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Do Digital Marketing and Non-for-Profit go together?

As a Director of Fundraising and Events for a Non-for-Profit organisation, I always have the same dilemma every single time I need to start a digital marketing campaign.

  • Do I treat this as a business and invest a certain amount of the “profits” to create more income, or do I “waste” the money that was donated instead of helping people?

  • If I choose to invest is it ethical to “promote” the people’s sufferance and invade their privacy to raise more money for our cause?

Direct and organic engagement are priorities for an NFP and are based on the word-of-mouth spread about the organisation. Always be transparent in regards to the beneficiaries without invading their privacy. People will return and support you if they see the result of their efforts!

Yes, treat your NFP as a business – understand how your supporters behave, create your audience persona, set your goals, educate by creating compelling content and then call for action.

Start by:

  • Improving your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) with blogs, effective headers and good images.

  • Employ extensive keywords research and use long-tail keywords to avoid competition if your main objective is too competitive.

  • Always revise and evaluate your goals and results, create different content and see which one engages more. Use backlinks through partnerships, advocates and other non-competitor organisations.

  • Use a formal code of ethics and make sure that all staff and campaigns follow it as it will assist to fulfill your mission and vision.

Yes, you can use Search Engine Marketing (SEM) which is similar to SEO but relates to paid digital marketing strategies. While using the same principles as SEO, SEM campaigns will show the craft of your marketing team as they have to be efficient with a limited budget. And remember, show the audience where their efforts go and they will attract more audience for you!


Buchanan, J., Carter, L., & Ng, S. (2004). Marketing and Ethics in Not for Profit Organisations: An Australian Study.

: #ECUindustryreadyproject, #ECUMKT5325, A Dinu 10504621 (Disclaimer: This content is for the sole purpose of teaching and learning at Edith Cowan University).


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