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Data-Driven Marketing for Philanthropic Missions (Part 1)

The definition of philanthropy is the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the donation of money to good causes. A necessary precursor to fueling that desire is the ability of charities to promote their specific mission. In short, growing advocacy and fundraising.

Who and Where is Your Target Audience?

The first and most important focus of successful fundraisers is to determine who they are talking to. For philanthropic organizations this encompasses two primary, and sometimes overlapping, personas, advocates – those who would promote that the philanthropic cause – and donors – those who would provide financial support that cause.

The second important thing to consider is that the media landscape for communicating to potential advocates and donors has changed. The digital media landscape has done more than simply changed how audiences access information - it has altered how they want to be marketed to. Audiences no longer want to be interrupted and/or browbeaten into supporting cause, even from a nonprofit. What they are searching for is relevant information to help them make their own decisions. Why? Because they have immediate online access to this information.

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Google Research indicates 12 searches on average prior to engagement with a brand

Full Funnel Marketing Encompasses Organic and Paid Sources, Mid-Funnel Engagement, and Conversion.

So how do successful nonprofit cause-related marketers get in front of their donors and advocates? The simple answer is by opening your doors to these audiences by providing them with what they are looking for. To get these audiences to your door, we recognize, and therefore recommend strategies that consider and measure a balance of both organic (SEO) and paid (SEM) initiatives throughout your marketing programs  - these are the most successful. 

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Having clear impact points of where and when audiences are communicated to along their decision-making journey are key to determining the right balance of marketing efforts. These impact points can be defined within four stages of a journey, through awareness, consideration, intent and decision. 

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Marketing Isn’t About Who Arrives. It’s About Who Stays.

Once you’ve brought prospective donors and advocates to your open doors, now what? Big picture, you want to 1) get donors/advocates into your world; and 2) keep them there. A wise man (Jay Acunzo) once said that “Marketing is no longer about grabbing attention. It’s all about holding it. 

Philanthropic organizations and their nonprofit marketers who approach and leverage their fundraising programs with data-driven disciplines using a balance of both organic (SEO) and paid (SEM) initiatives will reap the benefits of the new digital landscape. 


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