

Red Stone Studio helps clients achieve their goals with personalized, effective strategies. We create customized action plans based on what you want to achieve.

We’ll provide everything you need to take your organization to the next level. Contact us today to put your marketing plan into action!

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