How to market your charity

Social media has become an exposé of the human psyche; with countless keyboard battles, permanently etched into the digisphere – on the internet, emotions run higher than anywhere else. With such an outpouring of impassioned posts and tweets online; digital marketing can become one of the greatest resources to a charitable organisation.

It’s important that charities of all sizes opt for a robust digital strategy – covering the basics, whilst also being open to the employment of new innovations to actuate social change.


Charity donations depend on instinctive emotions; in order to stir people and create the required social leverage to affect change – organisations need to convey very specific messages via strong design. In its essence, advertising is symbiotically linked with storytelling – our bodies are hardwired to respond to structured narratives and there is no better method at evoking an emotional response from your audience than through a compelling story.

Informative design

Clear, concise and honest – whether it’s an easy to navigate website or a succinct brochure detailing your cause; for charities – informative design is the most important facet of graphic design. While it might be regarded as the least creative; being able to translate complex, unorganised or unstructured data into valuable, meaningful information is one of the more intricate aspects of design.

Interaction design

As society becomes more entrenched in digital media; people yearn for marketing that encourages tactility. Be it a charity arcade or another unique physical representation of the brand that encourages interactivity – these somewhat archaic ‘experiences’ employ escapism to provide a memorable deviation from our technology-obsessed world.

Empathy based design

Using an amalgamation of text and image to draw upon legitimate emotion is one of the most successful methods of raising charity funds. ‘A picture speaks a thousand words’ – and sometimes a minimalistic poster, featuring genuinely ‘sad’ facial expressions or a subject in despair, creates enough pathos to elicit an audience response.

Shock based design

It arrests attention, sticks in your mind and generates publicity – the goal of shock based marketing is to deliberately alarm and in some instances, offend, its audience. Be it the appalling image of a baby injecting itself with heroin, featured on Barnardos advertisements, or “John Bell’s story” depicted on the London Underground by MND Association, documenting one man’s journey and eventual death at the hands of Motor Neurone Disease – a successful campaign must violate the normality of societal values and personal ideas to surprise the general public.


Trust is the keyword when it comes to marketing your charity. The faceless nature of the internet has established its synonymy with fraud; thus video content has become an integral method in overcoming consumer cynicism. By showcasing your charity’s efforts – including who you’ve helped, where the money goes and the people you have working with you; a human element is introduced and a layer of legitimacy is added to the narrative.

Leaflets have the tendency to date rather quickly – in regards to video; the content can continuously evolve and adapt with your business. Images also connect with audiences on a level that text can’t; thus if you have an important message – a case study, volunteer story, or simply want to celebrate a win – video marketing is the avenue to venture into.

Social Media

Public support is intrinsic to a thriving charitable organisation – and there is no better way in regards to reaching potential proponents than via social media. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn are the key channels to broadcast the plethora of bespoke graphical and video content – but are also incredible tools to network with like-minded organisations, recruit volunteers and drive traffic to your website.

It’s never a bad idea to sponsor advertisements on social media – but free organic interest can be generated via individuals sharing your content. When another user sees a trusted friend engage with your charity, this drives visitors and helps encourage further donations. With a mere click of a button, information regarding your cause can be shared with thousands of people.

Tell your story

While all businesses can achieve great results from digital advertising – charities can perhaps benefit from it even more so. As a full service marketing agency, Cordis’ broad skillset allows us to utilise various methods of communication in translating your organisation’s story to a vast audience. With expertise in social media, design, events and videography – instil your charity with creativity and professionalism today.