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Non-Profit Marketing Doesn’t Have To Be Complicated, Just Focused


It’s no secret that today’s digital marketing environment in any industry or sector is highly competitive. It’s also no secret that because most of us are working from home we’re much more readily available for marketing efforts. In the not-for-profit (NFP) space, cutting through the noise for donors and members, prospective or current, requires a focused effort. Focused doesn’t mean complicated and it doesn’t even have to be complex.  

Often running leaner than most (and wearing multiple hats), NFP marketers are challenged in ways very similar to the retail space but with one caveat. You must create compelling content to keep your donors, members or constituents engaged long term. At dotdigital, some of our most engaging NFP client partners keep it very focused with an eye on long-term value. 

Creating engaging content 

Let’s focus on a few things beyond just recruitment-based outbound single send emails. While email recruitment is a key pillar to most NFP marketing strategies, it’s often ignored by the receiver due to the constant deluge of messages in their inboxes.  

Our question: Do you understand WHAT those engaging with you desire as an outcome and WHY they care? To understand, you have to do a few things. 

Understanding the WHY is an engagement exercise 

Along the journey, clues – breadcrumbs and data collection opportunities – exist. You need to capitalize on these journey steps. Simple actions like web page tracking can define why someone cares. Time spent on your content on webpages is a clear indicator of interest. Use these details to segment and personalize. 

WHAT is 100% data-driven 

You can create automations based on less than a handful of WHATs. But you have to define the WHAT and validate it with profile and behavior data inspection. Your audience is engaging with you, especially in the NPF space, because they are passionate about your cause. If someone is engaging with your content, they are likely apt to share more information. We recommend thinking beyond simple demographic data. Capture feeling or emotional data points with surveys or forms.  

Data-driven content 

Responding with content based on the WHY and WHAT for the specific engagements is the loop you need to close. Ensure you are serving content where it is being consumed and throughout the journey. Multiple channel options with straightforward content planned out wins here. Help your audience see their engagement impact. Most NFP donors and members feel like part of your team and content keep them engaging as team members. DO NOT gate your content in this case. 

Non-profit marketing that converts

Focused NFP marketing using marketing automation 

At dotdigital, our Engagement Cloud platform enables these journeys to be easily planned, built, and curated. You can easily leverage your CRM-based member and donor data inside Engagement Cloud while enriching it along the journey through data forms and surveys.  

Knowing where and when content was consumed adds to the intelligence. Distributing content at consumable times personalized to the recipient is the icing on the cake.  Optimizing your sending times can dramatically increase successful engagement, Engagement Cloud supports this as well.  

If you are more interested in our client’s successes in the NFP space, check out these success stories.  We have also partnered with Microsoft through the Tech for Social Impact program. 

Special thanks to our friends at dotdigital for their insights on this topic.
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