Digital Marketing For Non-Profits & Charities
4.3 (236 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
969 students enrolled

Digital Marketing For Non-Profits & Charities

Getting Started & Setting Priorities With Digital Marketing: Building An Audience, Communicating and Fundraising Online
4.3 (236 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
969 students enrolled
Last updated 7/2020
English [Auto]
Current price: $19.99 Original price: $59.99 Discount: 67% off
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This course includes
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 9 articles
  • 11 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Get the balance right! Learn to prioritize all the digital opportunities available to you
  • Be smart with your emails - learn how to grow your list and keep supporters engaged
  • Have a website that works: get your content right and drive people to take action
  • Learn how to collect more donations online
  • Use Google Grants and AdWords to drive more traffic to your website
  • Get SEO working for you - move up the search rankings today
  • Create a social media strategy: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr and more
  • Use Facebook's new built-in fundraising tools
  • Run cross channel campaigns: Integrate your digital and non-digital strategy
  • Get LOADS of free templates and resources for your digital planning
  • You should be able to use a PC at a beginner level
  • Access to your organization's email, social media, website, analytics and other digital tools is an advantage

These days, Digital Marketing is an essential part of any public-facing non-profit or charity. But if it's not done right it can feel like a bottomless pit, draining your time and resources with little or no reward.

So where do you start?

In this course we take you through all things digital marketing. We show you where to start and how to build your digital marketing strategy with your limited resources. We will go through the priorities of digital marketing, and show you how different channels can be used to attract and engage supporters, recruit and retain donors, and drive online actions, as well as to communicate effectively with volunteers and other stakeholders.

We'll talk about:

  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing, including Facebook Marketing, Facebook Ads, Facebook Donations and Facebook Fundraising.
  • Other social media marketing, including Twitter, Instagram marketing, PPC advertising, and more.
  • Google Analytics and Google Adwords, including how to get started with and make the most of your Google Grant.

And more!

Plus...this course has SO MANY FREE RESOURCES AND TEMPLATES FOR YOU. You don't need to go anywhere else. This course provides dozens of templates and resources all in one place to save you from having to search the internet or create stuff from scratch. It's all included as part of the course price, and everything that's added in the future is yours forever as part of the one-time registration fee (with a 30-day money back guarantee).

Who this course is for:
  • Anyone who wants to get started with digital marketing
  • Organizations that want to review and improve their current digital strategy and digital marketing activity
  • Organizations that would like to set smarter priorities for digital marketing
Course content
Expand all 38 lectures 01:58:26
+ Getting Started With Digital
5 lectures 14:11
You Don't Have To Do Everything!
Don't Get Dazzled By The Next Big Thing In Tech!
Digital Means Constant Learning
Spread The Digital Knowledge - Best Practice
+ Email Marketing
4 lectures 16:31
An Overview of Email Marketing
Growing Your Email Subscriber List
Getting Started With Email - The First Steps
+ Your Website
4 lectures 12:58
Why Is Your Website So Important?
Making Your Website Content Accessible
Taking Donations Online
Community Fundraising Platforms
+ Google Grants: Free Ads to Drive Traffic To Your Website
2 lectures 04:37
What Is The Google Ad Grant? What Are AdWords?
Google Grants - The First Steps
+ Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Content
3 lectures 15:04
Creating Good Content
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO - The First Steps
+ Social Media
13 lectures 39:37
Getting Started With Social Media - The First Steps

In late 2017, Facebook expanded their donation function - it’s now available in a wide range of countries, and they’ve removed the transaction fees so 100% of donations go directly to the charity. Effectively, it’s a community fundraising platform built into Facebook, so Facebook users can set up fundraisers for marathons or other challenges, and ask their friends for donations. Facebook is actively encouraging users to donate their birthdays to charity in lieu of presents.  

There is also now an inbuilt donation function, where Facebook users can donate to a charity without leaving the Facebook interface. If someone starts but doesn’t complete a donation, Facebook will send them multiple reminders.

You should apply for your charity, set it up and test, and see if your Facebook fans use the functions.

Remember that people don’t do fundraisers or donate just because the technology is there; they do them because they care about a cause.  So Facebook fundraising is driven by exactly the same emotions and impulses as any other type: good storytelling, awareness of your cause, strong personal connections, and trust in your brand and organisation.  

Apply to use Facebook Donate:

Facebook's Fundraising Platform
The Rest - Pinterest, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Periscope, etc.
Paid Social Advertising vs. Organic
Facebook Ads - an Overview

Facebook Ads are the channel that Digital Charity Lab gets asked for the most help with, by quite a distance. There’s an understanding among non-profits that Facebook Ads offer something very powerful, but there is a large gap in the understanding needed to run truly strategic campaigns. 

It’s very easy to go into Facebook and quickly set up an ad campaign, but difficult to develop a winning strategy if you don’t know what you’re doing. 

There is a technique that you can use for nearly any type of campaign that will help you achieve the best results and the lowest cost per result: it’s all about targeting broadly, having lots of creative variations and giving Facebook time to learn.

1) Forget about organic, focus on ads

Organic reach on Facebook declines year on year, but there are still so many charities spending valuable time every week trying to make it work. In many cases, it would be a much more efficient use of time to cut way back on organic posts, and instead concentrate on developing a few really effective, conversions-focused ad campaigns.

Once you’ve developed a campaign that performs, you can set a small daily budget and let it run for most of the year. This is achievable even for small organisations with modest budgets.

2) Learn how to run campaigns in-house

If you always hire agencies to create your Facebook Ad campaigns, it adds greatly to the cost of each campaign. One of the strengths of Facebook Ads is that you can refine and test and greatly increase the success of your campaign yourself. It’s very expensive to run these kinds of tests if you’re reliant on an agency.

The strongest recommendation in this lecture is that you invest in building skills in using Facebook Ads inside your organisation. 

The Facebook Ads platform gets more powerful all the time and your organisation is missing a trick if you don’t have some ability to use and understand it.

3) Understand Facebook Ad objectives

Facebook Ads offer you lots of different objectives for your campaigns, such as reach, video views, engagement or conversions, and they’re even more sophisticated than you might think. 

When you tell Facebook to get clicks, it will find a lot of people who will click on every link they see. If you tell it to get conversions, it will find the people who will actually convert.

Facebook has over 10 years of data now on user behaviour, and it knows the people who will actually give money or sign up for an event. 

It requires a slight change in thinking for many charities, who are used to putting their call to action into a video, and then set up ads seeking video views, thinking this will get people to take the call to action. Nope! You are much more likely to have a successful campaign on Facebook if you choose the conversions objective.

4) Use broader targeting than you think

Facebook allows you to set up very granular and specific targeting, and many charity advertisers will work this way. They think: “many of our supporters are women aged 50-60 and are interested in animals, so let’s target that demographic on Facebook.” But Facebook has a lot more information about its users than the relatively blunt demographics that your database can provide. If you use broad targeting instead (say an audience of 1 – 2 million people), you will get much better results.

Here’s how it works: Facebook finds the first 50 people who convert, and builds a statistical model based on them. It will use that model to find 50,000 people who are similar to the first 50. And then it will start showing that audience your ads.

If you try to do the targeting to find those 50,000 people yourself, you’re extremely unlikely to be able to do it. You just don’t have the level of data and insight that Facebook has.

By having a broad audience, you give Facebook scope to run these tests. And then you can run long term campaigns without exhausting the audience.

5) You need more creative variations than you think. Way more.

The more creative variations you use, the more chance you give Facebook to find the relevant people.

The way many charities will work is: they will spend a lot of time developing the look and feel of a campaign, create a few core assets based on the creative concept, and then just use those assets in their Facebook ads.  But if you start by testing more images, and more that are significantly different, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results. 

For example: in a lead campaign for a homeless charity, a photo of two empty beds performed much, much better than an emotive photograph of a man living in homelessness. 

The image on the left performed many times better than an image similar to the one on the right, and the cost per lead it achieved was 50% lower.

By providing lots of variants of images and copy, you increase the chances that your ads will connect with people. The more people they connect with, the better value you will get for your budget.

Have a minimum of 15 ads in each campaign: 5 images x 3 copy versions. It’s very easy to create an ad, then duplicate it and change the image.

6) Your Facebook campaigns need time to learn

Because Facebook is generally a fast channel – it’s quick and easy to publish posts and ads and content can go viral really quickly – charities will often try to create last minute Facebook ad campaigns. But counter-intuitively, Facebook doesn’t like being rushed.

You need to give your ads time to go through Facebook’s ‘learning phase’: this is where Facebook finds the first 50 conversions from your ads, then builds a statistical model to find the rest of the people who will convert. It needs time to do this. Give your campaigns a 4-6 week lead in time. Two weeks for testing and 2-4 weeks to run the best creative variations.

7) Develop acquisition campaigns that you can run for a long time

Lead generation campaigns are great for growing your list. You can also try a value exchange campaign, where you offer a free item (such as a tote bag or a bumper sticker) to gather phone leads, then cultivate them into regular givers. Facebook fundraising expert Adrian O’Flynn has a very detailed free tutorial on how to use Facebook to gather regular givers on his website. 

It’s also worth testing out a campaign to generate cash donations on your website. Focus on a few strategic, properly tested and budgeted campaigns each year instead of just boosting individual posts.

8) How to run an effective test

A lead campaign is a really useful campaign to start with. These campaigns allow you to gather subscribers for your mailing list directly on Facebook, who you can then contact about your campaigns, events and appeals.

Use this plan to develop and test an effective lead campaign for your non-profit:

  1. Come up with a concept for your lead campaign – you can offer a free download, or ask people to sign a petition. There are lots of possiblities.

  2. Get a budget of $500.

  3. Find 5 significantly different images to test. Images of beneficiaries, objects, equipment – go for things that are all quite different to each other.

  4. Write 3 different copy versions – one as short as you can manage, one longer version, one with a question.

  5. Set up an ad campaign with the objective of leads, a testing budget of $100 and a duration of 1 week.

  6. Publish 15 ads (5 images x 3 copy versions).

  7. Let the ads run for a week and see which variations perform best.

  8. Duplicate the ad campaign, run it for another week with another $100. Remove all the lower performing ads, and test different headlines on the best ads.

  9. Let the different headlines test for a week.

At this stage, you’ll know what your cost per lead is, and can set budgets and targets for an ongoing campaign.

Facebook Ads - 8 Things to Understand and Test
Managing Your Time On Social Media
Your Personal Online Presence
+ Cross Channel Campaigns
3 lectures 09:22

It’s not that cross-channel campaigns are the least important digital work - you’ll probably be running them regularly. But to run them effectively, it really helps to have a strong base on the main channels first.

When you have a good user base on channels 1-5, and are confident in your use of them, you’ll have no problem running cross-channel campaigns.  A really useful way to plan a cross channel campaign is to map your audiences and the actions you want them to take across the different channels.  We use a communications calendar grid to do this.

The advantage of laying out your activities like this is that you can sort by channel, audience, goal, etc, and see at a glance if you have any gaps in your plan – if there are audiences or channels that you are neglecting.  It will show you quickly if you’re over-communicating to one audience, or relying too heavily on one channel.  You can also add extra columns to track KPIs, who is responsible for each activity, audience size, sign off on each activity – any number of other elements that you need to record.

One of the most damaging assumptions that charities make about digital is that “if we build it, they will come.” Remember when you’re doing any cross-channel campaign, that you’re going to need to put a lot of time, money and creativity into promotion.  Don’t fall into the trap of spending all your resources building a microsite or an interactive piece, or endlessly tweaking the campaign identity.  A good rule to set yourself is to use the 80:20 method. Spend 20% of your time and budget on creation, and 80% on promotion. This is very difficult to adhere to, but you should at least try.

Cross Channel Campaigns
Crowdfunding: Kickstarter, GoFundMe and More
Your Supporting Work