Checklist for a Successful Nonprofit Digital Strategy

Coming from the nonprofit world, I know firsthand how difficult it can be keeping up with day to day digital strategy tasks—while also making sure what you’re doing is working. From social media to email to your website, it can feel impossible to find the time to look behind the scenes at the data and assess what’s working. It can feel even more impossible to find the time to take those insights and optimize each channel!

This ‘impossible’ feeling that I am referring to (and if you’re reading this, then you’ve probably felt it too) is the inspiration for this blog post. Below is a short checklist of digital strategy best practices that are worth investing your time in, in order to create an effective digital strategy. Instead of focusing on doing everything, focus on what you can achieve most effectively.

Let’s Start with Social Media.

Having a presence across social media is an important aspect of community building. But, ensuring you’re engaging your fans through meaningful content in a consistent manner is even more important. Here are a few social media best practices worth investing time in:

1) Take time to go behind the scenes. It’s not enough to just post; you need to invest the time in understanding what types of content and media WORK. Take a few hours to assess a month’s worth of data – you’ll be happy you did!

2) Use your findings to create a content calendar. Now that you know what your audience is most receptive to, you can get ahead of the game and map out your content for the next month.

3) Establish a regular posting frequency to ensure your audience is inspired to keep following you. The easiest way to ensure you achieve this is by using a third party tool like Sprout Social or Hootsuite to schedule out content ahead of time.

4) Respond to tweets, direct messages, post comments, and page posts within 48 hours to enhance and sustain community loyalty and engagement.

5) Invest in social advertising. Social media has become a pay to play game. Consider integrating promoted posts into your organic content strategy. Depending on your goal, experiment with various advertising campaigns and gather insights about your audience.

For more social media tips, download our free guide, Tips for Nonprofits on Social Media.

How About Email?

It’s hard to find the perfect balance between consistent and meaningful communication with your email subscribers and overwhelming their inboxes. Take a look at some email best practices:

1) Go behind the scenes to assess what’s working and what’s not working. This is a recurring theme throughout this blog post. It’s imperative to understand what your audience is receptive to in order to inform future content development!

2) Set a goal of 12 newsletters a year that feature exciting organizational updates, ways to get involved, and any other content themes your email performance data has proven to be successful among email subscribers.

3) With your fundraising strategy in mind, aim for 24 fundraising emails per year that use concise messaging, impactful imagery, and prominent call-to-action buttons.

4) Segment your email lists (i.e. by engagement, location, interest, etc.) to send effective, targeted messaging your audiences will enjoy.

Finally, Your Website.

Your website is the heart of your organization—so it’s imperative to ensure your users are having a positive experience. Try implementing these best practices:

1) Ensure all website content is up-to-date: Oftentimes, this can feel like a tall order, but you’ll be happy you did it. Users coming to your website expect relevant content—you don’t want to deter them away from your site with outdated content.

2) Take time to see what’s working: Set a goal of looking at Google Analytics once a week to ensure there are no red flags; and if there are, address them.


Looking for support in developing your nonprofit’s digital strategy? Contact us! We’d love to help.


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