Nonprofit Digital Campaigns: Modern Fundraising Strategies

Ensure strategic nonprofit digital campaigns by sending fundraising letters with GivingMail.

Nowadays, nonprofits, like many organizations and businesses, are turning to the power of the internet to get the word out and raise critical support for their missions. Yet it takes a strategic approach to reach your intended audience and achieve your goals. Enter: nonprofit digital campaigns.

Marketing your nonprofit digital campaign can be a challenge because of the mass competition for attention on the internet. However, there are a few ways to separate yourselves from the web of clutter flying around. Your ability to make your nonprofit campaign stand out may very well be the difference in deciding whether or not you receive that all-important donation.

At GivingMail, we have decades of strategic fundraising experience and have watched (and assisted!) as organizations like yours began increasingly turning to digital tactics. By taking the following approaches into consideration, we believe you’ll be bringing in much-needed support for your cause in no time:

  1. Incorporating multichannel nonprofit digital campaigns
  2. Leveraging fundraising data to inform your appeals
  3. Breaking through the digital clutter with direct mail

One of the easiest ways to get your nonprofit digital campaign out there is to fundraise through multiple channels. Whether it be text, email, social media, or snail mail, the more your name appears, the stronger supporter connections you will have. Let’s dive in!

Incorporating multichannel nonprofit digital campaigns is a great way to spread the word.

Incorporating multichannel nonprofit digital campaigns

When launching a nonprofit campaign, whether it be through digital or direct mail strategies, it is important to recognize the wide variety of people you are trying to market to—and the sheer number of media they consume on a daily basis. Because of this goal, one must use many different types of media for your nonprofit digital campaign if you want to get the word out effectively.

These are some of our favorite channels for nonprofit digital campaigns.

Additionally, one must realize that different generations, with varying levels of technological ability, will have different ways of using technology and consuming media. This understanding will help you determine the best way to virtually market your nonprofit digital campaign. To get started, here are a few of our favorite digital marketing channels:

Social media

Social media is a great tool to market your nonprofit digital campaigns because of the wide-reaching nature of these platforms. Organic postings on your own pages allow users to see your social media account and learn about your cause. Good practices here include adding descriptions and images that showcase your mission to build credibility and show the user your intentions. You can even encourage your current followers to interact with and share your content with their own networks, thus spreading the word even further.

Paid advertising on social media sites is another excellent way to promote your digital nonprofit campaign and be discovered by many who might yet have interacted with your cause. While this strategy will cost a fee per post, the value is recognized by the larger outreach your cause will receive relative to what you could have acquired organically.

Email

Studies show that the market segmentation is one of the most important factors in having a successful email campaign. Making sure the targeted audience gets strategically selected appeals can help boost both open and response rates.

Another very important aspect of a successful nonprofit email campaign is sending out a message that grabs the recipients attention from the very beginning. Many decisions about whether or not to contribute are made subconsciously. With that, it is important to make the reader feel good about the email they open and the cause you want them to support.

For example, personalizing your introduction with a specific expression of gratitude makes those who are on the fence about donating lean in the direction toward contributing.

PPC & SEO

Pay per click (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO) are each up-and-coming ways to promote your digital nonprofit campaigns because of the rapid increase of technology in both marketing and fundraising.

Pay per click advertising allows digital fundraising campaigns to have a lower risk marketing strategy. The campaign owner simply pays a small fee each time the advertisement is clicked on by a web user. This way, you can get some valuable real estate on the Google results pages to promote your cause. Plus, Google offers up to $10,000/month in advertising budget to eligible nonprofits through their Google Grants program, meaning even your pay per click strategy can even be free!

Search engine optimization is also a very useful strategy for digital nonprofit campaigns because after putting in certain efforts, the growth and recognition is entirely organic. With this strategy, you’ll place your cause at the top of search engine result pages based on certain keywords searched.

Text

Text marketing provides vast amounts of freedom for your digital nonprofit campaign because of the large potential outreach and the ease with which someone can interact with your cause.

This is incredibly useful for nonprofit campaigns because it leads to high levels of exposure that was previously unattainable. On top of that, it is harder to ignore a text message than an email because most people receive notifications as they receive a text—and they almost always have their phones within reach.

Text messages provide freedom for the donor because they can have everything they need to complete their donation in a single message. This appeals to younger generations especially who crave a simpler way to give and stay up to date.

Finally, texting provides a more casual approach to donor outreach and may foster an interpersonal interaction with supporters. If the potential donor is comfortable and curious about your nonprofit campaign, they are more likely to make a monetary donation.

Be sure to leverage your fundraising data to inform your nonprofit digital campaigns.

Leveraging fundraising data to inform your appeals

Leveraging data is an important back-end task to get the maximum efficiency out of your nonprofit digital campaigns. Your wealth of fundraising data helps improve the likelihood of your donation appeal being opened and responded to, with the hopes of securing a contribution.

If you can access your list of donors and keep track of their information, you can divide them into categories based on age, stage of life, and donation history: all things that help you chances of receiving another donation. If you’re looking to leverage your fundraising data to create a better-informed nonprofit digital campaign, here are three things you should do:

Invest in a nonprofit CRM

Having a good donor management system is imperative to the long term success of your nonprofit digital campaign. Having a CRM to manage data, as well as other donor management strategies, leads to prolonged and sustainable relationships with your contributors.

And when your CRM system integrates with your other nonprofit fundraising software, you can automatically collect, store, and analyze a number of useful data points. For example, you can track which of your digital appeals were the most successful by looking at bounce rates, open rates, and conversion rates. Then, you can know for your next campaign which efforts to prioritize.

Incorporate audience segmentation

Audience segmentation is a powerful marketing and fundraising strategy that sorts supporters into groups based on similar characteristics. Then, you can modify each appeal based on the tendencies of each particular segment.

Segmenting your audience can lead to more successful nonprofit digital campaigns..

For example, older generations might care more about giving as long as they know where their money is going, while younger supporters are far more focused on how they can help. By taking these notes into consideration, you can create multiple versions of a fundraising appeal that will connect with your intended audience. Here are a few other characteristics you might use to segment your audience:

  • Donor age/generation
  • Engagement history
  • Geographic location
  • Income/wealth markers
  • Communication preference
  • Giving preference

Audience segmentation is important to your nonprofit digital campaigns because it boosts efficiency and efficacy. Appealing properly to each type of donor minimizes the amount of non-responses your campaign will have while increasing conversion rates and overall donations.

Make improvements with A/B testing

A/B testing is the process of showing two different versions or layouts of the same appeal and testing which version yields better results. This can be done in a variety of ways by testing a number of elements, with the hopes that the strategy leads to a higher output. Consider testing these factors:

  • General greeting vs. addressing recipient by name
  • Online donations vs. direct mail appeals
  • Email subject lines
  • Call to action copy
Here's an example of A/B testing your nonprofit digital campaigns..

A/B testing might seem like a fine detail, but it has the potential to increase website traffic, simplify navigation, and result in higher donations than if you neglected the strategy.

Send direct mail appeals alongside your nonprofit digital campaigns.

Breaking through the clutter with direct mail

Statistics show that direct mail yields better results than digital marketing. After all, more than 75% of people claim they can recognize a brand or cause after interacting with a piece of direct mail. On the other hand, less than half of people can say that with regards to digital marketing. That’s because direct mail is the tangible component that recipients can hold in their hands and read through the appeal that was just sent to them.

However, online forms of outreach can be extremely effective for branding and increasing awareness for the mission behind your campaign. That being said, there are a ton of other distractions and competition for your audiences’ attention online. Breaking through the digital clutter and picking up a piece of mail in your mailbox can be the reason someone chooses to make a contribution to your cause. The best case scenario? When your direct mail and digital efforts work in harmony with one another.

Integrating your direct mail and digital campaigns

Integrating direct mail into your nonprofit digital campaign is a vital combination to boost donations and accomplish the long-term goals of your nonprofit. Your potential for outreach and recognition from the digital forms of marketing, paired with the extremely successful nature of direct mail campaigns, is sure to drastically increase your nonprofit’s revenue.

Two main reasons for such success are the increased share of mind and the potential for multiple touchpoints. Imagine how powerful it would be for a potential supporter to see your nonprofit digital campaign online and then receive a piece of mail with your logo in the mail when they get home.

Consider integrating your direct mail appeals with your nonprofit digital campaigns..

Then, to increase your overall conversion rate, make sure it’s as easy as possible for willing donors to give. For example, including QR codes or URLs sending users to your online donation page makes the donating process fast and accessible, while the direct mail appeal is still fresh in the forefront of their mind.


Picking the right forms of media for your digital nonprofit campaigns is an important decision with many implications. If done correctly, these strategies yield immense donation revenue. And when paired with direct mail marketing campaigns, it takes the recognition you have received and turns it into long lasting relationships between donors and nonprofits.

Direct mail, as a supplement for your existing nonprofit digital campaign, is an easy and valuable tool to improve recognition, adjust your approach for each target market, and seal the deal with those on the fence about making a donation.

If you’re interested in learning more about strategic marketing and fundraising strategies for nonprofits, be sure to check out our other educational guides:

Ensure strategic nonprofit digital campaigns by sending fundraising letters with GivingMail.

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