Inbound Marketing for Nonprofits: Attracting New Donors

Our world today is overwhelmingly digital — sparking the current philanthropic revolution that has altered the way organizations are connecting with donors. The moment a prospective donor experiences a triggering event, they discover a problem that connects to them and their passions, propelling them into action and a search for opportunities to make a difference.

Technological advances have created instant access to information, altering the way donors come in contact with your organization and influencing new forms of giving. This shift has made it more important than ever for your organization to embark on its digital transformation.

This 24/7 access to information at the tip of our fingers positions prospective donors in a constant state of search. This search is what Google calls “The Zero Moment of Truth,” and being there and prepared to connect with prospective donors when ZMOT happens can result in a tremendous advantage — or a missed opportunity for your organization.

Ensuring your organization is ready with the tools and resources when this happens is known as the attraction phase of any inbound marketing strategy. Attracting your prospective donors begins with connecting to their passions through targeted, personalized content. By producing engaging and accessible content, your organization can connect with prospects by solving their unanswered questions — automatically establishing your organization as a trustworthy source. Thinking strategically about the content you create and using it to build connections with prospects is simple and can be accomplished by focusing your efforts on three tactics.


Undoubtedly the first step in jumping into the attraction phase of your inbound marketing strategy is through blogging. Developing new or repurposing previous compelling and relevant blogs is a great way to show prospective donors your understanding of the issues your organization is working to address. Producing valuable content helps it stand out as an expert in the sector while holistically generating leads and traffic to your website. Try blogging about industry trends and relevant information while highlighting the impact of your work to gain the attention of your prospects and convince them that you have the best organization to guide them forward on their journey.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

You’ve started creating deep, meaningful content that showcases your organization’s high-level thinking, but how will you make sure you’re effectively reaching your prospects? Search Engine Optimization is a strategy used to boost rankings on search engine sites, which results in increased visibility and website traffic. Using SEO tools and techniques is essential to organically attracting the right people to your content. One of the simplest ways to start taking advantage of this technique is through keyword research — finding the most relevant keywords to grow your organization’s visibility. Tools like Google Trends and Google Analytics can help your organization explore and determine search terms and trends. Companies like Yoast offer free plug-ins that help you perfect SEO and guide you ever step of the way. Before taking this step, it is important that you develop and understand your donor personas, ensuring that you comprehend what your prospects are searching for.

Social Media

Content is the core of any successful inbound marketing strategy. Sharing your content on social media platforms is a key way for your organization to reach the individuals you seek to connect and engage with. Social media platforms are driven by two-way communications, allowing you to attract and nurture your prospects in a more meaningful way. There are so many social media platforms to make use of, but figuring out which platforms to focus on should be based on where your prospects spend their time — which can be determined by analyzing your donor personas. Once you’ve gained their attention, engaging with them on social media is where you’ll begin nurturing these prospects to convert them into active supporters in your mission.

Embracing Digital Transformation

Ensuring that your organization thrives amidst this change in dynamic relies on your willingness to adapt to the new philanthropic landscape. Taking the time to focus on your organization’s digital transformation will undoubtedly improve efficiency, strengthen mission impact and increase your reach and visibility, successfully attracting the individuals you seek to connect with.

Developing an inbound marketing strategy is a key part of your organization’s digital transformation, and leveraging the right content is the first step in using it to attract new donors.

Early adopters in philanthropy have been pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, leveraging new technology to become more efficient, raising more money to support their mission as a result.

So, it’s no longer a matter of if you’ll join the revolution — it’s when. The question is: Are you ready?

photo credit: Miguel Henriques via Unsplash 

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