How Digital Marketing Has Changed the Way We Fundraise

3 minute read

Think about the last time someone asked you to make a donation. Did you receive a card delivered by courier or through the post? Were you asked to attend an in-person event? Maybe not.

In today’s digital world, everything is happening online, and fundraising is no exception. More charities than ever before are recruiting digitally-savvy fundraisers, which means that candidates need to brush up on skills that allow them to attract and reach a wider online donor-base. In other words, if you want a job in fundraising, you need to have your finger on the digital pulse.


How digital marketing has changed the game

The influence of digital marketing on fundraising and charities comes down to one key concept: communication. It allows for the sharing of information between the general public and major donors, which means you can show more, share more and even paint a more vivid picture of the cause your charity is working towards. It also allows you to tap into your donors’ emotive side – the use of videos, images and interactive campaigns gives them a more authentic idea of what is going on in the world.

This makes it easier for the public to access information and ask questions to make sure they’re making an informed donation. Thanks to the internet and social media, non-profit organisations can mobilise the public on a wider scale and strengthen relationships with previous, present and future donors.

If you’re looking to brush up your digital skills for your next fundraising job, here are a few things key trends and channels you should be aware of.

How Digital Marketing Has Changed the Way We Fundraise

1. Social media

Not only is social media a powerful way reach a wider audience, it’s a great influencer when it comes to urging people to open wallets and donate. As a digital fundraiser, it’s important to be aware of what’s trending and see how it can align with your campaigns. The more on-trend your posts are, the more visibility your campaign will get. This also allows you to create an integrated message, with a mix of videos and images that can really tap into that emotive side of your audience and inspire them to make a difference through their donations.

Did you know that digital fundraising accounts for nearly two-thirds of donations that are made in response to emergencies? Speed is critical in an emergency, and digital tools like this allow fundraisers to act quickly and get their message out there.  If a natural disaster happens, the easiest way to get donors involved is to create a situation event and ask for donations on social. Facebook even has a tool that allows users to give by clicking a ‘donate’ button directly in a charity or individual’s post.


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2. Influencers and hashtag strategies

No matter the size of your charity, it always helps to have a boost from someone influential in your digital network. Whether it’s a celebrity tweeting about your cause or blogger helping get your message out there, the more people you have spreading your message, the better.

There’s no denying that celebrities play a powerful role when it comes to raising money online. Not only do they already come with a large fan-base, but their fans are loyal and take their advice to heart. A recent example of this is the YouTube star Zoella, who was the first Digital Ambassador for the mental health charity, Mind. As part of their #DontPanicButton campaign, Zoella shared her experiences of anxiety with her fans and urged them to get involved. In total, the campaign generated 1.5 million interactions.

Hashtags have also been used extensively to raise funds. According to a recent survey of consumer behaviour, over 50 percent of social media users who engage in an online cause are embracing hashtags as effective drivers of raising cash. Not only does it get your campaign in front of more people, it’s also an effective tool to raise donations to fund a cause, as the majority of audiences expect a donation as the next call to action.

How Digital Marketing Has Changed the Way We Fundraise

3. Engaging online content

Just pitching your ideas is no longer effective when influencing people to support your cause. These days you need to create engaging content that backs your messaging. It’s the best way to ensure you’re informing users and inspiring them to get involved. So what do we mean by ‘engaging content’? It could be anything from blogs to videos and research report. And digital channels are the best way to get this content out there.

After all, what’s more engaging and intriguing than a well-told narrative? Don’t just ask people to donate – tell a story. Use your campaign content to explain the what-which-how-and-when of your mission so that you can create a powerful impression and impact. It will connect your audience to your cause, and the moment they feel they’re part of the things, the faster they’ll be clicking that ‘donate’ button.


Want to brush up on your digital marketing and fundraising skills for your next job? Take a look at the courses available for you. You can also explore our job page for a full list of digital fundraising jobs in non-profit.

Catherine Park

Catherine Park is a connector with Caffeinatedwho help businesses find their audience online. She loves working in the ever-changing world of digital and is fascinated by the role content plays in today’s marketing.

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