Non-profits can benefit from adopting a digital-first mindset and taking a strategic approach to improve member engagement and solicit funds from new and existing donors. The digital transformation itself is a journey and not simply about technology. It’s essentially about connecting people, processes, and technology to enable innovation and drive a step-change in impact.

When implementing the digital transformation, non-profits need to evaluate their approach to IT and invest in a longer-term and transformative digital strategy that connects people, processes, and technology in such a way that each project builds on past successes to deliver ever-greater impact.

The digital strategy should provide appropriate results for non-profits, whether that means more children educated, more people empowered, or more endangered species protected according to their goals. It should take consideration of the organization’s structure and capabilities. And it should emphasize that the people and processes are important elements in unlocking the power of technology for achieving the goals.

Digital strategies that would be essential for non-profits

Having a clear and solid digital strategy with the big picture in mind will bring all the puzzle pieces together. Although technology is changing rapidly, an organization’s overall vision and long-term goals should remain the same.

Instead of focusing on doing everything, focus on what can be achieved most effectively. The following types of digital strategy would be essential for non-profits to do.


  • Have a well-designed, informative, and useful organization’s website

The website is the heart of the organization, making it the central hub for the digital strategy. It’s important to ensure that users have a positive experience. Use the website to create and post valuable content that can then be used at other digital outlets. Mobile experience also should be optimized to make the whole experience seamless and enjoyable.

  • Create a good presence on social media platforms

Social media presence is an important aspect of community building. Social media is an invaluable tool for reaching wider audiences. However, what’s important is ensuring the engagement of audiences through meaningful content in a consistent manner. Encourage followers to share posts, and direct readers back to the website whenever possible to generate more traffic.

  • Increase visibility by using digital advertising

Digital advertising can be used to increase visibility beyond social media platforms. Online advertising can direct viewers to the site and even re-target those who have visited the site in the past. Google Ad Grants for non-profits can significantly increase the flow of site traffic. Search engine optimization techniques, when applied to website and blog posts, can also help improve campaign visibility in organic search results.

  • Reach the donors through email marketing

Email is the best way to reach donors on a personal level. They can open, skim, and reread at their leisure. Use it to promote similar informational content and donation appeals as do on social media or website, but pay more attention to targeting the readers more closely. The donor database is useful at this time for segmenting the mailing lists, which can then boost open rates and clickthrough rates, and also increase traffic to the website.

Parameters to determine whether the strategy is a success or not

There are many components to success for the digital strategy. While it is important to measure as much as possible, it is more important to measure the things that are the most meaningful in relation to making the audiences complete transactions that are critical to the organization.

The specific metrics to measure will depend on the nature of the organization’s campaign. First, they need to start planning why they are measuring it and what they want to achieve with the measurement.

The typical non-profit conversion metrics include:

  • Registered membership
  • Completed donations
  • Email subscriptions
  • Pledge signatures
  • Event volunteers 

Measuring the success of the strategy is always essential, but it is particularly important to put so much thought and effort into refreshing the overall digital strategy.

Author: Devita Yufliha Mahron (Sr. System Analyst)