Liminal Creative Blog

Holistic Digital Strategy for Nonprofits

People aren’t one-dimensional. It’s important that your digital content isn’t either. 

When it comes to digital marketing plans and management, we need to emphasize how important it is to engage the whole person. This means more than simply focusing your marketing efforts on getting people to donate to your cause. Donations are obviously vital to your work but they are not the only way you want to engage your audience.

Marketing efforts that focus only on converting donors-to-dollars will quickly become white noise to your donor base. The main issue here is that you are singing only one tune, and your donors want to hear your entire album.

Instead, you need to be engaging with the whole person.

Your followers love your organization and the work that you do. If they didn’t, they would have unfollowed you long ago. But you don’t only provide them opportunities to be generous with their finances. Your work touches their hearts and you give them a chance to be a part of something bigger than themselves by being connected to you and the important work you do

To get the most out of your digital marketing it is vital that  you invite people to engage with their whole being. When Liminal Creative works with nonprofits on their digital marketing plans, we use a simple framework that focuses your digital marketing content on the whole person. We believe that this approach pays long-term dividends by creating more engagement, which will lead to a broader donor base and increased funding.

Our strategy focuses on these four facets of human engagement…

Emotional

Your digital strategy should engage people emotionally. They should be moved, inspired, challenged, and engaged with their emotions as they read your online content. This is not about emotional manipulation or exploitation of the people you work with or serve. It is possible to create content that is honest, vulnerable, realistic, and emotionally engaging. Your digital readers’ hearts should be warmed, challenged, or pulled as they engage with the stories and news you share.  A helpful resource for telling these kinds of stories and creating this type of content is Ethical Storytelling.

Spiritual

Being able to engage your community spiritually is especially important for faith-based organizations. As a religious organization, you must be able to engage the folks you are communicating with on a spiritual level. This might mean inviting them to pray or providing a form of spiritual encouragement or teaching. No matter how you do it, if you neglect this level of engagement, you are missing an important part of your calling as an organization. People want to be led, and they are looking for organizations like yours to lead them into deeper levels of spirituality.

Physical

When you are marketing to your audience, you need to directly invite people to engage with their physical beings and their time. This is easier for some organizations, than others. Shelters, food pantries, clinics and similar organizations can invite people to join them but volunteering their time and engaging in events. International organizations can invite volunteers to visit the work in the field with a team or group of leaders. When these options are not available, it is often effective to invite potential partners to utilize their current peer networks by spreading the hope and supporting the work through peer-to-peer fundraising or by hosting house parties. It’s important to be as creative as possible. Engaging people in-person can be a game-changer for an organization’s mission and funding.

Financial

Finally, we get to the kind of content that everyone wants to skip to first. Of course, we all know that we need to be inviting people in our donor base to invest their finances in our work. However, I am convinced the better we do at engaging the whole person (physical, spiritual, emotional) the more effective our appeals for financial engagement will be.

In our next email, we will talk about how to make your financial invitations more effective, but for now, I encourage you to think about how you can more fully engage the whole person through your digital content.

Interested in talking or learning more about this? Set up a free 30-minute Zoom consultation with me!