digital marketing program

The Top 5 Components You Need to Build Your Nonprofit Digital Marketing Program

#1 — A razor-sharp understanding of what’s working (and what’s not)

Often times, we are so busy executing our digital campaigns that we don’t take the time to fully evaluate our efforts to better understand what’s working—and, what’s not.

In the industry, we call this process an Audit.

An audit is essentially a health checkup for a given channel (e.g. email, social media, website, etc.) with a series of data-driven recommendations on how to improve its performance.

Audits also feed directly into your overall digital marketing strategy by answering those burning questions, like:

  • What channels should I be investing in (or cutting loose)?
  • What sort of messaging gets the best ROI? E.g. people signing up for your emails, registering for an event, making a donation, etc.
  • How should we segment our lists? And, how frequently should we be emailing our supporters?
  • How do we stack up against ‘the competition’? I.e. are we doing a good job on digital or do we need to step up our game?

Some good resources for conducting an audit are:

And, here at Media Cause, we offer a variety of audit packages:

  • Social Media Audit
  • Email Audit
  • Google Ad Grant Audit
  • SEO Audit

Interested in our audit services? Send us an email.

Media Cause Case Study: Helping Goodwill Grow Through a Digital Marketing Audit


#2 — The right tools for the job

Time and time again, we come across organizations that are beyond frustrated with the limitations of their digital marketing tools and systems.

Common pain points include:

  • A donor database that doesn’t ‘talk’ to an email program;
  • A website that’s clunky or difficult to update;
  • A reporting tool that doesn’t easily provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions;
  • Social media channel(s) that eat up your time and resources with little return on investment.

All of these challenges are symptoms of a pervasive issue: technology dictating the strategy, instead of you being in the driver’s seat and selecting the tools you need to get the job done. Our co-founder, Cody Damon, explores this idea in a recent blog post, The State of the Impact Marketing Ecosystem.

If you’re frustrated with your technology, we want to help. Send us a note and let’s discuss your needs.



#3 — A steady stream of website traffic (and the ability to capitalize on the attention)

We all know how important website traffic is — it builds your brand; it grows your email file; it generates revenue for your programs.

But many organizations struggle to generate a high amount of traffic, let alone a critical mass of relevant visitors.

A few things that we recommend out of the gate to drive high volume, high quality traffic to your site:

  • Google Ad Grants Management — with a focus on conversions, instead of just clicks.
  • Ads (Facebook/Instagram, Google, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc) — to your followers or with look-a-like audiences or interest-based targeting.
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization) — to ensure that as many of your webpages as possible show up on the first page of a Google search.
  • Email — directing your supporters to share content with their friends and family, attend an event, make a donation, etc.

It’s also important to note that all the traffic in the world will do nothing for your organization unless you have a proper EMAIL CAPTURE STRATEGY in place — landing pages that are strategically designed to build an email file, with content that adds value to the reader and provides a compelling reason to sign up.

If you want to know how to drive high volume, high quality traffic to your site, drop us a line.


#4 — A compelling story

As a nonprofit, your ‘story’ is the heart and soul of your organization. It’s WHY people support you. It’s why they tell their friends or family about your cause. And, on a technical level, your story is why someone opens an email from you or visits multiple pages on your website instead of bouncing after one page.

All good stories:

  • address a problem or challenge that people care about;
  • are relatable or empathetic;
  • create a clear vision of the future or a path to a resolution;
  • are consistent across all channels (online + offline);
  • avoid (like the plague) organizational jargon. They eliminate acronyms or industry speak and use everyday, personal language to craft the narrative.
  • help achieve your marketing goals — e.g. increasing website visitors, adding new members, driving donations, etc.

Unsure if you’re telling a compelling story that moves people to take action and join your cause? Let’s chat.

#5 — Proper resourcing

In order to carry out the four items mentioned above, proper resourcing is essential.

We recommend organizations have at least two full-time digital marketing staff — typically in the form of a Communications Manager or Director and a Content Writer/Techie.  

While a Communications Manager/Director position is fairly common, we don’t see the same attention given to a content writer/techie role — a staff member that’s 100% dedicated to content production — someone who can churn out multiple blog pieces, emails, social copy, etc., day in and day out. (New content is key to not only keep your audiences engaged, but platforms like Google simply love it and will send more traffic your way when they start to you as a reliable and consistent source of good information.)

Finally, we recommend all organizations budget for digital advertising. Gone are the days of true organic reach. Plus, ads can help you (quickly) reach new audiences and strategically grow your base.

Need help building your digital marketing foundation? Drop us a line.


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