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The Top 6 Digital Marketing Projects Your Non-Profit Should Budget For in 2022

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In order to be successful, non-profits must use digital marketing. However, they may not always have budget to spend on it. With the budget season approaching, now is your opportunity to make the case for having budget allocated, or at the very least, planting the seed for 2023 budget conversations.

In this article, we outline six projects you should request funding for within your non-profit’s budget this year!

How to plan your non-profit’s budget for digital marketing

While non-profits have the potential to be successful, they often don’t have the budget to invest in digital marketing. But that doesn’t mean you can’t create a successful digital marketing strategy.

You just need to get creative with your marketing plan and set aside some funds for it. While it may not always be possible to spend money on an all-encompassing digital strategy, there are a few things that can still be done without breaking the bank.

If you’re a non-profit that’s not leveraging digital marketing, you need to get on board. Non-profits have the opportunity to make their fundraising efforts more efficient, reach out to potential volunteers and donors, and create more awareness for the organization.

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Part of planning: setting goals

One key part of the planning is to determine the relationship between marketing and communications strategies. Often times there is overlap in objectives, such as outreach, nurturing, retention, etc. It’s also important to connect with other parts of your organization – for example, if you have a research division and a foundation, connect and ensure there aren’t any overlapping priorities. If there are, it would be a great opportunity to save some budget by unifying your digital marketing expenses. Perhaps the Foundation has set aside budget for promoting a gala or fundraiser. Ultimately, they would need something done online – perhaps event registration, online silent auction, donation forms, landing page, etc. Who is going to fund those?

Consider which team has the staffing or agency partner to take it on? Combining forces, more often than not, leads to a reduction in overall expenses.

Whenever embarking on a project, especially one that requires funding or investment, it’s important to know if it was worth it. Make sure that your priorities align with those of any other parts of the organization, and determine the appropriate goals, metrics, and KPIs that will indicate success.

Some questions around KPIs you should think about when setting your goals and targets are:

  • What are the metrics you should consider?
  • How can you measure them?
  • Is there any specific software or platform you can leverage for tracking?

Some examples of KPIs would be:

Long term goals:

  • Brand awareness
  • Community support
  • Donations
  • Clicks to your site from priority keywords

Short term goals:

  • Email subscribers
  • Link clicks from emails
  • Social media interactions
  • Organic visits to the website
  • Visits to key pages (landing pages, event pages)
  • Total pageviews

You don’t need anything fancy to monitor how you’re doing. Anything you can measure in numbers, create a spreadsheet and put in the data. Over time you can create a chart. Don’t have a spreadsheet program, we recommend signing up for a free Google account and using Google Sheets.

What does your non-profit think about when it comes to allocating funds for digital marketing?

What does the C-suite and Board of Directors feel about digital marketing? Do they believe it’s a worthwhile investment?

If it’s at the bottom of their priorities, or not even on their radar, it’s within your abilities to start having conversations with them about the importance of it.

The key is to get the top levels of your organization to understand its importance, and that other organizations are taking it seriously.

If your nonprofit doesn’t put in some effort, it will ultimately affect the donations and grants you receive.

Project idea 1: Budget for Website Redesign

Contrary to popular belief, your website isn’t what makes or breaks a nonprofit. In fact, according to Gallup, 90 percent of organizations that were interviewed said that the website was not an area where they felt they needed improvement.

But you do need a good website. With Google having over two trillion searches made per month, it’s crucial for nonprofits to have a high-quality website.

Consider these questions:

  • How fast does your website load?
  • What does your website look like?
  • Are you embarrassed by it?
  • Do you know how many people visit your website?
  • Do you know how they got to your site?
  • What are people doing once they’re on your site?
  • How does your website work on a smartphone?
  • Are they signing up to your email list? (do you even have a list?)

The problem is many non-profits don’t have the budget for a professional redesign. However, there are low-cost options out there for nonprofits with limited budgets. There are even free tools available on the internet that will drastically improve your website without costing you anything at all!

So what are some things you should consider budgeting for within the scope of a website project?

  1. RFP process
  2. New domain name
  3. Fast website hosting
  4. Research
  5. Branding
  6. High-quality and trendy design
  7. Mobile optimization
  8. Content and writing
  9. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  10. Images, videos, photoshoots
  11. Lead capture
  12. Email marketing campaigns
  13. Landing pages
  14. Donation platform
  15. CRM integration
  16. Event management
  17. Analytics software
  18. Social media management software
  19. Ongoing maintenance
  20. Security and backups
  21. Support by a trusted partner

Project idea 2: Budget for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

A good place to start with your digital marketing strategy is by budgeting for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Non-profits also have an opportunity to increase their exposure in search engines like Google with SEO. For example, if you implement an SEO strategy, your website might appear higher on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). This makes it easier for people to find your website and improve your online visibility.

Additionally, SEO is a great tool for attracting new donors and volunteers because they may be looking for a nonprofit they feel they can support. In order to attract these people, you’ll need to show up in the SERPs where they’re looking for organizations like yours.

Project idea 3: Budget for Content Marketing

Content marketing is a new marketing strategy that’s been around for just a few years, but it’s quickly catching on. In fact, by 2022, it will be the most widely used marketing tactic (according to eMarketer).

This project-based content strategy focuses on creating and publishing high-quality blog posts and website copy.

It’s important because people are busy these days and they want quality information that they can find easily.

Content marketing is an effective way to fill this need.

If your organization doesn’t have any budget at all, you should rely on content marketing as your main digital strategy. This means that every post and piece of content you produce should be relevant to your audience and informative for them. You’ll also want to create a list of actionable tips or ideas that users can take from the post or article.

According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound Marketing Report, 64 percent of marketers said blogs were their second favorite tool behind social media channels.

If you’re interested in using content marketing as your main digital tool, then you should make sure you have a blog set up!

Project idea 4: Budget for Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to acquire brand champions, volunteers, and donors who keep coming back. That is, provided you have the right strategy in place. With digital technologies, it’s easier than ever to set up an email list and send out relevant content that your audience wants.

Even if you don’t have a budget for digital marketing, email marketing is still possible! There are plenty of free tools that will help you create emails and newsletters, including MailChimp and Campaign Monitor. You should also consider signing up for a paid service like Aweber or Constant Contact, which would give you the ability to send out more personalized messages.

Why is email marketing a key point in a digital marketing budget? It’s simple…

People on your email list already know, like, and trust your organization.

By communicating with them regularly, you stay top of mind, so when it comes to the times of the year when you ask for donations, it’s not out of the blue.

Think about it like this: a teenager asks a parent for $100. The parent would probably respond, what do you need that for? Likewise, if you communicate with your audience regularly about the great work that you do, how you’ve affected change, helped the community, etc, there won’t be a doubt in their minds as to why they should donate to your cause.

Project idea 5: Budget for Social Media Marketing

Social media is a powerful marketing tool. It’s one that non-profits can’t afford to ignore.

Non-profits should be using social media for their marketing campaigns and events.

Celebrate victories, new employees, volunteers, patrons, and even donors.

You can be sure that your potential donors will see what you’re doing in your online community, on your website and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (among other social networks). To make the most of your time and resources, you should budget for social media marketing throughout the year.

Depending on how much money you have available to spend, there are many different options for digital marketing—from email newsletters to video content creation to paid advertising.

It can be as simple as taking your news releases and blog posts (remember, content marketing above?) and making quick videos from them, or graphics to share on your social channels to generate more interest in your cause.

Project idea 6: Budget for Paid Advertising

Non-profits are often faced with tough decisions. One decision that many small NPOs have to make is whether or not to invest in digital advertising.

Paid advertising is one of the most effective ways to reach a target audience. This can be done through internet advertising such as Google ads, Facebook Ads, and Instagram ads, as well as paid email campaigns that can be sent out at any given time.

Are you a registered non-profit? Did you know that you can apply for a grant that will give you $10,000/mo in Google ad spend? Get in touch, and we’ll tell you how.

Digital marketing will help your business grow, so it’s worth considering spending on it. For example, an increase in website traffic by 10 percent would lead to an increase in conversions (aka, donations, email subscribers, patrons) by 3 percent.

Conclusion

Non-profits are no stranger to the many challenges of running on a tight budget. Each organization has unique challenges that have to be addressed in their own way.

Something you could consider, is allocating budget from an education or training cost center. For example, when we partner with our clients, we train them and teach them best practices, so they can learn and, ultimately, take the reins on projects after launch.

At the end of the day, consider this thought: You’re better off taking some kind of action, than meeting, and having meetings about meetings, and planning for meetings, and never actually “do” anything tangible.

Planning is a key component for any successful project. And meetings are necessary. But the “doing” is the only way to affect change.

Reaching out and connecting with a digital agency that specializes in non-profits will be able to help you identify the best approach for your unique needs. Book a free consult with us and get on the right path to planning your projects and ultimately getting your organization to back you by allocating funding.

For non-profits to be successful they need to invest in digital marketing–and you should start budgeting now for it!

We know
that your time is limited.

That’s where we come in.

Click the button below and book a free consult with us

We can get you on-track quickly to make your website have the impact your organization deserves.

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