A Non-Profit Organisation exists to address a specific cause or social issue identified. Such an organisation’s needs require funds either invested directly by the founder(s) of the organisation or from donations by the community or through the hosting of fundraising activities.
Below are the steps to consider when implementing a successful digital marketing strategy for your Non-Profit Organisation – whilst making reference to a start-up NPO that is in its initiation stage.
Non-Profit Organisation made reference to: Educate Them
Educate Them is an upcoming Non-Profit Organisation that aims to educate and give young people in less privileged and/or disadvantaged communities that do not have immediate and direct access to educational resources in all their form access to knowledge that will not only motivate them, but also elevate their holistic being and discover their full potential by making use of all the available resources the world offers.
Step – by – Step Marketing Strategy Plan
1. Clarify your Goals
A clear and concise description of your goals is vital. A SMART goal is a setting used to clarify the goals precisely. Think of objectives you want to achieve for your digital strategy plan by using the SMART setting. Also break-down the goals into manageable parts, i.e. along term goal short have 2-3 shorter goals to accomplish it.
Specific – Clearly defined and unambiguous
- What do you want to achieve/accomplish as you work on your digital strategies?
- When? Why? Where? Who’s involved?
Measurable – Measured by a criterion to determine and track your progress
- How do you know you achieve your goal?
- How much/many?
- What indicators track how you do with the digital strategies
Achievable – Challenging but attainable, can work towards it and actually achieve it.
- Have any other NPOs achieved it?
- Do you have the resources and capabilities to achieve it?
Realistic – Relevant to the purpose of your NPO and within reach
- Are you able to commit to achieving it?
Timely – A clear time-line from starting date till finish date, a time period
- When should it be done?
- Is there a deadline?
Moreover to your goals, it is important that the purpose and aim of your NPO such as getting volunteers, donations or creating awareness should align with the objectives of your digital strategies.
Break-down of Educate Them Goals
Short Term Goals (1-5 years)
- Set-up a mobile internet connection centre to assist with university applications.
- Host a career exhibition for grades 9 – 12
- Set – up a mobile library centre – create reading programmes, i.e. teaching children how to read in English.
- Raise funds (fundraising + donation requests) to establish a computer workshop and library centre.
Long Term Goals (in 10-years-time)
- Fund a fully functioning community computer workshop.
- Fund a knowledge/book/library centre.
- Appoint young people to work in the workshop and library centre to gain work experience, i.e. learnership programmes.
- Offer free tutoring services across multiple subjects in need.
2. Know your target audience
Understanding who your target audience are will help you create content and analyse how you can convey your goals.
To successfully communicate your message, a firm knowledge of your target audience is important, i.e. a specific audience such as the youth, local community, young professionals or family-oriented individuals.
- Who is the audience? Depending on the type of NPO, you may have a specific audience.
- Their demographics e.g. gender, age, etc.
- Psychological e.g. activities, interests, opinions on NPOs
- The size of your market to determine the impact you can reach through your content.
- Geographical e.g. global or local scale.
- Specific area or multiple cities.
Educate Them Target Audience 1 – Beneficiaries
Target Group: All young people in disadvantaged communities (in primary and high schools, university students)
Ages: 7 – 25 years
Gender: All eligible
Location: South Africa, Limpopo Province (aims to target a specific community at a time)
- Have no and/or limited access to smart devices such as phones and computers and data.
- Have not much availability of information and extra mural activities.
- High need of educational resources and quality education.
Possible reason of engagement: Need for personal and professional enhancement and growth
Educate Them Target Audience 2 – Donors
Target Group: Professionals, businesses, the government and individuals passionate about education and young people development – and those that fund NPOs i.e. government grants, and businesses engaging in Corporate Social Responsibility at a broad scale.
Gender: All applicable
Location: South Africa
- Prominent education activists/advocates
- Multiple industry professionals
- Affected community individuals
Possible reason of interest: Passion for education, philanthropist mindset
3. Communicate a Key message
A key message or theme brings focus to the main ideas you are communicating through your content and helps them see the bigger picture. It should be clear and concise for your target audience to grasp and hold their attention.
- What key message do you want to communicate to your target audience?
- What is the purpose of your digital campaign?
Key messages should be:
Water Aid foundation: aimed to make a serious issue more fun with the #GiveAShit.
Their key message seeks to raise awareness of the global sanitation crisis by delivering it in a distinctive way.
- Solves a problem, the key message aims to solve a crisis.
- Engaging, using Hashtags and images such as the #GiveAShit
Ultimately, the key message will draw attention to the purpose and aim of the digital strategy.
Educate Them Message – to Donor
Young people are the forefront advocates of change and innovation that the world needs. Let’s inform, empower, and equip them to make that difference that will institute change into the world.
#educatethem #changemakers #togetherwecan
4. Digital Medium
Once you identify your audience, you can conveniently reach your target audience with the type of digital medium they use.
- How will you communicate with your target audience?
- Where can you find your target audience and communicate to them?
Social media platforms are utilized and effective such as Facebook, Tik Tok, YouTube, Snap chat and Whatsapp. For example, the youth have a specific social media platform that they mostly use like YouTube, 85%, and Instagram, 72%.
By identifying the type of digital media you can create digital campaigns that bring the target audience to your NPO website.
5. Digital Campaigns
A digital marketing campaign includes objectives, key messages and content that aligns with the purpose of your NPO to engage and communicate with your target audience using digital channels.
- Set objectives
- Key message
- Allocate resources and tasks.
- KPI and measurement tools
- Make use of the holiday to create awareness such as the WaterAid #GiveAShit campaign for the World Toilet Day, 19th of November to highlighting the sanitation crisis that affects 2 billion people in the world.
- Creating events based on crisis as a response and establishing a means which anyone can help. For example, ALS Association with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, asking supporters to throw a bucket of iced water over their heads and share the video online.
- The use of Hashtags, imagery and video to create content that reach people
- Instagram: The use of influencers to urge people to go and help out as encouragement in a local area.
- Other social media such as Twitter to get people talking. For example, World Wildlife Fund, using emojis to engage supporters and re-tweet one of the endangered emojis for awareness.
- Online videos
YouTube is one the social media platforms with the greatest impact because of the global reach it has.
Creating a storyline that motivates people to donate and change their view of your NPO can cause an impact and positive reaction.
For example, WATER is LIFE makes a YouTube video with a total view of more than 7 million – an emotion striking video of first world problems.
Whatever digital campaign you decide to choose is up to you and what your NPO is all about. Implement the digital strategies that align with your NPO and fulfil your goals.
Educate Them Digital and non-digital Medium to be used:
- Instagram Profile – an Instagram profile will be dedicated to reaching those on this social media platform, to share pictures of past and upcoming events.
- Facebook Page – a Facebook page will be established to share content on the activities the organisation engages in, i.e. posters for different events such as fundraising events, hosted events like career exhibitions to give donors a picture of the work the organisation engages in and what they would be investing in.
- This page will also allow the social media accounts manager to engage with feedback from different people, and actively answer and respond to questions and comments.
- Heropost – to ensure that all content is shared on time (during peak times) on all applicable mediums, Heropost will be used to automate all posts. This will assist in ensuring that no post time and date is missed – such as when hosting a fundraising event and an informative poster is needed to be shared well in advance.
- Website – an Educate Them website will be the main platform of communication with the public. Consisting of an internal chat box and an active business email address.
- Traditional methods – in order to reach those that live in these disadvantaged communities, hard copy posters and flyers will be printed and placed in the most well-known public places in the community, i.e. churches, shops, barber stalls. The team of Educate them will actively engage with the community through door-to-door and educate them about the organisation and tell them how they can help, i.e. through participating in fundraising activities.
Summary of marketing medium implementation ideas:
- Social Media Marketing
- Website SEO
- Content Marketing
- Traditional marketing methods
6. Evaluate and Measure
It is important to evaluate how effective and efficient your digital campaigns are in terms of reaching the organisation’s mission. A way of doing this is to determine Key Performance Indictors (KPIs).
KPIs are used to measure the performance of activities by an organisation or business. Moreover, they help in enabling an organisation to make effective decisions.
Key Performance Indicators that could be applicable for an NPO are:
- Donor Retention Rate
- Average Donation Size
- Donation Growth Rate
- Fundraising ROI
- Email Open and Click Rate
- Social Media Engagement
Educate Them KPIs:
- Create a reputable brand and market it across multiple social media accounts
- Attract at least 5 big donors contributing 60% of funds needed in a year.
- Build a fun social presence on social media accounts
- Reach at least 1000 likes on the Facebook page in one year, 500 followers on Instagram and create content for website on a need basis.
- Set a financial budget required for all quarterly/yearly activities – and aim to reach projections.
Tracking Progress of Educate Them:
- Raised funds in a quarter will be matched against set projections to measure if they were reached. The implemented marketing strategy will be enhanced if need be depending on the result/outcome of this act.
- Social media engagement to be measured using Google Analytics.
About the authors:
Nerveille Nadje is a Digital Marketing Analyst at the International Institute of Digital Marketing.
Lebogang Koka is a Digital Marketing Analyst at the International Institute of Digital Marketing. She boldly embraces continuous learning.