I have talked to many nonprofit leaders who say “I have no idea where to start when it comes to social media campaigns.” Most of these nonprofits are too small to have a full-time communications person and are left to their own to manage their social media strategy.

When it comes to marketing plans and marketing management, one thing that is important to emphasize is engaging the whole person. This means we need to focus on more than simply getting people to donate to your cause. Marketing efforts focusing only on converting donors to dollars can quickly become white noise to your donor base.

This is especially true in the world we live in today. Your donors are bombarded with more information than ever before in the entire world’s history.

Your followers love your organization, not just because it provides them a means to be generous with their finances but because they care about human issues.

Your social media and online marketing strategies should invite them to engage in your organization with their whole selves.

With my work at Liminal Creative, we look at four main spheres of donor engagement.


While hard to measure, this needs to be a vital part of your marketing strategy. This is not about emotional manipulation, or re-exploitation of the people you serve. It needs to be inviting honest and realistic, emotional engagement with your work. Simply put, when people view your marketing materials, it should move them emotionally. Their hard should be warmed, challenged or pulled as they engage with the story you are trying to share.


Spiritual engagement is also hard to measure, yet it is vital to fully engage your donors in your mission. This is especially vital for religious organizations. As a religious organization, you want to be engaging your community on a spiritual level. This might mean inviting them to join you in prayer, sharing spiritual encouragement or even one of your recent teachings. No matter how you do it, if you neglect this level of engagement, you may be missing an important part of your calling as an organization and your ability to turn followers into donors.


When you are marketing to your audience, you need be invite them to engage with their time and physical selves. For some organizations this is easier than others. Shelters, food pantries and organizations like these can invite people to come and volunteer their time. International organizations can invite volunteers to come 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 to support your work through peer-to-peer fundraising, hosting house parties or doing creative fundraising events.


This is the one we are tempted to skip to first. Of course, we all know that we need to be inviting our donor base give financially. But, I am convinced the better we do at engaging the whole person (physical, spiritual, emotional) the more effective our appeals for financial asks will be.

As you look at your marketing plans, communications strategies, and focus for the year, be sure and include posts, updates, and campaigns that address the whole person.