Digital Marketing (n): The promotion of products or brands via one or more forms of electronic media.

Whether your nonprofit is capitalizing on marketing via its website, social media, or digital ads, it’s important to keep in mind that simply “utilizing” digital marketing tactics doesn’t mean you’ve got a strategy in place, or even that the tactics are doing you any good. This day and age, it’s relatively simple to deploy marketing tactics without thinking about it because so much can happen at the push of a button.


While there are dozens of digital mistakes we see being made all the time, we want to talk about three big “no-no’s” your nonprofit or ministry should avoid.


  1. Executing tactics without a strategy

Tactics are the methods to which you reach the goals defined by a strategy. It’s crucial that you first identify the strategy for your organization. And from there, you then identify the tactics that you need to execute in order to reach those goals.


For example: Your goal may be to increase your camp attendance by 500 people in 2020. With that in mind and your audiences are clear, you can then establish tactics with strategic communication that will help you reach that goal and appeal to your unique audiences.


Which leads me to our next mistake…


  1.  Not knowing your target audience(s)

Now, I think most of you would say that you think you “know who your audience is.” But do really? Who are your donors? What demographic are you speaking most to? Have you defined any “aspirational” audiences you’d like to reach more of? Do you know what type of message resonates most with each audience?


Being able to define your audiences (in most cases there are more than one) will help you tailor your marketing tactics to make sure your messages are connecting where it counts.

For example: If you are a church hoping to attract more millennials with a particular series, you may decide to use a tactic like social media ads. If you are a student of your aspirational audience, you will know to prioritize Instagram instead of Facebook for this campaign (considering that is their most used social media platform). If you weren’t considering your audience in this instance and simply running ads everywhere, you would waste precious dollars and opportunities to reach your target where they are most active.


  1. Not being intentional with your online presence

It’s no longer enough to simply exist online. Your website and social media need your attention if you want to be taken seriously as a nonprofit.


Like it or not, a potential donor will often visit your website and social media and if it looks inactive, it’s outdated or doesn’t communicate your mission effectively, you’ve likely already lost their potential loyalty. Donors want to see that you put time and energy into your online presence, as this often communicates your intentionality and level of excellence that they then correlate with your ability to use their donor dollars to move the cause forward.


Make sure your website clearly communicates your organizational heartbeat, the design is modern with strategic UX, your social media is active, branded and engaging, and your donors will be much more likely to trust you with their resources.


In order to avoid all three of these mistakes, it takes a lot of planning and 30,000-foot thinking, and we know this can be tough when you’re in the weeds of the day-to-day. If at any point your nonprofit needs help identifying the strategies that will move your organization forward (most likely utilizing some digital marketing), we’re here to help. Check out one of our favorite offerings, StratLab, to learn more about how we can help come alongside you to help you make a bigger impact.


“The time with the StratLab team helped us clarify who we are, what we do, what our opportunities are, and how best to move forward with intentional strategy.”

  • Caleb Anderson, Mariners Church
8 Social Media Best Practices 8 Social Media Best Practices