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Main Ingredients to a Nonprofit Digital Campaign

Marcella Vitulli

Last week, we were joined by Cindy Phan, Creative Director at ShareProgress to discuss how to achieve the right "secret sauce" for a nonprofit digital campaign. You can check out our full discussion in the video below or read on for an overview.

In honor of this month's webinar (and the relaunch of the oh-so-inspiring Best Nonprofit Digital Campaigns Collection), here are some of the ingredients you can combine to run a smart, successful campaign.



Appetizer - Social Media

For many nonprofits, social media is an excellent way to give audiences a taste of their campaigns and, hopefully, leave them hungry for more.

While we've seen successful campaigns that exist almost entirely in the Twitterverse or even on Snapchat, social media is more a vehicle for your intended audience to get a sense of a campaign's flavor - from there, it's up to you to entice them to click through to your main campaign content.


Main Course - Donation Page

Here comes the star of the meal: your campaign's donation page. 

You might be wondering: why isn't the main course all of the inspiring photos, incredible stories, and data-driven impact numbers that I'm putting front-and-center in my campaign?

While your audience will certainly devour all of the compelling content and striking digital elements of your campaign, their entire experience and potential contribution depend upon whether your donation page is serving up the right combination of clarity, purpose, security, and mobile responsiveness.


Side Dish - Video

If you have the resources, a video can be great way to add additional flair to a campaign. Nonprofits like Conservation International use video to (literally) lend a voice to the voiceless in pursuit of spreading awareness of their causes.

As with any of these elements, it's important to carefully weigh the benefits a video can have. For some campaigns, it's the best and most direct medium for the message. In many instances, however, video may not provide the best bang for your nonprofit buck.

Regardless, if you decide to employ video, make sure to set S.M.A.R.T. goals for your campaign to ensure you're measuring ROI for next time.


Get the Campaign Launch Template

Dessert - Microsite

Nothing makes a better cherry-on-top for your campaign than a microsite.

Nonprofits that forgo a simple landing page and elect to create a dedicated campaign portal essentially build a world in which their audiences can experience the mission, urgency, and proposed solutions of the campaign through a dynamic medium that they won't soon forget.

For example, #LanguageMatters, a campaign from the American Councils for International Education and the newest inductee into the Best Digital Campaigns Collection, has found its home in a vibrant, functional critical language "hub" designed to offer valuable resources and information while also reinforcing the campaign's mission and goals.


For extra spice...

The four courses outlined above aren't the only ways to cook up a tasty campaign. In fact, you may find that adding some non-digital elements may be just the flavor you need. That said, here are some more ways to spice up a nonprofit campaign.


Hosting a campaign launch event, either virtual or in-person, can provide a serious boost right out of the gate. 

Whether your goals are centered on fundraising, advocacy, or awareness, a kick-off event can help you build financial, political, or social momentum that will fuel your campaign's next phase.

Email series

If you're planning on sending out any emails during your campaign (hopefully you are), it's important to take a thoughtful approach.

Setting up a campaign email series with cohesive but distinct messaging, varying calls-to-action, and purposeful next steps for engagement is critical to having your emails work for you, during the campaign and beyond.

Offline elements

Even in our highly-connected world, impactful nonprofit campaigns aren't restricted to the digital space. As Cindy outlines during the webinar, a strategically-located billboard provided the exposure that the #NotJustTuna campaign needed to aptly and powerfully deliver its message.

Bottom line: dare to be creative, online and off, to get the right combination of ingredients to serve up an enticing campaign that will get people talking and donors donating.

 Check out the Best Nonprofit Digital Campaigns Collection


Topics: campaigns