Digital Marketing for Nonprofits: Freshen Up Old Tactics With New Opportunities

February 9, 2023

3 minutes

In 2023, digital marketing for nonprofits is more important than ever. All of us are having to stretch our finances further and further, and donations are the lifeblood of every nonprofit. Since every dollar matters, there’s never been a better time to freshen up some of your old marketing tactics with new opportunities.

Consider the following statistics:

  • 55% of people who connect with nonprofits through social media channels end up taking some sort of action. (
  • The “open rate” for nonprofit emails is 34% (
  • 45% of donors gave to nonprofit charities through some sort of crowdfunding platform. (

These three stats only scratch the surface of what marketing trendwatchers are seeing. When you dive into the data, the overwhelming message is clear: digital marketing matters for nonprofit organizations. Read on to learn more about how much it can impact your brand awareness and help you raise money.

How Important Is Digital Marketing For Nonprofits?

As our world grows even more connected, digital marketing is more important to nonprofits than ever before. It offers a cost-effective way to communicate with new and existing supporters and helps maximize your influence regarding donations and volunteer recruitment.

Through a myriad of marketing tactics, nonprofits can quickly reach a much larger and more diverse audience. Digital marketing also provides actionable analytics that help guide future decisions on how best to reach potential donors or volunteers. This way, every dollar spent brings a greater return on investment than other forms of marketing.

Without relying on digital strategies, it’s harder for nonprofits to engage with their core audience. Ultimately, an organization’s ability to produce creative solutions and effective campaigns relies heavily on modern digital marketing methods.

Read more: 5 Reasons Why You Should Not Neglect Rebranding a Nonprofit

What About Traditional Marketing?

Effective marketing campaigns should be engaging and produce measurable results. And while we should not throw the baby out with the bathwater, we do need to take a careful look at where we need to update what could be outdated marketing strategies or tactics that need a fresh perspective.

Classic marketing strategy revolves around the 7 P’s: product, price, promotion, place, packaging, position, and people. This approach served us well and still does in many ways. And while we can apply some of those principles to nonprofit marketing, in some areas, we must make adjustments. Every cause is different, and the way each group speaks to its target audience is unique.

Tried and true nonprofit marketing tactics, such as events, sponsorships, membership drives, and good old-fashioned word of mouth, are definitely still effective but they’re not enough to get the traction you need on their own.

Now, one in four people aged 18-29 want some sort of social media communication, and just as many prefer making those connections via their smartphones. To be sure, having a strong digital presence is essential. You must integrate these reliable methodologies with new media opportunities to stay relevant and reach more people.

Read more: Marketing Strategy vs Tactics? Tips for Success in 2023

How to Market Your Nonprofit Online

Social media is an essential tool for non-profits to spread their message and increase the visibility of the organization. Platforms like Instagram and YouTube enable organizations to better connect with potential donors, highlight relevant news, and share stories about how donations are being used.

When also leveraging online donation platforms, nonprofits can use social media as a multi-faceted channel to build relationships, run campaigns, and promote donor engagement. Best of all, it’s interactive — engaging potential donors in a discussion about initiatives in which they wish to stay involved. Ultimately, success depends on tapping into new networks through personal introductions and building lasting relationships.

Donors love stories. It’s been true forever, and videos make it so much easier to get those stories directly to donors. Imagine how much more engaging a story is when you can hear it and see it (via social media videos) versus simply reading about it in a monthly newsletter.  Plus, a video has a much longer shelf life; you can share them on your website, in your e-newsletter, and on social media.

Here are some additional tips that we use with clients to help them transform their social media presence into an impression-making, lead-generating power tool:

1. Always have an image.

Visuals make a much higher impact than words alone. They reinforce your message and make it memorable and shareable — the ultimate goal in any social media marketing strategy. Use imagery and videos that are original, clear, personal, and mobile-friendly.

2. Videos are always better.

People have come to expect video from the brands they follow—this is especially true for nonprofits. You have a compelling story to tell, and video is the best way to tell it and share it online.

3. Be ready to respond.

The beauty of social media is that you can socialize! When people comment on your material, talk to them. Think of it more like a walkie-talkie than just a megaphone. They’ll love hearing from you, and the personal connection and engagement will make them much more likely to join your cause in some way.

4. Have a strategy.

Like we’ve said, don’t just wing it. Treat your social media just like you would any other outreach effort. Make sure your presence has a purpose. For example, it’s important to have a style guide that helps everyone deliver a consistent look and tone for your organization. And make sure that your story is clear and consistent across all channels. Then, when your social media communications ultimately drive people to your website, they’ll make a smooth transition.

5. Consider Paid Ads.

If your social media marketing needs a quick boost, paid ads may be just what you need to attract more traffic. Facebook has a host of tools to equip you to engage donors on its platform. If Instagram is your preferred platform, you still need a Facebook account to access all the features (learn more here).

Read more: The One Thing Nonprofits Must Do Before Applying for Free Google Ads

Find a Digital Marketing Agency For Nonprofits

Digital marketing is essential to success in promoting your cause to the world. We know you have many choices when it comes to online marketing, but we strongly recommend that you work with an agency or firm with proven experience marketing nonprofits. Your needs and goals are not the same as a business’s, so look for a nonprofit marketing agency that can effectively steward your mission and message on your behalf.

From our very beginnings as a company, we at Cross & Crown have been passionate about creating tools and strategies to help nonprofits raise their voice and maximize their reach.

Contact us to schedule a meeting if you’d like to learn more. We’d love to show you examples of our nonprofit marketing work and get to know you better.  We’d love to partner with you!

Cross & Crown

About Cross & Crown

Cross & Crown is a team of creatives who are passionate about solving problems through design and technology, taking what is there and making it better. Based in Chambersburg, PA, we strive to help educate, advocate, and thrive in a digital world.

Our Culture

We drive results for work that matters.