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Jan

25

2013

How Digital Marketing is Changing the Business of Charity

Inbound Marketing

Charities are changing the way they gather donations. In the digital marketing era, it's necessary to expand your toolbox of strategies and there are some charitable organizations doing a great job of embracing this concept. In virtually every digital marketing blog post, content creation is regaled as one of the most vital aspects of lead generation. For charities, the potential benefits of content generation are even more outstanding. Often the last passenger on any bandwagon, charities are a great compass for determining the efficacy of new marketing movements. With smaller marketing budgets, non-profit organizations have less room for failure when it comes to attempting new strategies. Because of this, charities are a great indicator of how digital marketing is changing business.

Why is Digital Marketing Good for Charities?

Consider this- the emphasis of any charity is helping those who are unable to help themselves- be it natural disaster, poverty, or living in dangerous, war-torn parts of the world. The traditional manner that charities have garnered donations is through TV spots and flyers emphasizing the hardships experienced by people in need. It just makes sense to put this into a content creation plan. By simply reporting on their progress as an organization, charitable groups are better able to connect with their contributors and show how the donations are being employed. Blog posts, social media, and other digital marketing avenues can assist charitable organizations in spreading their message. Who wouldn't be more inclined to contribute if they had updates on how their money was being used by the organization?

The reality is that charities abide by the same rules of lead generation as businesses. Digital Marketing is way cheaper that traditional outbound marketing. Inbound leads cost 61% less than traditional ones, and when you're a non-profit organization that can make all the difference. What many people don't realize is that when generating leads, charities have to function in the same way as a business. Finding contributors, creating a brand name, producing quality content... all of these are necessary for a charity to continue functioning. Without donations, the organizations cease to be of any use to the community. Sounds exactly the same as a business, no?

How Have Charities Embraced the Digital Marketing Trend?

Hubspot did an excellent analysis of the Red Cross and their dive into the world of digital marketing. In it, Hussain talks about the three ways that the Red Cross used digital marketing strategies to drive more donations. The Red Cross created a Digital Holiday Catalog, stepped-up their social media presence, and used video marketing to show individuals how their money is being spent. As a result, they had hundreds of retweets and greater community engagement.

Here are 6 ways that digital marketing is being used for charities:

  1. Twitter Live feeds and conversations
  2. Use Facebook to tell a story
  3. Pinboards and Pinterest Activity
  4. YouTube user-generated content
  5. Educate with Webinars
  6. Hosting a social media content

By making the donation process a more interactive experience, non-profits are doing more than generating one-time donations. Keeping their contributors in the loop leads to a feeling of involvement and camaraderie between the contributor and the NFP (not-for-profit).

What Does This Say About Digital Marketing?

So what if charities are using digital marketing? What does this say about your company, or about the digital marketing revolution?

It's living, breathing proof of the efficacy of a digital marketing strategy. Charities and other non-profit organizations don't have the budget to push experimental or risky marketing ventures. They are operating on less flexibility because every dollar they spend on marketing is one that could have gone to helping their cause. By placing money into content generation, NFP's are showing the business world that lead generation and substantive content are key to creating new leads and new customers (or contributors).

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