3 Key Components to a Successful Nonprofit Campaign

By Chloe Dinsdale Sep 6, 2022

Recent surveys show that younger Americans are more socially conscious. They consider how and where they spend their money to be an extension of their own moral agency in the world. They’re also far more likely to donate if they feel personally connected to an issue. Issues that are in the news every day generate impassioned responses.

These factors signal a change in the way nonprofits should craft their marketing campaigns. The days of annual updates and direct mail marketing are gone, replaced by digital content that can be shared on social platforms and one-click donation via text or socials. Reaching this younger, more dynamic audience requires a new strategy, one that relies more on personalization and engaging storylines.

Here are a few key components of a successful nonprofit digital marketing campaign.


Tell an engaging story

What makes you want to share a story with someone? Typically, it’s a story that impacted your life or way of thinking about the world. The story your nonprofit tells needs to have this same sort of impact on your audience. The good news is that your nonprofit already makes an impact every day. The trick is to translate that impact into a story that will then affect others by inspiring them to join your cause.


Break down complex issues

The societal and environmental challenges we face can be tough and uncomfortable to talk about. On top of that, legislation, industry jargon, and economic concepts can be difficult to understand.

A compelling story can bridge this disconnect and bring key issues to a human level. Key numbers, shown in the form of infographics and visuals, quickly show readers your cause’s big picture and how your organization can help. And using jargon-free copy is a must.


Structure your message effectively

While it’s tempting to lead with the problem—after all, the problem is the reason your nonprofit matters—it’s more effective for your messaging to lead with shared values and then discuss the problem. Doing so explains why your organization cares about the cause, and why others should care too. It appeals to people’s desire to help without alienating them.

Most problems we face can appear intractable, but an engaging story shows that change is possible. Conclude your message with a shared vision for change. It’s not enough to point out the problem. People want to be part of a solution. Your nonprofit can offer them a way to change something for the better.


As always, getting someone personally invested is key. Including these components will help your nonprofit create a campaign that inspires people to not only get involved and donate, but also share your story. When people connect with each other around things they care about, true change happens.


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