Digital marketing allows you to communicate with your target audience efficiently and effectively for a relatively low cost. For charities, this is a huge benefit, as it allows you to allocate more funds to the things that truly matter whilst still raising awareness and achieving great results. Outlined below are some of the key areas charities should consider when planning and implementing a digital marketing strategy for your charity.

Market Research

The first stage of any marketing strategy should always be to conduct market research so you have a clear understanding of your audience, your organisation and any broader market factors which may have an impact on your charity. A good place to start is by conducting an internal analysis of your charity. This will include uncovering your strengths and weaknesses, your purpose and vision, your values and objectives and identifying your key stakeholders. To identify threats and opportunities for your organisation, you need to complete a broader market analysis which will involve identifying key macro factors and analysing their potential impact on your charity.

Next, you will want to gain a better understanding of your audience – this is key to ensuring you are delivering the right message to the right people at the right time, using the right channel. When it comes to understanding your audience, it’s helpful to create personas for each segment you identify to highlight significant preferences and allow you to easily compare similarities and differences between each group. Some examples of key information you should define for each persona include:

  • Demographic information
  • Preferences and habits
  • Interests and motivations
  • Likes and dislikes

Content marketing for charities

To cut through the noise and really engage your audience, you need to ensure that the content you are creating communicates a powerful message and is consistent with your brand and objectives. Your content should form part of your broader marketing strategy and must be carefully planned to ensure it is relevant to your audience and your broader business goals.

To ensure there is a clear structure to your content, it’s useful to create content pillars to act as a framework for everything you produce. Content pillars are the key themes that are most relevant to your target audience and provide an opportunity for you to link your cause to their interests. Once you have established your content pillars, you will want to develop a content framework that segments your content by pillar and highlights the objective (for example, increasing awareness), format (video, blog post, podcast etc) and channels used to distribute it.

Channel strategy

There are several channels to consider when creating a marketing strategy for your charity. Some of the most important include:


Your Website

One of the few channels you have complete ownership of, your website domain and the content within it will play a key role in your digital marketing strategy.


This is key to ensuring your website is shown at the top of the search engine results pages and is what will drive organic traffic to your site. There are both on-page (including content, HTML and technical elements) and off-page (including links, social media and influencer marketing) aspects of SEO that must be considered.

Social Media

There are several different social platforms, each with different benefits, purposes and audiences. For the most part, it’s free to use and is a great way to engage with your audience, drive traffic to your website and monitor key trends.

Email Marketing

The only digital channel aside from your website that you have total ownership of, email is a free and powerful tool that’s great for building and maintaining relationships with your audience and generating donations.

Optimising your donation funnel

Driving donations is one of the key purposes of your website, so you need to ensure that it is optimised for conversions. There are a number of ways you can do this, including:

  1. Ensuring your website is optimised for mobile
  2. Showing the value of donations through case studies
  3. Including clear call to action buttons throughout your site
  4. Providing a range of donation methods
  5. Keeping required fields to a minimum
  6. Offering your users the option for updates on their donation


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