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Adrian Sallis

Jan 27, 2023

Why Associations and Not-for-Profits Should be Thinking Digital First

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Associations and not-for-profits play a vital role in communities around the world, serving as advocates, educators, and providers of services and resources. However, in today's digital age, it's increasingly important for these organisations to focus on building and maintaining a strong online presence.

Here are just a few reasons why associations and not-for-profits should be thinking digital first:


Reach a wider audience

The internet provides associations and not-for-profits with the opportunity to reach a much larger audience than they would be able to through traditional methods. By building a strong online presence, organisations can expand their reach and connect with people who may not have been able to engage with them otherwise.

Increase engagement

Digital platforms also offer new and exciting ways for associations and not-for-profits to engage with their members and supporters. Social media, for example, allows organisations to build communities, share updates and news, and gather feedback in real-time. Continuing education programmes delivered by Learning Management Systems (LMS) are an excellent way to increase member engagement for associations in particular. 

Cost-effective

Building and maintaining a digital presence is often more cost-effective than traditional methods. For example, creating and distributing a digital newsletter can be significantly less expensive than printing and mailing a physical newsletter.

Better data and insights

The digital landscape provides organisations with access to a wealth of data and insights that can be used to better understand their audience, improve their programs and services, and optimise their fundraising efforts.

Better fundraising

Digital fundraising platforms make it easy for associations and not-for-profits to accept donations online, and can help increase the overall amount of donations received.

Better communication

Digital communication channels like email, messaging and social media can help increase the speed and effectiveness of communications between staff, volunteers, members, and other stakeholders.

Effective Digital Strategies

However, it's important to remember that simply having a digital presence is not enough. Organisations must also work to ensure that their digital strategies are effective and aligned with their overall mission and goals. This includes regularly monitoring and analysing their online performance, and making adjustments as needed.


To support your digital efforts, here are some resources:

  • The Nonprofit Marketing Guide has a wealth of information and tips on digital marketing for nonprofits.
  • The Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) is a great resource for learning about the latest technology trends and tools for nonprofits.
  • The Digital Marketing Institute offers courses and certifications in digital marketing for nonprofits.
  • The charity: water has a great case study on how they have used digital and social media to drive donations and advocacy.
  • Google has a program called Google Ad Grants, which offers $10,000 per month in free online advertising to eligible nonprofits.


By focusing on building and maintaining a strong digital presence, associations and not-for-profits can reach new audiences, increase engagement, and ultimately have a greater impact in the communities they serve.

If you would like to discuss how online education might play a role in your digital first strategy, meet with us for a free advisory session.

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