Digital marketing allows nonprofit professionals to spread the word about their events and attract attendees. Learn four top digital marketing tactics here.

4 Inspiring Digital Marketing Tactics for Nonprofit Events


Nonprofits host various events throughout the year, from t-shirt fundraisers to happy hour donor appreciation meetups to black-tie galas. However, to ensure that any event is a success, you need attendees—and the best way to acquire them is through digital marketing.

As the most in-demand marketing skills are digital marketing-related, it’s no surprise that digital channels provide all types of organizations with a way to nurture relationships with constituents. Nonprofits are no exception—with 66% of marketers increasing their company’s credibility and trust through digital marketing, it’s clear that digital channels should not be overlooked.

Whether you’re hosting an event for donor recognition, fundraising, or more, use digital marketing to inspire your constituents to attend. To help you get started, we’ll cover the top digital marketing tactics you can use to promote your nonprofit events. With these strategies, you’ll increase event attendance, build relationships with your supporters, and maximize the impact of your event.

1. Engage viewers with multimedia content.

Because digital marketing is so effective, it’s also incredibly popular. This means that you need to set your marketing content apart from the other organizations and businesses vying for your supporters’ attention. One of the best ways to do so is by incorporating multimedia content into your marketing materials.

Here are two main types of content you should include:

  • Images. Add images of your beneficiaries, volunteers, donors, and previous event guests to pique interest in attending your next event. Brand these images to your nonprofit to ensure that viewers know which organization is inviting them to their event.
  • Videos. With video marketing increasing by 41% since 2016, there’s no denying that nonprofit videos are a great marketing tool. If you’ve already produced videos of your nonprofit’s operations, you may include them in your event marketing to showcase why viewers should support your mission. Or, you can create video sneak previews of event activities to generate anticipation.

Images and videos are effective marketing tools because they tell a story and facilitate a deeper connection between the viewer and your nonprofit. Don’t be afraid to use them outside of event marketing, too. For instance, when you release your nonprofit’s annual report, you might include an infographic of the top takeaways.

2. Personalize invites through segmentation.

Everyone deserves to feel special, including your nonprofit’s event attendees. Make them feel valued and heard by personalizing invitations with their names and individual interests. By doing so, you’ll communicate that they are important to your organization and that you value their presence.

The best way to personalize invitations is by segmenting your audience, which means grouping them based on shared characteristics or traits. These include:

  • Demographics
  • Location
  • Preferred communication method
  • Giving history
  • Engagement levels
  • Charitable interests

Use this information to customize your event invitations for each segment. For example, you can send your invitations through your supporter’s preferred communication channel, whether that’s email, text message, or direct mail. Segments also help you send invites to supporters who are most likely to attend. For a gala fundraiser where individuals are expected to bid large amounts of money on an auction, for instance, you’d send invitations to major donors rather than volunteers.

For an extra touch of personalization, consider investing in an online invitation solution. For example, eCardWidget allows you to send eCard invitations straight to your supporters through email. Plus, you can customize each eCard with a relevant graphic and each supporter’s name to make the recipient feel even more valued by your organization.

3. Maximize outreach with social media

Social media platforms allow you to access a much wider audience than usual, making them great places to nurture new relationships and existing ones. When it comes to specific platforms, be sure to promote your event through:

  • Facebook. As the most popular social media platform (used by 89% of marketers around the world), Facebook is a natural place to advertise your upcoming nonprofit event. You can even create a page for the event and invite supporters directly through Facebook.
  • LinkedIn. LinkedIn allows you to connect with other professionals, nonprofits, and businesses. If you’re seeking sponsorships or your event has a professional audience, be sure to promote your event on this platform.
  • Instagram. According to NXUnite by Nexus Marketing, Instagram is a platform that’s popular amongst younger generations. If you’re looking to connect with younger constituents, post visually appealing invitation images, snapshots of event activities, and other event-related image content on Instagram to garner their interest.
  • TikTok. TikTok is a video-based social media platform that offers unparalleled engagement with followers and broader visibility than other platforms. If you regularly create short-form video content, consider creating a video event invitation and sharing it on TikTok.

Be sure to add links to your event registration and ticket purchasing pages to your social media posts. That way, your supporters can easily RSVP to your event. You may even consider adding these links to your social media profiles, alongside links to your online fundraising and “about” pages.

4. Acquire digital marketing partners.

Our final digital marketing tactic is to secure partnerships with organizations and individuals with a large following, allowing you to promote your event to their audience. When seeking partnerships, start with:

  • Other nonprofits. Nonprofits that operate in a similar vertical to your organization may be willing to promote your event to their supporters. For example, if your nonprofit is dedicated to addressing food insecurity, you might find partners in nonprofits whose missions include addressing poverty and providing educational resources to underserved communities.
  • Local businesses. Charitably-minded businesses may also be willing to promote your event on your nonprofit’s behalf. Much like with nonprofit partners, seek out business partners that work in a similar industry. For instance, if your nonprofit is an animal shelter, you might partner with pet store businesses.

You may also maximize your chances of receiving a partnership by requesting them during opportune times. For example, year-end is a great time, as people are more generous, with about 30% of annual giving happening in December. You may be able to request a partnership for your Christmas fundraising event, emphasizing how important this time of year is for your organization.

Be sure to highlight the benefits of the partnership for the other organization as well, and properly steward these relationships to maximize your chances of future collaborations.

Whether you’re hosting a product fundraiser or a volunteer appreciation event, you need to attract as many attendees as possible to maximize your event’s impact. With these digital marketing tactics, you’ll be well on your way to successfully promoting your event online.