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Top tips for NFP Digital strategy

3 min read

Breaking your Digital Strategy into 5 steps goes a long way in simplifying the process. Here’s what you need to consider in your Digital Strategy:

  • Capture your overarching nonprofit goals

Your organisation’s digital goals will serve as the foundation of the entire strategy that you develop. Start by writing out your goals in somewhat general terms. Do you want to:

  • Raise a certain amount of money?
  • Increase awareness of your mission?
  • Generate new leads?

Then put the SMART on your objectives – ensure your objectives are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant and Time-orientated.

  1. Define your audience and develop their personas

Creating a strategy that appeals to your audiences’ online behavior and interests starts with digging into your existing data. Use your website, Google Analytics, your CRM, and email management platform to identify and prioritise your existing audience.

Develop several distinct audience personas that are imagined online supporters who fit into a general category. Write a short description about their wants and needs as well as their online behavior.

An example of turning a profile into a persona.

The most immediate way that supporter personas can benefit your nonprofit digital strategy is by helping you better align your brand or tone with particular audiences.

  1. Align messaging and content

Truly digital stories, told in unique and compelling ways, stand out above the rest and have buzz-worthy potential.

The modern organisation is also under pressure to tell stories in real time. These in-the-moment updates produce a powerful impact: your story, your team, or your cause can meet donors where they already spend time online, whether on Twitter, Instagram or YouTube.

But what stories should you tell?

We go back to our audience prioritisation. Data should be your first resource in learning more about your existing audience, but a large part of developing a new digital strategy involves refining your most motivating messaging to better target them and attract specific new segments of online audiences, too.

An example of developing content based on your persona profiles

  1. Define your channels and their roles

The most important digital communication channels to your organisation’s strategy will include your website, social media, email, and digital advertising. Here’s how they work together to drive traffic and engagement with your online campaigns:

  • Your organisation’s website serves as the central hub for your digital strategy. It should be well designed, informative, useful, and fully integrated with your online fundraising and CRM platforms whenever possible.
  • Social media platforms are invaluable tools for reaching wider audiences. Focusing on just a few of the most relevant platforms to promote your campaign and always direct readers back to your website whenever possible.
  • Email marketing is an essential part of the digital strategy equation. Use it to promote similar information-based content and donation appeals as you do on social media, but take special care to target your readers more closely. Your donor database is useful at this stage for segmenting your mailing lists, which can then boost open rates and click-through rates, increasing traffic to your website. Read Campaign Monitor’s The New Rules of Email Marketing for Nonprofits.
  • Digital advertising and other digital marketing strategies are important for increasing visibility outside of social media platforms. Online ads can direct viewers to your site and even re-target those who have visited your site in the past. Google Ads (available to nonprofits through Google Ad Grants) can significantly boost your site’s traffic flow. SEO techniques, when implemented into your website and blog posts, can also help boost your campaign’s visibility in organic search results.
  1. Measure your success

Measuring the successes of your online fundraising campaign or other digital project is always essential. It all comes down to ensuring robust online tracking for your campaign.

The specific metrics that you’ll want to measure will depend on the nature of your campaign. Typical nonprofit conversion metrics include:

  • Completed donations
  • Email subscriptions
  • Pledge signatures

Your organisation has a wealth of data. Many organisations have data siloed across many departments in multiple content libraries.

Without a single source of truth, it’s likely that your employees, donors and even beneficiaries often find themselves on a wild goose chase looking for answers.

Reporting tools that consolidate multiple data sources into a single source of truth are essential for a modern organisation. Investing in data-driven tech that has a measurable ROI will help you understand who is engaging with you and how they are engaging with you.

Wrapping Up

The digital landscape is an ever louder and busier place; competition for supporter and donor attention is at an all-time high. Without a unified nonprofit digital strategy, you risk losing focus, visibility and impact.

That sounds a lot more complicated then taking some time to craft a digital strategy even if it’s not 100% right the first time.

James Hornitzky is the cofounder and COO of Leafcutter. 


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