Complete guide to SEO for nonprofit organizations

SEO for Nonprofits: Quick Start Guide

A user does a quick Google search for a program or service that your nonprofit provides.

What if your nonprofit was the very first thing they see? 

Search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t just for big for-profit brands—any organization that depends on reaching online audiences to promote its programs, services, and products can benefit from an SEO strategy.

Yes, that includes nonprofit organizations! In 2023, NP Tech for Good found that just 37% of nonprofits have dedicated SEO strategies. Considering the long-term value that effective SEO generates, this is a huge missed opportunity for the sector and communities around the world.

SEO is completely learnable and built on straightforward technical and marketing concepts. We’ll cover them all here:

 

Why take our advice? Nexus Marketing has been helping mission-driven brands grow their online visibility and demand generation for a decade now.

In that time, we’ve seen tons of SEO trends come and go. We know the steadfast best practices that drive real, sustained success, and our goal is to help more organizations cut through the clutter and buzz.

 


What is SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of technically maintaining your website and publishing high-quality, keyword-optimized content to help a website appear higher in organic search engine results.

Within the broader field of SEO, you’ll encounter some more specific practices:

  • Technical SEO: The practice of improving and maintaining the technical quality of your website so that it’s easily understood by search engines and provides positive user experiences.
  • Keyword strategy: The process of choosing strategically important keywords that your organization wants to rank highly for to achieve its goals.
  • Content strategy: The practice of creating and updating high-quality web content optimized for technical performance, keyword relevance, and user experience.

Quick context: Organic search results are any that are not paid ads (like the Google Ads you’re likely used to seeing). Search engine results pages are often called SERPs, which we’ll use in the rest of this guide.

What are the Goals of SEO?

Organizations of all types and sizes use SEO strategies to rank higher for their target keywords. By ranking higher, they can:

  • Generate more demand and leads for their programs, services, and products
  • Increase traffic and engagement from qualified online audiences
  • Grow their organization’s online visibility and brand recognition

Spoiler Alert: Effective, ongoing SEO has a powerful flywheel effect.

In other words, when your website is a trusted source of high-quality content, it’s more likely to rank higher for a wider range of keywords, further growing your visibility (and incoming customers).

Here’s an example: One of our clients ranked highly for 5 keywords at the start of our partnership. They now rank for 187 of their most important keywords—Google was ready to trust and amplify their brand but needed some nudging (and a stream of fresh, high-quality content)!


Why SEO Matters for Nonprofits

SEO is a smart investment for many nonprofit organizations for several reasons. These include:

Key benefits of SEO investment for mission-driven organizations

  • When done well, it offers a high ROI.
    • SEO is relatively low-cost compared to other marketing channels. It’s possible to make big SEO gains for free when you follow best practices, although many organizations partner with SEO agencies to reduce workload and enhance their results.
    • Another reason SEO offers such a high ROI is that it allows you to target highly qualified audiences. If someone searches for a niche service or program you offer, SEO ensures your nonprofit reliably appears front and center.
    • Compared to pay-per-click online ads, SEO tends to offer the better ROI—between roughly 500% and 1,300%. The results of an effective SEO strategy increase over time, but its fixed costs do not (unless you want to really increase your SEO activities).
  • SEO drives long-term results and brand awareness.
    • SEO is truly a growth investment. As mentioned above, an effective SEO strategy acts like a flywheel—attracting more attention and achieving higher rankings as your website’s authority grows. This kind of organic growth is a powerful marketing force that will establish your nonprofit as a go-to resource in its field.
  • It results in all-around better websites.
    • SEO teaches us to be more thoughtful and strategic about how we use our websites as marketing and engagement tools. When you prioritize SEO and follow a robust content strategy, you’ll create a technically polished website and a library of high-quality web content.
    • These across-the-board improvements make stellar impressions on visitors, no matter how they found your website. Give them a helpful, positive experience, and they’re more likely to stick around and learn more about your nonprofit’s offerings.

TLDR: Like other mission-driven organizations, nonprofits often have tight or inflexible budgets.

SEO offers a lower-cost, higher-ROI way to drive sustained marketing results and increase brand awareness.

 

Digital Advertising vs. SEO for Nonprofits?

Organic search SEO is often weighed against paid search ads, with many nonprofits opting to increase their ad spend rather than launch an SEO strategy.

Is there one right option? No, the nonprofit sector and organizations’ revenue streams are too diverse to generalize about optimal strategies.

However, for some types of nonprofits, SEO is a major missed opportunity. It’s an ideal way to build awareness and demand for programs, services, and products that generate revenue. It’s not a great long-term choice for generating fundraising dollars.

We’ve gathered a few salient points from the most recent M+R Benchmarks Report (our favorite source for up-to-date insights on the state of nonprofit digital marketing):

  • 44% of site visits to nonprofits in the study came from organic traffic (i.e. not from ads, email, social media, or other channels).
  • Nonprofit digital ad spending increased by 13% in 2023.
  • Among surveyed nonprofits, 61% of all ad spend was dedicated to direct fundraising. Only 10% went to lead generation.
  • The only advertising channel where nonprofits decreased average spend in 2023 was Meta/Facebook.
  • The average cost to generate a lead (non-fundraising revenue) through advertising was $3.33.
    • Digging deeper by advertising channel, the report found huge variances in cost-per-lead by channel:
      • Google/YouTube ads: $14.07 per lead
      • Meta ads: $4.44 per lead
      • TikTok ads: $49.28 per lead (!)

The story is different for every nonprofit and mix of revenue streams. But looking at those last numbers, it’s clear that for many organizations there are much more cost-effective channels (like SEO) for generating leads. Looking at you, social media ads.

Here’s how the report summed it up:

There remains enormous untapped potential for many nonprofits. Continuing to expand audiences, executing thoughtful strategy, and making every message matter are the keys to growth.”


Essential Points to Remember

There are a few big-picture points to keep in mind to succeed with SEO for your nonprofit. Here are the essential reminders that we often discuss with our SEO clients:

  • SEO is a long game. You might see fast results (and we often do), but the biggest impact comes in the months and years after you’ve implemented and maintained an SEO strategy.
  • It’s an iterative process. Unlike ads, there’s no need to get your SEO strategy and content 100% perfect the first time! Google constantly recrawls content to check for quality, so you have endless opportunities to study your results and improve.
  • Consistency and quality are key. SEO should be an ongoing priority to keep showing Google and readers that your website is worth paying attention to. Especially in the age of AI (more on this later), excellent content written for and by humans will reign supreme.
  • Understand your SEO objectives. Strategies derail when you focus on the wrong goals, like web traffic metrics. Search algorithms change constantly, some keywords see highly seasonal traffic patterns, and some keywords are just extremely competitive. There are many reasons why leading metrics will distract you from the real objective—generating leads.

Simply put, demand generation should be the overarching goal of SEO, not leading metrics like web traffic.

A Closer Look at SEO Goals for Nonprofits

For nonprofit organizations specifically, SEO is better for marketing some types of your offerings than others:

  • SEO is ideal for promoting:
  • Revenue-generating programs & services
  • Products that your nonprofit sells
  • Revenue streams that pay royalties
  • Annual events that attract broad audiences
  • SEO is not ideal for promoting:
  • Direct fundraising campaigns
  • Other ways to donate
  • Highly localized offerings
  • One-time or very limited events

When you focus your SEO strategy on scalable, sales-based revenue sources, you create a much clearer path to success. Think of it like this:

  • Fundraising is built on building awareness and carefully fostering relationships over time.
  • SEO puts your nonprofit front and center when users already know exactly what they’re looking for—a much shorter path to generating revenue.

While SEO can help build awareness of your mission and brand, perhaps eventually leading to donations if you capture users’ attention and contact information, the timeline of this ROI is extremely long. You’re much more likely to receive a donation from someone with a pre-existing relationship with your nonprofit.

But if you offer specific programs, services, and products that generate revenue for your mission, SEO is the key to reaching your target audiences efficiently.

We advise our clients that short-term or fundraising-based goals are better supported with other marketing channels like direct email outreach, paid ads, social media, or specialized local SEO services. In other words, SEO should be an ongoing, foundational marketing activity on which you layer additional channels and campaigns to support specific objectives.

Want an example of how SEO and other marketing strategies play well together? Check out our write-up of the top ways to integrate pay-per-click and SEO campaigns to drive success.


How SEO Works

With the context squared away, let’s get into the nitty-gritty—how does SEO work? How does a page go from unranked to dominating the SERP?

Here’s a condensed rundown of the basics of SEO:

A diagram of the very condensed SEO ranking process

1. Search engines like Google use crawler bots to explore the internet. They screen content, pick up on keywords and concepts, check out the links it includes, and log all of its contextual information as part of its algorithmic ranking system.

This process is called indexing. If a page cannot be indexed, it won’t appear in Google results and is likely the result of a technical issue with your website.

2. Google pays extra attention to links. When one website links to another, Google considers this a kind of vote of confidence, a little stamp of approval that says, “I trust this source enough to show it to my audience.” Over time, pages accrue backlink profiles of all the other pages on the internet that link to them.

3. Pages are analyzed and ranked for EEAT. EEAT stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It’s a helpful shorthand for understanding how Google defines truly “helpful,” rankable content:

    • Experience. Does the page’s author and/or the website domain have relevant experience with the topic and a history of publishing content about related topics?
    • Expertise. Does the content demonstrate actual expertise, i.e. correct information, relevant details, helpful insights, anecdotes, and more?
    • Authoritativeness. Does the content have links from other high-quality pages across the internet, and are those links contextually relevant (that is, not spammy)? Does the website publish other helpful content?
    • Trustworthiness. Does the website come from a recognized brand, organization, or person? Does it provide transparent contact information? Has it been flagged for improper SEO practices in the past?

There’s some overlap between these concepts, but taken as a whole, they give us a reliable picture of the content Google wants to serve its users.

A combination of algorithmic and human scoring—from real content reviewers—is used to gauge how highly a web page should rank and for which keywords. 

Google also uses AI-based natural language processing systems to interpret content and map interrelated concepts, which has allowed it to better understand content quality over time.

Google’s ranking algorithm is notoriously complex and constantly changing, with hundreds of different ranking factors being tweaked, prioritized, and deprioritized over time. Historically, Google has been secretive about the exact makeup of the algorithm, but a recent leak (huge news in the SEO world!) gave us more direct insight into its current ranking factors than ever before.

 

4. When users search keywords or longer phrases, Google delivers a mix of content. Google makes assumptions about the user’s intent from the keyword—what they’re trying to accomplish with their search—which informs the mix of SERP features that it delivers.

These always include organic results, pages that have organically demonstrated their EEAT to Google. Most SERPs also include pay-per-click (PPC) ads, which are indicated with “Sponsored” taglines.

SERPs usually also include features designed to quickly provide answers and satisfy that particular user intent.

The biggest new SERP features to be aware of are AI Overviews (more on these below), but other common features include:

  • Featured Snippets
  • Discussions and Forum listings
  • Image results
  • People Also Ask suggestions
  • Product carrousels
  • News story carrousels
  • Local business listings
  • And many, many more

Google scrapes relevant content to populate these SERP features. This is usually an indication of high quality. If your page gets highlighted in a Featured Snippet, you’ll secure even more valuable SERP real estate!

 

5. User engagement signals impact the ranks over time. Based on how users engage with the results on SERPs, Google’s ranking algorithm refines its inferences and makes adjustments over time.

When Google users interact (or don’t interact) with results on SERPs, it generates a measurable user engagement signal. The most important examples include:

  • Clickthrough Rate (CTR) – The percentage of users who are exposed to your content on a SERP and click through to view it.
  • Bounce Rate – The percentage of users who arrive on your site but immediately leave without interacting or scrolling further.
  • Time on Site – The amount of time a user spends on your website after clicking through from a SERP and before navigating back.

These metrics indirectly measure how well your content satisfies users’ queries and the search intent for that particular keyword.

Although Google has long denied that engagement metrics play central roles in the SEO ranking process, that story is changing. Many SEO experts predict that Google’s increased ability to understand content, engagement metrics, and their correlations will make engagement metrics more prominent parts of the ranking algorithm over time. The takeaway? User experience and content quality are prerequisites for success!

 

SERPs never stand still for long. In addition to user engagement signals, rankings can change for all kinds of reasons:

    • New competing content gets published
    • Older content on the SERP gets updated and improved
    • Other EEAT signals change (like a page’s number or quality of backlinks)
    • Or the Google algorithm gets updated to prioritize a slightly new balance of factors

It’s important to keep track of your SEO performance and identify slippages so that you can make targeted content improvements—we’ll explain this process in the playbook below.

6. Google comes to recognize some domains as more authoritative than others. As a website publishes more high-quality SEO-optimized content and accrues backlinks, Google will recognize that domain as a reliable source of helpful content about its core topics. It then gets prioritized in more SERPs—a powerful flywheel effect that amplifies your SEO success.

To measure a domain’s authoritativeness, SEO professionals use a variety of proprietary metrics. At Nexus Marketing, we’ve long relied on Moz’s Domain Authority score as a rough gauge for how well-established a website is in the eyes of Google.


TLDR: Google constantly screens content for quality, EEAT signals, and backlinks. Content is algorithmically ranked using complex mixes of hundreds of factors, including user engagement metrics.

Over time, Google recognizes domains for high-quality content about their particular topics and prioritizes them to rank for more keywords.


Key Elements of SEO-Optimized Content

Ok, so you understand how Google ranks content. In tactical terms, what are the specific elements that your organization’s content needs to catch Google’s attention? Good question.

The Nexus team spends all day thinking about, researching, and writing SEO-optimized content for our clients and partners. Here are our top recommendations and the specific elements we always include in SEO articles.

Our Top Advice for Creating SEO Content

Our three most important rules of thumb for creating effective SEO content:

  1. Satisfy the user intent. Understand what users want when they search your target keyword.
  2. Don’t clutter the content. Answer users’ questions without unnecessary fluff and create a positive experience.
  3. Offer real value, expertise, or something new—in the AI age, you have to go the extra mile to stand out.

From these tips, you can probably tell that there is no one-size-fits-all SEO content template you can follow for SEO success. Stuffing keywords into a generic article and hitting publish may have worked once upon a time, but those days are long gone.

Users and Google alike want quality content from trustworthy sources. The length, structure, and complexity of your content should be tailored to the audience’s needs. If the keyword calls for a long, educational guide, that’s what you should create. If the keyword calls for very short definitions and quick bits of information about a product or service, create that content.

Elements to Optimize in SEO-Optimized Content

Even though there’s no single template for SEO content, there are specific technical elements that any web content intended to rank should include. The most important of these are:

The key elements of an SEO-optimized web page

  • The page’s meta title and H1 heading (which may not be the same—always worth checking) should include the page’s primary target keyword.
  • The page’s meta description, or the short excerpt displayed on SERPs, should include a relevant keyword and entice users to click.
  • Other H2 and H3 headings should include a mix of natural keyword variants and organize the content in a logical way.
  • An optimized URL that isn’t too long and includes a relevant keyword that Google can quickly recognize.
  • Alt text for any graphics included in the content that briefly describes what the graphics represent.
  • Content should ideally include links to other relevant content on the same domain and reputable external websites.
  • The page’s and website’s design should create positive desktop and mobile viewing experiences.

Want to see these SEO-optimized content elements in action? Look around you! This very page follows SEO best practices for keyword optimization, user experience, and mobile usability.

Or, check out a comprehensive list of all the content tactics and technical elements that we include in SEO-optimized client content in this complete comparison guide.


SEO for Nonprofits in the AI Age

The rise of generative AI has been a seismic shift for the marketing world, and especially for SEO. The introduction of AI Overviews directly in SERPs has probably shaken up the industry more than any other update in decades.

AI overviews SERP diagram

However, anytime you search “AI in [insert industry here]” to learn more, you’re likely to see a slew of dramatic editorials and conflicting claims. It’s the same in the SEO space, and it’s more confusing than helpful for newcomers.

We want to help you cut through that clutter so you can better understand the real, current state of SEO in the AI age before further investing in it for your nonprofit.

We’ve already written a few guides that spell out our positions on the implications of AI on SEO:

Misusing or misunderstanding AI can create all kinds of risks for your nonprofit’s website. If you don’t have time to read these articles, we hope you take away these key points:

  • SEO isn’t going anywhere, but it is adapting to a rapidly changing search landscape.
  • Do not use AI to fully write website content intended to rank. It will not offer the same value, originality, experience, and human touch that other content will, and Google will know.
  • The introduction of AI Overviews on SERPs means that full-funnel content strategies are more important than ever. This means creating content that covers more specific topics and keywords instead of focusing only on those with very high search volume. Remember, attracting truly qualified audiences drives much more value than simply attracting large audiences.
  • Try to create “information gain” in your nonprofit’s web content whenever possible. What are the unique insights and positions that only your organization can offer? This is the valuable content that AI will never be able to replicate.

Curious what an AI-savvy SEO strategy would look like for your nonprofit? Get in touch and let’s chat about it.


Your Nonprofit’s First SEO Playbook

Ready to get started? Here are the core steps for launching an SEO strategy for your nonprofit for the first time.

The key steps of launching an SEO strategy for the first time, detailed below

1. Check your site’s technical health.

Start with a quick website check-up:

For complete coverage and diagnostics, we recommend conducting a full technical SEO audit. Please contact us to learn more about this process and what it entails.

2. Define your objectives.

What are the core organizational objectives that you want to accomplish with SEO?

Remember, these should revolve around demand generation. Is there a particular offering or aspect of your nonprofit’s operations that you want to focus on first? These might include:

  • Selling more of a specific product or service you offer
  • Promoting a revenue-generating program
  • Securing more registrants for a broadly appealing annual event

Under these objectives, you’ll set more tactical goals, like reaching Page 1 ranks for a certain number of your target keywords or increasing conversions on a specific landing page by X%.

3. Determine your nonprofit’s first target keyword.

Based on your most important objective, choose your first target keyword to pursue.

Ideal keywords for quick wins live in the “Goldilocks Zone” of high demand and low competition. This means it’s a topic searched by qualified leads without a ton of other high-authority websites crowding the SERPs with standout content. Writing a stellar article that educates this audience and introduces your offering can drive value relatively quickly.

SEO tools often have their own proprietary methods of gauging a keyword’s competitiveness. Moz’s Keyword Explorer is one of the easiest to use.

But you know your space (and your competitors and peer organizations), too—reviewing the existing SERPs of potential keywords can also give you a quick idea of who’s pursuing them and the caliber of content you’ll be up against.

Reminder: Don’t try going after a broad, high-traffic keyword yet. In many cases, these are the most competitive terms to rank for.

More specific keywords searched by users who are already lower in the sales funnel will give you the faster wins and momentum your strategy needs!

SEO agencies can help you lay out a more comprehensive keyword strategy and roadmap based on your objectives and the competitiveness of your space. This is one of the first steps that we take with new clients here at Nexus. Thorough upfront keyword research pays off!

4. Develop a user-centric content strategy.

Outline an article that will help you rank for your target keyword. You may already have an article that could rank if you update and improve it!

We recommend following these steps to sketch out a winning content strategy:

Review the SERP for the target keyword and read the content that’s already ranking. What does it include? What does it do well? How could your content go further?

Consider what the audience really wants when they search this keyword—quick answers, a thorough guide, or a product or service page?

Take a look at the additional topics and snippets that the SERP includes, and consider how you can include these topics to catch Google’s attention.

Write an enticing title that includes the target keyword and is between 50 and 60 characters long.

Outline the core topics and subtopics that the article will cover using a logical order of H2 and H3 headings. Make sure to include the keyword and natural variants throughout the headings.

Expand your outline with the same level of (or ideally, more) detail and background that other ranking content includes.

Identify spots to inject your nonprofit’s unique take using relevant data and donor and constituent stories.

 

5. Consider your conversion strategy.

Before finishing your outline, take a moment to carefully think through how you’ll ask readers to convert—take a specific action that supports your organizational objective.

Depending on the context, this target conversion action might be:

  • Purchasing your product
  • Contacting you to learn more about a service
  • Downloading a free digital resource
  • Registering for your annual event

Think about your audience, their goals for searching the target keyword, and how your offerings align with that user intent. Pinpoint sections in your outline where you can promote your offering and ask users to take action.

These calls-to-action (CTAs) are often formatted as buttons, banners, and branded graphics that catch the eye. However you handle your CTAs, make sure they link straight to a landing page where users can take the target action. Common landing pages include contact or signup forms, lead capture pages to collect email addresses, and specific product/service pages.

6. Write, publish, and index your content.

Now comes the fun part!

Draft your article, give it a short and intuitive URL that includes the target keyword, review your draft, and make revisions. Bonus points for engaging visuals and videos—users and Google appreciate them! Make sure that your article is also attributed to an author, ideally a real person at your nonprofit. A more generic byline simply listing your organization can also suffice.

Hit publish, and then head over to Google Search Console. Search your new article’s URL and “request indexing.” This will fast-track the indexing and ranking process for your content

7. Start accruing backlinks to your nonprofit’s SEO content.

Once your content is live, you can begin the process of building backlinks to it.

Remember: Backlinks help show Google that your content is trustworthy, a key component of quality and ranking power.

Start with internal links. Identify several other pages on your nonprofit’s website where a link to your new content would make sense and enhance the user experience.

Next come external links to your content from other websites. This is a diverse practice all on its own. Authority-building by securing backlink placements with external partners is a core part of our process here at Nexus. The most common ways to secure backlinks include:

  • Write short guest blog posts for other websites that include a link to your SEO content.
  • Find mentions of your nonprofit on other websites using a quote search operator, then reach out to those websites to request a link to your content.
  • Take the organic route by more generally building your brand’s visibility as it relates to that topic.
    • For example, social media posts and links don’t directly contribute to SEO success, but they do spread the word about your content and can encourage other websites to build links organically.

Over the years, building backlinks has seen a lot of practices and trends come and go.

There is such a thing as unethical and improper link-building.

Spammy websites may use shady practices to build tons of links to their content in comments, forums, and garbled AI-generated content. Do not use these practices, and don’t hire any SEO vendors that use them.

If it detects that a site is violating its spam policies, Google can issue manual actions. These will directly penalize a website and prevent it from ranking well in the future. Not to mention, Google algorithm updates increasingly combat these practices and the rise of spammy AI content head-on. Trying to take a shortcut will result in headaches, not success.

Instead, accrue backlinks organically. Good content naturally secures links as it travels the internet. Reach out to your actual partners and peers to ask for links and blogging opportunities. These natural-looking links are much more valuable and worth your time.

Building brand recognition is increasingly important for SEO, although often in an indirect way.

In the age of AI, Google pays extra attention to names and brands that it understands to be recognized, connected, and respected in their topic areas. Cross-blogging with other websites is one way to build your nonprofit’s brand, but any positive publicity online can help.

At Nexus Marketing, our extensive partnership network has been a core part of our clients’ successes.

By building relationships with hundreds of high-quality, recognized brands in the mission-driven space, we can plug our clients right into the action.

Other activities like industry speaking engagements, influencer partnerships, and various digital PR opportunities all build your brand’s profile, as well. We’ve even built out an entire community, NXUnite, dedicated to fostering these connections between nonprofits, associations, businesses, and their audiences!

 

8. Track and analyze your page’s performance.

As you continue building links and your brand’s visibility, keep track of how your content is performing.

If you’ve invested in a dedicated SEO tool or professional SEO services, this is easy. You can access performance reports or receive them straight from your SEO agency—check out how we handle reporting with easy-to-use dashboards.

On your own, you can also use Google Search Console and Google Analytics to track your content’s visibility, traffic, and more. Just remember to dig deeper than topline numbers. Actual conversions—the number of users who take your target conversion action—are ultimately the most important metric for success.

This is why it’s essential to have a clear conversion strategy on your SEO pages. When you understand exactly what you’re asking readers to do and link your CTAs straight to the place to take action, you can easily measure clickthroughs to that landing page and the number of form completions.

9. Make improvements over time.

Finally, take the insights you’ve learned from keyword research, the content creation process, and your page’s performance metrics to make improvements over time.

It’s a good idea to regularly revisit your SEO content to audit its performance and compare it to fresher content on the SERP. We typically schedule these kinds of “refresh” activities for our clients because Google highly values fresh, actively maintained content. This is also when you can make improvements to your conversion strategy if needed.

Congrats! If you’ve followed along, you’ve just rolled out a preliminary SEO strategy for your nonprofit.

The beauty of this process is that it’s so easily repeatable. You just need the capacity to make research, content creation, and data analysis part of your ongoing marketing practices—which is why so many brands choose to partner with SEO agencies.


Hiring an SEO Agency for Your Nonprofit

Organizations of all shapes and sizes hire SEO agencies to handle the ongoing and day-to-day work of running an SEO strategy.

Successful strategies take dedicated time and effort, which is why they’re often postponed by busy organizations. Plus, SEO is a long-term strategy—it takes time to reap the full benefits—so faster marketing channels may receive attention first.

SEO agencies bring specialized experience and technical know-how that most nonprofits don’t have in-house. 

Working with experts is the most effective way to get an SEO strategy off the ground, especially when they offer:

  • Technical SEO audits
  • Custom content creation
  • Link-building services
  • Networks of relevant partners in your industry
  • Additional PR opportunities for your brand

These comprehensive services can support the whole lifecycle of your nonprofit’s SEO strategy, turning it from a time-consuming activity for your team to a revenue-generating channel that runs in the background. The right vendor will work with you to develop a custom strategy, maintain the health of your website, and let you be as hands-off (or hands-on) as you want.

So how do you hire one? We recommend these general steps:

As you can tell from this guide, the world of SEO services and practices is diverse.

Different agencies offer a wide variety of services, ranging from full custom SEO engagements and content creation to periodic technical check-ins. Consider the scale of support you want.

Also, consider your timeframe—ongoing strategy execution (recommended for long-term SEO success) or one-time projects (which can work if you have very specific needs). Keep in mind that SEO takes time to bear fruit. Overnight results are not likely.

Learn more about our SEO client engagements to get a sense of the range of services and options available.

Do you have specific organizational objectives that you want to accomplish with SEO?

Or do you simply know that it’s a neglected channel in your nonprofit’s marketing strategy?

Either answer is fine! It’s useful to understand your reasons for investing in SEO before getting in touch with vendors. This will ensure you both come to the table with clear expectations about your needs and the best potential solutions.

Most SEO agency services are paid monthly, similar to other marketing and advertising services.

Although you may ultimately budget a total annual or quarterly spend depending on the terms of your contract with an agency, they typically charge an hourly rate for their services. You’ll purchase a set number of hours for your engagement to be delivered each month, with your total cost based on the hourly rate and projected over the course of the engagement.

This means your monthly budget for SEO will be the most helpful financial number to bring into the research and vetting process.

Now it’s time to start researching potential SEO vendors.

Google searches, chats with peers in other organizations, and calls for recommendations on LinkedIn are all reliable starting points.

Our top recommendation for nonprofits:

Look for SEO vendors specialized in the mission-driven space.

The nonprofit space is distinct from the for-profit B2C and B2B worlds. Your audience has different needs and interests than generalist services will likely be able to satisfy. Link- and brand-building, essential for sustained SEO success, will also be challenging for generalist agencies.

Look for agencies that have:

  • Experience serving nonprofits and other mission-driven organizations
  • A track record of creating winning SEO content related to your industry
  • Networks of connections in your space to facilitate truly valuable link-building and PR opportunities

(Quick note: We check all these boxes, and we’d love to chat!)

When you have a shortlist of candidates, look at their track records. Check out things like:

  • Client reviews and testimonials
  • Case studies about their other client engagements
  • Their history and adaptability—for example, dynamic agencies should be talking about AI right now!

Now, reach out to your top options by requesting information about their services or how they’d support your organization.

At this point, agencies will likely walk you through their approach to SEO and case studies of their past successes with clients. This is also the time to ask questions.

Note that the full process of learning more, looping in the relevant stakeholders, and securing buy-in may take a while and require multiple meetings. The right agency will be happy to adapt and make sure you’re getting all the information you need!

Once you’ve chosen an SEO agency, ask for a more formal outline of the proposed engagement, its terms, and the cost.

The process of discussing the contract’s terms and making adjustments may take some time, but keep in mind that SEO is a long-term marketing investment—it’s always worth ensuring you’re happy with your new partnership!

Congrats! Your SEO strategy is about to take flight. But first, your SEO agency will likely have some onboarding steps and requests for you to take care of.

These typically include providing marketing and branding assets, answering more in-depth questionnaires about your lead generation activities and goals, and granting backend access to your website.

 

Why Nexus Marketing Stands Out

Nexus Marketing is the leading SEO agency in the mission-driven space.

We’ve helped diverse organizations and businesses thrive online, reach the right audiences, and build powerful brands for a decade now. Check out our case studies!

What sets us apart? Deep expertise in mission-driven subject matter and extensive, organic connections in the space. 

Plus, we offer a full range of additional content creation and PR opportunities to take your brand’s online visibility to the next level. Between custom email and video production, our influencer marketing program, and constant industry speaking opportunities, we’ve got you covered. These options allow you to drive both short- and long-term ROI, unique among SEO agencies.

Please contact us to learn more about our approach. Tell us about your nonprofit’s demand generation goals, and we’ll lay out a plan to reach them.

Nexus Marketing logo

 


Learn More about SEO: Recommended Resources

Want to learn more about SEO for nonprofits? Check out our recommended resources:

Finally, don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. Curious about anything covered in this guide? Have a unique SEO challenge in mind? We’re always happy to chat about SEO and the latest trends!

Learn the basics of SEO for associations with this complete guide

SEO for Associations: Free Strategy Playbook

A user does a quick Google search for a training service or professional certification they need.

What if your association was the very first thing they see? 

Search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t just for big for-profit brands—any organization that promotes its programs, services, and products to online audiences can benefit from an SEO strategy. Yes, that includes associations!

There’s a common misconception that SEO involves some kind of wizardry to achieve top rankings on search engines. Far from it.

SEO is built on straightforward technical and marketing concepts. Master them, put them into action, and you’ll build a solid SEO foundation for your association in no time. We’ll cover them all here:

 

Why take our advice? Nexus Marketing has been helping mission-driven brands grow their online visibility and demand generation for a decade now.

In that time, we’ve seen tons of SEO trends come and go. We know the steadfast best practices that drive real, sustained success, and our goal is to help more organizations cut through the clutter and buzz.

 


What is SEO?

First, the basics. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of technically maintaining your website and publishing high-quality content to appear higher in organic search engine results.

Within the broader field of SEO, you’ll encounter related sub-fields of more specific practices. These include:

  • Technical SEO: The practice of improving and maintaining the technical quality of your website so it offers positive user experiences and search engines understand it.
  • Keyword strategy: The process of choosing strategically important keywords that your organization wants to rank highly for to achieve its marketing goals.
  • Content strategy: The practice of creating and updating high-quality web content that’s optimized for technical performance, keyword relevance, and user experience.

Quick context: Organic search results are any that are not paid ads (like the Google Ads that you’re likely used to seeing). Search engine results pages are often referred to as SERPs, which we’ll use in the rest of this guide.

What are the Goals of SEO?

Organizations of all types and sizes use SEO strategies to rank higher for their target keywords. By ranking higher, they can:

  • Generate more sales leads for their products and services
  • Increase traffic and engagement from qualified audiences
  • Grow their online visibility and brand recognition

Spoiler Alert: Effective, ongoing SEO has a powerful flywheel effect.

In other words, when your website is trusted as a source of high-quality content, it’s more likely to rank higher for a wider range of keywords, further growing your visibility (and incoming sales leads).

Here’s an example: One of our clients was an early member of our free partnership program to receive high-quality content from the Nexus team.

Since joining as a full SEO client, they’ve quickly been able to put their library of content to work for their brand. Clickthrough rates increased by 118% in just 6 months, and their website now ranks on Page 1 for 32 high-priority keywords! Check out the case study to learn more.


Why SEO Matters for Associations

SEO is a smart investment for associations for several reasons:

Key benefits of SEO investment for mission-driven organizations

  • When done well, it offers a high ROI.
    • SEO is relatively low-cost compared to other marketing channels. It’s possible to make big SEO gains for free when you follow best practices, although many organizations partner with SEO agencies to reduce workload and boost their results.
    • Another reason that SEO offers such a high ROI is that it allows you to target highly qualified audiences. If someone searches for a niche training program in a specific industry, SEO ensures your association reliably appears front and center.
    • Compared to pay-per-click online ads, SEO generally offers a better ROI—between roughly 500% and 1,300%. The results of an effective SEO strategy increase over time, but its fixed costs do not (unless you want to really increase your SEO activities). Ads incur a cost with each click, meaning strategy mistakes are costly.
  • It drives long-term results and brand awareness.
    • SEO is truly a growth investment. As mentioned above, an effective SEO strategy acts like a flywheel—attracting more attention and achieving higher rankings as your website’s authority grows. This kind of organic growth is a powerful marketing force that will establish your association as a go-to resource for all things related to your industry or niche.
  • It results in all-around better websites.
    • SEO teaches us to be more thoughtful and strategic about how we use our websites as marketing and engagement tools. When you prioritize your SEO and follow a robust content strategy, you’ll have a technically polished website and a library of high-quality web content.
    • These across-the-board improvements make stellar impressions on visitors, no matter how they found your website. Give them a helpful, positive experience, and they’re more likely to stick around and learn more about your association.

TLDR: Like other mission-driven organizations, associations often have tight budgets. SEO offers a lower-cost, higher-ROI way to drive sustained marketing results, increase brand awareness, and create better user experiences.


Essential Points to Remember

To succeed long-term with SEO, you need to keep a few North Stars in mind. Here are the essential reminders that we often discuss with our SEO clients:

  • SEO is a long game. You might see fast results (and we often do), but the biggest impact comes in the months and years after you’ve implemented and maintained an SEO strategy.
  • It’s an iterative process. Unlike ads, there’s no need to get your SEO strategy and content 100% perfect the first time! Google constantly recrawls content to check for quality, so you have endless opportunities to study your results and improve over time.
  • Consistency and quality are key. SEO should be an ongoing priority to keep showing Google and readers that your website is worth paying attention to. Especially in the age of AI (more on this later), excellent content written for and by humans will reign supreme.
  • Understand your SEO objectives. Strategies can easily derail when you focus on the wrong goals, like web traffic metrics. Search algorithms change constantly, some keywords see highly seasonal traffic patterns, and other keywords are just extremely competitive. There are all kinds of reasons why leading metrics will distract you from the real objective—generating leads.

Simply put, demand generation should be your goal, not leading metrics like web traffic.

A Closer Look at SEO Goals for Associations

Keep in mind that SEO is better for marketing some types of your association’s offerings than others:

  • SEO is ideal for promoting:
  • Certifications & training products
  • Memberships
  • Tools & resources like job boards
  • Recurring events
  • SEO is not ideal for promoting:
  • One-time events
  • Fundraising campaigns
  • Raising local awareness
  • Most merchandise

When you focus your SEO strategy on these kinds of recurring or ongoing revenue sources, you create a much clearer path to success.

We advise our clients that short-term, one-time, or highly localized goals are better supported with other marketing channels like direct email outreach, paid ads, social media, or specialized local SEO services. In other words, SEO should be an ongoing, foundational marketing activity on which you can layer additional channels and campaigns as needed to support specific objectives.

Want an example of how SEO and other marketing strategies play well together? Check out our write-up of the top ways to integrate pay-per-click and SEO campaigns to drive success.


How SEO Works

With the context squared away, let’s get into the nitty-gritty—how does SEO work? How does a page go from unranked to dominating the SERP?

Here’s a condensed rundown of the basics of SEO:

A diagram of the very condensed SEO ranking process

1. Search engines like Google use crawler bots to explore the internet. They screen content, pick up on keywords and concepts, check out linked pages, and log its contextual information as part of its algorithmic ranking system.

This process is called indexing. If a page is unable to be indexed, it won’t appear in Google results and is likely the result of a technical issue that should be fixed.

2. Google pays extra attention to links. When one website links to another, Google considers this a kind of vote of confidence or a little stamp of approval that says, “I trust this source enough to show it to my audience.” Over time, pages accrue backlink profiles of all the other pages on the internet that link to them.

3. Pages are analyzed and ranked for EEAT. EEAT stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. While it’s a somewhat fuzzy concept, EEAT is a helpful shorthand for understanding how Google defines truly “helpful,” rankable content. Let’s take a closer look at these criteria:

    • Experience. Does the page’s author and/or the website domain have relevant experience with the topic and a history of publishing about related topics?
    • Expertise. Does the content demonstrate actual expertise, i.e. correct information, relevant details, helpful insights, anecdotes, and more?
    • Authoritativeness. Does the content have links from other high-quality pages across the internet, and are those links contextually relevant (that is, not spammy)? Does the website publish other helpful content?
    • Trustworthiness. Does the website come from a recognized brand, organization, or person? Does it provide transparent contact information? Has it been flagged for improper SEO practices in the past?

There’s some overlap between these concepts, but taken as a whole, they give us a reliable picture of the content Google wants to serve its users.

A combination of algorithmic and human scoring from real content reviewers is used to gauge how highly a web page should rank and for which keywords. 

Google also uses AI-based natural language processing systems to interpret content and map interrelated concepts, which has allowed it to better understand content quality.

Google’s ranking algorithm is notoriously complex and constantly changing, with hundreds of different ranking factors being tweaked, prioritized, and deprioritized over time. Historically, Google has been secretive about the exact makeup of the algorithm, but a recent leak (huge news in the SEO world!) gave us more direct insight into its current ranking factors than ever before.

 

4. When users search keywords or longer phrases, Google delivers a mix of content. Google will make assumptions about the user’s intent from the keyword—what they’re trying to accomplish with their search—which informs the mix of SERP features it delivers.

These always include organic results, pages that have organically demonstrated their EEAT to Google. Most SERPs also include pay-per-click (PPC) ads, which are indicated with “Sponsored” taglines.

SERPs usually also include a mix of other features designed to quickly provide answers and satisfy that particular user intent.

The biggest new SERP features to be aware of are AI Overviews (more on these below), but other common features include:

  • Featured Snippets
  • Discussions and Forum listings
  • Image results
  • People Also Ask suggestions
  • Product carrousels
  • News story carrousels
  • Local business listings
  • And many, many more

Google scrapes relevant content to populate these SERP features. This is usually an indication of high quality. If your page gets highlighted in a Featured Snippet, you’ll secure even more valuable SERP real estate!

 

5. User engagement signals impact the ranks over time. Based on how users engage with the results on SERPs, Google’s ranking algorithm refines its inferences and makes adjustments over time.

When Google users interact (or don’t interact) with results on SERPs, it generates a measurable user engagement signal. The most important examples include:

  • Clickthrough Rate (CTR) – The percentage of users who are both exposed to your content on a SERP and click through to view it
  • Bounce Rate – The percentage of users who arrive on your site from a SERP but immediately leave without interacting or scrolling further.
  • Time on Site – The amount of time a user spends on your website after clicking through from a SERP and before navigating back.

These metrics indirectly measure how well your content satisfies users’ queries and the search intent for that particular keyword.

Although Google has long denied that engagement metrics play central roles in the SEO ranking process, that story is changing. Many SEO experts predict that Google’s increased ability to understand content, engagement metrics, and their correlations will make engagement metrics more prominent parts of the ranking algorithm over time. The takeaway? User experience and content quality are prerequisites for success!

 

SERPs never stand still for long. In addition to user engagement signals, rankings can change for all kinds of reasons:

    • New competing content gets published
    • Older content on the SERP gets updated and improved
    • Other EEAT signals change (like a page’s number or quality of backlinks)
    • Or the Google algorithm gets updated to prioritize a slightly new balance of factors

It’s important to keep track of your SEO performance and identify slippages so that you can make targeted content improvements—we’ll explain this process in the playbook below.

6. Google comes to recognize some domains as more authoritative than others. As a website publishes more high-quality SEO-optimized content, keeps it updated over time, and accrues more backlinks, Google recognizes that domain as a reliable source of helpful content about its core topics. It then gets prioritized in more SERPs—a powerful flywheel effect that amplifies your SEO success.

To measure a domain’s authoritativeness, SEO professionals use a variety of proprietary metrics. At Nexus Marketing, we’ve long relied on Moz’s Domain Authority score as a rough gauge for comparing how well-established a website is in the eyes of Google.


TLDR: Google constantly screens content for quality, EEAT signals, and backlinks. Content is algorithmically ranked using complex mixes of hundreds of factors, including user engagement metrics.

Over time, Google comes to recognize domains for high-quality content about their particular topics and prioritizes them to rank for more keywords.


Key Elements of SEO-Optimized Content

Ok, so you understand how Google ranks content. In tactical terms, what are the specific elements that your organization’s content needs to catch Google’s attention? Good question.

The Nexus team spends all day thinking about, researching, and writing SEO-optimized content for our clients and partners. Here are our top recommendations and the specific elements we always include in SEO articles.

Our Top Advice for Creating SEO Content

Our three most important rules of thumb for creating effective SEO content:

  1. Satisfy the user intent. Understand what users want when they search your target keyword.
  2. Don’t clutter the content. Answer users’ questions and create a positive experience.
  3. Offer real value, expertise, or something new—in the AI age, you have to go the extra mile to stand out.

From these tips, you can probably tell that there is no one-size-fits-all SEO content template you can follow for SEO success. Stuffing keywords into a generic article and hitting publish may have worked once upon a time, but those days are long gone.

Users and Google alike want quality content from trustworthy sources that’s tailored to the audience’s needs. If the keyword calls for a long, educational guide, that’s what you should create. If the keyword calls for very short definitions and quick bits of information about a product or service, create that content.

Elements to Optimize in SEO-Optimized Content

There’s no single template for SEO content, but there are specific technical elements that any web content intended to rank should include:

The key elements of an SEO-optimized web page

  • The page’s meta title and H1 heading (which may not be the same—always worth checking) should include the page’s primary target keyword.
  • The page’s meta description, or the teaser excerpt that gets displayed on SERPs, should also include a relevant keyword and entice users to click.
  • Other H2 and H3 headings should include a mix of natural keyword variants and logically organize the content.
  • An optimized URL that isn’t too long and includes a relevant keyword Google can quickly recognize.
  • Alt text for any graphics included in the content that briefly describes what the graphics represent.
  • Content should ideally include links to other relevant content on the same domain and reputable external websites.
  • The page’s and website’s design should create positive desktop and mobile viewing experiences.

Want to see these SEO-optimized content elements in action? Look around you! This very page follows SEO best practices for keyword optimization, user experience, and mobile usability.

Or, check out a comprehensive list of all the content tactics and technical elements that we include in SEO-optimized client content in this complete comparison guide.


SEO for Associations in the AI Age

The rise of generative AI has been a seismic shift in the marketing world, especially for SEO. The introduction of AI Overviews directly in SERPs has probably shaken up the industry more than any other update in decades.

AI overviews SERP diagram

However, anytime you search “AI in [insert industry here]” to learn more, you’re likely to see a slew of dramatic editorials and conflicting claims. It’s often the same in the SEO space, and it’s more confusing than helpful for newcomers.

We want to help you cut through that clutter so you can better understand the real, current state of SEO in the AI age before further investing in it for your association.

We’ve already written a few guides that spell out our positions on the implications of AI on SEO:

Misusing or misunderstanding AI can create all kinds of risks for your association’s website. If you don’t have time to read these articles, at least take away these key points:

  • SEO isn’t going anywhere, but it is adapting to a rapidly changing search landscape.
  • Do not use AI to fully write website content intended to rank. It will not offer the same value, originality, experience, and human touch that other content will, and Google will know.
  • The introduction of AI Overviews on SERPs means that full-funnel content strategies are more important than ever. This means creating content that covers more specific topics and keywords instead of focusing only on those with very high search volume. Remember, attracting truly qualified audiences drives much more value than simply attracting large audiences.
  • Try to create “information gain” in your association’s web content whenever possible. What are the unique insights and positions that only your organization can offer? This is the valuable content that AI will never be able to replicate.

Curious what an AI-savvy SEO strategy would look like for your association? Get in touch and let’s chat about it.


Your Association’s First SEO Playbook

Ready to get started? Here are the core steps for launching an SEO strategy for your association for the first time.

The key steps of launching an SEO strategy for the first time, detailed below

1. Check your site’s technical health.

Start with a quick website check-up:

For complete coverage and diagnostics, we recommend conducting a full technical SEO audit. Please contact us to learn more about this process and what it entails.

2. Define your objectives.

What are the core organizational objectives that you want to accomplish with SEO?

Remember, these should revolve around demand generation. Is there a particular offering or aspect of your association’s operations that you want to focus on first? These might include:

  • Boosting member recruitment
  • Selling more training products or services
  • Securing more registrants for your next annual event

Under these objectives, you’ll set more tactical goals, like reaching Page 1 ranks for a certain number of your target keywords or increasing conversions on a specific landing page by X%.

3. Determine your association’s first target keyword.

Based on your most important objective, choose your first target keyword to pursue.

Ideal keywords for quick wins live in the “Goldilocks Zone” of high demand and low competition. This means it’s a topic searched by qualified leads but without a ton of other high-authority websites crowding the SERPs with standout content. Writing a stellar article that educates this audience and introduces your offering can drive value relatively quickly.

SEO tools often have their own proprietary methods of gauging a keyword’s competitiveness. Moz’s Keyword Explorer is one of the easiest to use.

But you know your space (and your competitors and peer organizations), too—reviewing the existing SERPs of potential keywords can also give you a quick idea of who’s pursuing them and the caliber of content you’ll be up against.

Reminder: Don’t target a broad, high-traffic keyword just yet. In many cases, these are the most competitive terms to rank for.

More specific keywords searched by users who are already lower in the sales funnel will give you the faster wins and momentum that your strategy needs!

SEO agencies can help you lay out a more comprehensive keyword strategy and roadmap based on your objectives and the competitiveness of your space. This is one of the first steps that we take with new clients here at Nexus. Thorough upfront keyword research pays off!

4. Develop a user-centric content strategy.

Outline an article that will help you rank for your target keyword. Your association’s website may already contain an article that could rank if you update and improve it!

We recommend following these steps to sketch out a winning content strategy:

Review the SERP for the target keyword and read the content that’s already ranking. What does it include? What does it do well? How could your content go further?

Consider what the audience really wants when they search this keyword—quick answers, a thorough guide, a product or service page?

Take a look at the additional topics and snippets that the SERP includes, and consider how you can include these topics to catch Google’s attention.

Write an enticing title that includes the target keyword and is between 50 and 60 characters long.

Outline the core topics and subtopics that the article will cover using a logical order of H2 and H3 headings. Include the keyword and natural variants throughout the headings.

Fill in your outline with the same level of (or ideally, more) detail and background that other ranking content includes

Identify spots where you can inject your association’s unique take using relevant data and member stories.

 

5. Consider your conversion strategy.

Before finishing your outline, take a moment to carefully think through exactly how you’ll ask readers to convert—take a specific action that supports your organizational objective.

Depending on the context, this target conversion action might be:

  • Requesting information about joining your association
  • Downloading a free digital resource
  • Purchasing a product or service
  • Registering for your annual event

Think about your audience, their goals for searching the target keyword, and how your offering aligns with that user intent. Pinpoint sections in your outline where you can promote your offering and ask users to take action.

These calls-to-action (CTAs) are often formatted as buttons, banners, and branded graphics that catch the eye. But however you handle your CTAs, make sure that they link straight to a landing page where users can take the target action. Common landing pages include contact or signup forms, lead capture pages to collect email addresses, and specific product/service pages.

6. Write, publish, and index your content.

Now comes the fun part!

Draft your article, give it a short and intuitive URL that includes the target keyword, review your draft, and make revisions. Bonus points for engaging visuals and videos—users and Google appreciate them! Make sure that your article is also attributed to an author, ideally a real person at your association, but a more generic byline simply listing your association can suffice.

Hit publish, and then head over to Google Search Console. Search your new article’s URL and “request indexing.” This will fast-track the indexing and ranking process for your content

7. Start accruing backlinks to your association’s SEO content.

Once your content is live, you can begin the process of building backlinks to it.

Remember: Backlinks show Google that your content is trustworthy, a key component of quality and ranking power.

Start with internal links. Identify several other high-quality pages on your association’s website where a link to your new content would make sense and enhance the user experience.

Next come external links to your content from other websites. This is a diverse practice all on its own. Authority-building by securing backlink placements with external partners is a core part of our own process here at Nexus. The most common ways to secure backlinks include:

  • Writing short guest blog posts for other websites that include a link to your SEO content.
  • Finding mentions of your association on other websites using a quote search operator, then reaching out to those websites to request a link to your content.
  • Taking the organic route by more generally building your brand’s visibility as it relates to that topic.
    • For example, social media posts and links don’t directly contribute to SEO success, but they do spread the word about your content and can encourage other websites to build links organically.

Over the years, building backlinks has seen a lot of practices and trends come and go.

There is such a thing as unethical and improper link-building.

Spammy websites may use shady practices to build tons of links to their content in comments, forums, and garbled AI-generated content. Do not use these practices, and don’t hire any SEO vendors that use them.

Google can issue manual actions if it detects that a site is violating its spam policies. Manual actions penalize a website and prevent it from ranking well in the future. Not to mention, Google algorithm updates increasingly combat these practices and the rise of spammy AI content head-on. Trying to take a shortcut will result in headaches, not success.

Instead, accrue backlinks organically. Good content naturally secures links as it travels the internet. Reach out to your actual partners and peers to ask for links and blogging opportunities. These natural-looking links are much more valuable and worth your time.

Building brand recognition is increasingly important for SEO, although often in a somewhat indirect way.

In the age of AI, Google pays extra attention to names and brands that it understands to be recognized, connected, and respected in their topic areas. Cross-blogging with other websites is one way to build your association’s brand, but remember that any positive publicity online can help.

At Nexus Marketing, our extensive partnership network has been a core part of our clients’ successes.

By building relationships with hundreds of high-quality, recognized brands in the mission-driven space, we can plug our clients right into the action.

Other activities like industry speaking engagements, influencer partnerships, and various digital PR opportunities all build your brand’s profile, as well. We’ve even built out an entire community, NXUnite, dedicated to fostering these connections between nonprofits, associations, businesses, and their audiences!

 

8. Track and analyze your page’s performance.

As you continue building links and your brand’s visibility, keep track of how your content is performing.

If you’ve invested in a dedicated SEO tool or professional SEO services, this is easy. You can access performance reports or receive them straight from your SEO agency—check out how we handle reporting with easy-to-use dashboards.

On your own, you can also use Google Search Console and Google Analytics to track your content’s visibility, traffic, and more. Just remember to dig deeper than topline numbers. Actual conversions—the number of users who take your target conversion action—are ultimately the most important metric for success.

This is why it’s essential to have a clear conversion strategy on your SEO pages. When you understand exactly what you’re asking readers to do and link your CTAs straight to the place to take action, you can easily measure clickthroughs to that landing page and the number of form completions.

9. Make improvements over time.

Finally, take all of the insights you’ve learned from keyword research, the content creation process, and your page’s performance metrics to make improvements over time.

It’s a good idea to regularly revisit your SEO content to audit its performance and compare it to fresher content on the SERP. We typically schedule these kinds of “refresh” activities for our clients because Google highly values fresh, actively maintained content. This is also when you can make improvements to your conversion strategy if needed.

Congrats! If you’ve followed along, you’ve just rolled out a preliminary SEO strategy for your association.

The beauty of this process is that it’s so easily repeatable. You just need the capacity to make research, content creation, and data analysis part of your ongoing marketing practices—which is why so many brands choose to partner with SEO agencies.


Hiring an SEO Agency for Your Association

Associations hire SEO agencies to handle the ongoing and day-to-day work of running an SEO strategy.

Successful strategies take dedicated time and effort, which is why they’re often postponed by busy organizations.

SEO agencies bring specialized experience and technical know-how that most organizations don’t have in-house. 

Working with experts is the most effective way to get an SEO strategy off the ground, especially when they offer:

  • Technical SEO audits
  • Custom content creation
  • Link-building services
  • Networks of relevant partners in your industry
  • Additional PR opportunities for your brand

These comprehensive services can support the whole lifecycle of your association’s SEO strategy, turning it from a time-consuming activity for your team to a revenue-generating channel that runs in the background. The right vendor will work with you to develop a custom strategy, maintain the health of your website, and let you be as hands-off (or hands-on) as you want.

So how do you hire one? We recommend these general steps:

As you can tell from this guide, the world of SEO services and practices is diverse.

Different agencies offer a wide variety of services, ranging from full custom SEO engagements and content creation to periodic technical check-ins. Consider the scale of support you want.

Also, consider your timeframe—ongoing strategy execution (recommended for long-term SEO success) or one-time projects (which can work if you have very specific needs). Keep in mind that SEO takes time to bear fruit. Overnight results are not likely.

Learn more about our SEO client engagements to get a quick sense of the range of services and options available.

Do you have specific organizational objectives that you want to accomplish with SEO?

Or do you just know that it’s a neglected channel in your association’s marketing strategy?

Either answer is fine! It’s just useful to understand your reasons for investing in SEO before getting in touch with vendors. This will ensure you both come to the table with clear expectations about your needs and the best potential solutions.

Most SEO agency services are paid on a monthly basis, similar to other marketing and advertising services.

Although you may ultimately budget a total annual or quarterly spend depending on the terms of your contract with an agency, they typically charge an hourly rate for their services. You’ll purchase a set number of hours for your engagement to be delivered each month, with your total cost then based on the hourly rate and projected over the course of the engagement.

This means your monthly budget for SEO will be the most helpful financial number to bring into the research and vetting process.

Now it’s time to start researching potential SEO vendors.

Google searches, chats with peers in other organizations, and calls for recommendations on LinkedIn are all reliable starting points.

Our top recommendation for associations:

Look for SEO vendors specialized in the mission-driven space.

The association space is distinct from the for-profit B2C and B2B worlds. Your audience has different needs and interests than generalist services will likely be able to satisfy. Link- and brand-building, essential for sustained SEO success, will also be challenging for generalist agencies.

Look for agencies that have:

  • Experience serving associations and other mission-driven organizations
  • A track record of creating winning SEO content related to your industry
  • Networks of connections in your space to facilitate truly valuable link-building and PR opportunities

(Quick note: We check all these boxes, and we’d love to chat!)

When you have a shortlist of candidates, look at their track records. Check out things like:

  • Client reviews and testimonials
  • Case studies about their other client engagements
  • Their history and adaptability—for example, dynamic agencies should be talking about AI right now!

Now reach out to your top options by requesting information about their services or how they’d support your association.

At this point, agencies will likely walk you through their approach to SEO and case studies of their past successes with clients. This is also the time to ask any questions that you need answered.

Note that the full process of learning more, looping in the relevant stakeholders, and securing buy-in may take a while and require multiple meetings. The right agency will be happy to adapt and make sure you’re getting all the information you need!

Once you’ve chosen an SEO agency, ask for a more formal outline of the proposed engagement, its terms, and the cost.

Discussing the contract’s terms and making adjustments may take some time, but keep in mind that SEO is a long-term marketing investment—it’s always worth ensuring you’re happy with your new partnership!

Congrats! Your SEO strategy is about to take flight. But first, your SEO agency will likely have some onboarding steps and requests for you to take care of first.

These typically include providing marketing and branding assets, answering more in-depth questionnaires about your lead generation activities and goals, and granting backend access to your website.

 

Why Nexus Marketing Stands Out

Nexus Marketing is the leading SEO agency in the mission-driven space.

We’ve helped diverse organizations and businesses thrive online, reach the right audiences, and build powerful brands for a decade. Check out our case studies!

What sets us apart? Deep expertise in mission-driven subject matter and extensive, organic connections in the space. 

Plus, we offer a full range of additional content creation and PR opportunities to take your brand’s online visibility to the next level. Between custom email and video production, our influencer marketing program, and constant industry speaking opportunities, we’ve got you covered. These options allow you to drive both short- and long-term ROI, unique among SEO agencies.

Please contact us to learn more about our approach. Tell us about your association’s demand generation goals, and we’ll lay out a plan to reach them.

Nexus Marketing logo

 


Learn More about SEO: Recommended Resources

Want to learn more about SEO for associations? Check out our recommended resources:

Finally, don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. Curious about anything covered in this guide? Have a unique SEO challenge in mind? We’re always happy to chat about SEO and the latest trends!

AI’s Impact on the SEO Content Creation Process

With the platform achieving over 100 million active users in just under two months since its release, it’s become clear to all digital marketers that ChatGPT, an AI-powered tool, isn’t going anywhere.

While AI-generated content can seem daunting for many digital marketers, the team at Nexus Marketing views it as an opportunity. As part of our commitment to providing high-quality content, we leverage ChatGPT to streamline parts of the content creation process and add educational value to our articles.

This guide will walk you through how we use ChatGPT to improve our results for our clients while maintaining a “by humans, for humans” approach.

Our position on fully AI-generated content

While ChatGPT is a powerful tool for streamlining content creation workflows, we never use it to fully generate SEO content. This is due to a few reasons:

  • It can have negative SEO implications. By prioritizing human-written content, we mitigate any risks of publishing AI-generated content, such as duplication. Also, backlinks within AI-generated content may be perceived as less valuable to the Google algorithm than true human-built links, and we want to ensure each link built has the maximum ranking benefit possible for your website.
  • It can jeopardize partner relationships. Our connections in the mission-driven space via the Publishing Partnership program are key to driving results for your brand. Submitting original content is our promise to our Publishing Partners, making human-written content a crucial part of our strategy.
  • It’s less original than human-written content. ChatGPT is trained to generate responses based on linguistic patterns. Overall, human-written content is more original and provides more educational value to the reader. Additionally, AI content generation is heavily dependent on machine learning algorithms and pre-existing datasets. It may not always accurately encapsulate the factors that enhance expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness which leads to worse-performing content over time.
  • It isn’t as user-friendly as human-written content. As a robot, ChatGPT might not fully understand human needs and preferences when drafting its content. Thus, it might lack the human touch that makes content so engaging for readers.

To ensure ideal SEO performance, it’s important to uphold the “by humans, for humans” approach. That means using ChatGPT to help with the tasks outlined below without publishing its words verbatim.

Click on this banner to subscribe to Nexus Marketing's newsletter.

Nexus Marketing’s ChatGPT use cases

1. Generating content outlines

One of the first steps of our content creation is outlining, and ChatGPT plays an important role in starting the process on the right foot. We use ChatGPT to generate wireframe outlines of general ideas for the content. Then, the writers combine the wireframe with our in-depth subject matter, UX, and SEO knowledge to make it into something new.

The prompt: Generate an outline for an FAQ guide educational blog post about Google Ad Grants best practices for nonprofit professionals who have never heard of the program before.

The response:

I. Introduction

  • Brief overview of Google Ad Grants program
  • Importance of understanding best practices for nonprofit professionals
  • Purpose of the FAQ guide and its value for newcomers to the program

II. What is Google Ad Grants?

  • Definition and explanation of the program
  • Eligibility criteria for nonprofit organizations
  • Benefits and advantages of participating in the program

III. How can my nonprofit organization qualify for Google Ad Grants?

  • Specific requirements and guidelines set by Google
  • Steps to verify charity status and compliance
  • Importance of having a well-structured website with meaningful content

IV. What are the key features and limitations of Google Ad Grants?

  • Overview of the advertising budget and usage limits
  • Types of ads allowed and their placement
  • Policies and guidelines to adhere to while running campaigns

V. How can I create effective Google Ad Grants campaigns?

  • Keyword research and selection strategies
  • Crafting compelling ad copy and relevant landing pages
  • Optimizing campaigns for better performance and results

VI. How can I measure the success of my Google Ad Grants campaigns?

  • Key metrics to track and analyze
  • Tools and resources for campaign performance evaluation
  • Making data-driven decisions for continuous improvement

VII. Are there any additional resources or support available?

  • Google’s resources, documentation, and tutorials
  • Online communities and forums for nonprofit professionals
  • Considerations for professional assistance and management services

VIII. Conclusion

  • Recap of key takeaways and benefits of implementing Google Ad Grants best practices
  • Encouragement to explore the program and its potential for nonprofit organizations
  • Invitation to reach out for further assistance and guidance

2. Writing meta descriptions

ChatGPT plays a valuable role in generating potential meta descriptions for content. We use the tool to quickly create meta descriptions that we adjust afterward. Instead of asking for meta descriptions based on generic, one-word topics, we take the client’s intended audience and offerings into account. Then, we modify the meta description to ensure relevance and precision.

The prompt: Generate a meta description for an ultimate-guide style blog post about Google Ad Grants for nonprofit professionals who are new to the program.

ChatGPT’s response: Unlock the power of Google Ad Grants for nonprofits. Maximize your online impact and raise awareness with this comprehensive guide for new program participants.

3. Proofreading copy

Our team harnesses the power of ChatGPT to proofread and refine written content. By providing already written passages, we request ChatGPT to proofread, correct grammatical mistakes, tighten the language and improve clarity. The objective is to optimize the content for readability, logical flow, and coherence.

It’s important to note that we never directly copy the rewritten content from ChatGPT. Instead, our team takes inspiration from the suggested changes and incorporates them into their own writing. This ensures that our content maintains a human quality that attracts readers.

The prompt: Proofread the following paragraph for clarity, logical flow, and grammatical mistakes:

In today’s digital age, nonprofit organizations strive to create a meaningful impact and extend their reach to make a difference in the world. However, limited marketing budgets often pose significant challenges. That’s where Google Ad Grants comes in as a game-changing opportunity. In this educational article, we will delve into the world of Google Ad Grants and explore how nonprofit organizations can harness its power to maximize their online presence, raise awareness, and drive meaningful engagement. Whether you’re new to the concept or seeking to optimize your existing strategy, this comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge and insights needed to leverage Google Ad Grants successfully. Get ready to unlock new possibilities and propel your organization’s mission to greater heights in the digital realm.

ChatGPT’s response:

In today’s digital landscape, nonprofit organizations strive to make a meaningful impact and extend their reach to create positive change in the world. However, limited marketing budgets often present significant challenges. Enter Google Ad Grants, a game-changing opportunity that empowers nonprofits. This comprehensive educational article delves into the world of Google Ad Grants, guiding nonprofit professionals on how to maximize their online presence, raise awareness, and foster meaningful engagement. Whether you’re new to the concept or seeking to optimize your existing strategy, this guide equips you with the knowledge and insights needed to leverage Google Ad Grants successfully. Unlock new possibilities and propel your organization’s mission to greater heights in the digital realm.

4. Generating stories/examples

The content team uses ChatGPT to generate stories or example scenarios to enrich the content. These stories are helpful for illustrating key concepts that are discussed in the content and the problems that the content’s tips will help the audience solve. The goal of including example stories is to frame the information in a compelling and realistic way instead of relying on abstract concepts.

By reading this example passage, the reader can better understand how Google Ad Grants can maximize traffic to their nonprofit’s website and convert casual visitors into active supporters:

The prompt: Write an example story for an article educating nonprofit professionals about why they should pursue Google Ad Grants. The story’s takeaway should be that pursuing Google Ad Grants is an easy and cost-effective way to spread awareness of your cause.

ChatGPT’s response:

Imagine a nonprofit organization called “Global Health Alliance” dedicated to providing medical assistance in underserved communities. The organization struggled to reach a wider audience and raise funds to support its critical initiatives. However, after learning about Google Ad Grants, they decided to give it a try. With the help of expert guidance, Global Health Alliance created compelling ad campaigns that specifically targeted keywords related to their cause. Within weeks, their online visibility skyrocketed, attracting a surge of website traffic and generating significant interest in their mission. Thanks to Google Ad Grants, Global Health Alliance quickly realized that pursuing this program was not only easy but also an incredibly cost-effective way to spread awareness of their cause, reach a broader audience, and make a greater impact in the world.

5. Brainstorming call-to-action language

Crafting effective call-to-action (CTA) language is essential for driving conversions for clients. Our team leverages ChatGPT by asking it specific questions to align the CTA with the client’s target audience and desired tone. Also, with ChatGPT’s browsing mode, we can quickly collect data from across the Internet to support our claims.

The results from ChatGPT serve as inspiration, which our copywriters adapt and customize to fit the client’s context, ensuring the CTAs are engaging and relevant.

The prompt: Write an engaging, click-worthy CTA for a business that promotes Google Ad Grants management to nonprofit professionals. The tone should be professional, yet eager and optimistic. The CTA should be around 3 sentences in total.

ChatGPT’s response: Ignite your nonprofit’s growth with our expert Google Ad Grants management. Maximize your online reach, raise funds, and make a lasting impact. Unlock the power of Google Ad Grants and propel your cause to new heights.

Click on this banner to subscribe to Nexus Marketing's newsletter.

6. Optimizing for snippets

Snippets are concise sections of content that appear on Google’s search results pages, providing quick answers to user queries. ChatGPT helps us optimize snippet-bait sections by making them concise, direct, and highly relevant. Our team prompts ChatGPT to answer specific questions or refine existing snippet baits or FAQs, allowing us to enhance their performance and visibility in search results.

The prompt: Concisely answer the question “What are Google Ad Grants” for an audience of nonprofit marketing professionals. This answer will be targeted to secure a featured snippet on a Google results page.

ChatGPT’s response: Google Ad Grants is a unique program offering eligible nonprofit organizations up to $10,000 per month in free advertising budget on Google Ads. Designed to empower nonprofits, these grants provide the opportunity to raise awareness, drive website traffic, and promote their causes to a wider audience. By leveraging Google Ad Grants, nonprofit marketing professionals can maximize their online presence and make a greater impact in the digital landscape.

7. Generating FAQs

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) provide valuable information to users and enhance the user experience. ChatGPT assists us in generating relevant questions related to specific topics. These questions help enrich your content and address user intent. Our team evaluates and refines the generated questions to ensure they are valuable additions to the FAQ section.

The prompt: List 10 frequently asked questions about Google Ad Grants that nonprofit professionals might have when trying to determine if they should pursue the program as part of their marketing strategy.

ChatGPT’s response:

  • What are Google Ad Grants?
  • How can my nonprofit organization qualify for Google Ad Grants?
  • What types of ads can I create with Google Ad Grants?
  • What are the benefits of using Google Ad Grants for my nonprofit?
  • How much free advertising budget does Google Ad Grants provide?
  • Are there any restrictions on the types of keywords or content I can use in my ads?
  • Can I run ads for multiple campaigns or initiatives using Google Ad Grants?
  • How do I track the performance of my Google Ad Grants campaigns?
  • Are there any specific policies or guidelines I need to follow while using Google Ad Grants?
  • Can I use Google Ad Grants alongside other advertising methods or platforms?

ChatGPT can also quickly create FAQ schema code for your content, which is beneficial for SEO.

8. Sourcing statistics

Statistics add credibility and educational value to your content. ChatGPT’s Web Browsing mode assists us in sourcing interesting statistics and credible resources related to specific topics. Our team ensures that ChatGPT provides sources to verify the relevance and freshness of the statistics. For up-to-date information, we double-check ChatGPT’s suggestions with manual research.

The prompt: List interesting statistics about Google Ad Grants that I can use in an ultimate guide-style article for an audience of nonprofit professionals and provide your sources.

ChatGPT’s response: Here are some interesting statistics about Google Ad Grants that you can use in your ultimate guide-style article:

  • Google Ad Grants is a powerful tool for nonprofits, offering up to $10,000 in monthly advertising credit. This can be used to reach new donors, volunteers, and supporters​ (source).
  • Google owns over 92% of the global search engine market, helping nonprofits connect with more prospects than ever before. 98% of searchers click a result on page 1 of Google, making the Google Ad Grant a great way to drive more clicks. The average return on investment (ROI) for nonprofits using Google Ads is $4.78. For Google Ads, advocacy groups and nonprofits have an average cost per click (CPC) of $1.43. View-through revenue (revenue from donors who saw but didn’t click on an ad) accounts for 35% of all giving sourced from digital ads (source)​.

9. Generating ideas for original images

Providing custom-branded images helps signal an article’s educational value, which can boost its SEO ranking. The content team leverages ChatGPT to make engaging and informative images that complement written content.

The prompt: Give me 3 unique image ideas for an ultimate guide-style article about Google Ad Grants. Think along the lines of Venn diagrams, flow charts, and themed images that visually represent the information in an engaging and educational way.

ChatGPT’s response:

  • Comparison Venn Diagram: Create a visually appealing Venn diagram that compares Google Ad Grants with other advertising methods or platforms. Use overlapping circles to highlight the unique advantages and features of Google Ad Grants, such as cost-effectiveness, targeted reach, and the ability to raise awareness for nonprofit organizations.
  • Step-by-Step Flowchart: Design a flowchart that illustrates the step-by-step process of setting up and managing a successful Google Ad Grants campaign. Include key stages like application and qualification, keyword research, ad creation, campaign optimization, and performance tracking. Use visually distinct icons or symbols to represent each stage, making it easy for readers to follow along.
  • Keyword Research Mind Map: Design a visually captivating mind map that illustrates the process of conducting keyword research for Google Ad Grants campaigns. Use branching sections to represent different categories or themes related to nonprofit causes, such as education, healthcare, environment, and social justice. Each branch should further branch out into relevant keywords that align with those categories. This image will visually demonstrate how keyword research helps nonprofits optimize their campaigns and reach the right audience.
  • Ad Performance Dashboard: Develop a visually appealing dashboard-style image that showcases the key performance metrics and data points to track when monitoring the success of Google Ad Grants campaigns. Include elements like click-through rates, conversions, website traffic, and engagement metrics. Use charts, graphs, and icons to represent the data in a visually engaging and easy-to-understand format. This image will demonstrate the importance of tracking and analyzing campaign performance to make data-driven optimizations.

We hope this guide provides you with insights into how we use ChatGPT to enhance our content creation process. By leveraging this AI-powered tool in a strategic and thoughtful manner, we strive to deliver exceptional results while maintaining the human touch and expertise that define our approach.

If you have questions or want to learn more about how we’re using AI to continually improve our content for clients, please don’t hesitate to contact your Nexus Account Manager or Copywriter.

Nexus Marketing is the top SEO agency for brands working in the mission-driven space.

This guide covers everything you need to know about working at Nexus Marketing.

The Ultimate Guide to Working at Nexus Marketing

Nexus Marketing’s Atlanta-based team is growing!

Our team is made up of talented writers, personable account managers, and incredible content publishing coordinators. Together, we create unique content that helps mission-driven businesses connect with nonprofits in need of effective software and services that amplify their work.

We’re always looking to expand our team with headstrong individuals who want to push the nonprofit sector forward. If you’re curious about what it’s like to be part of our team, learn more about life at Nexus Marketing by exploring these topics:

As we’re hiring across a range of roles, we aim to recruit outstanding candidates who are eager to hit the ground running and learn through the job. If you’re thinking about joining the team, we want to make sure that you’re a good fit for the role and will be happy working here.

What is Nexus Marketing?

Nexus Marketing is the only online marketing agency that works specifically with mission-driven businesses that offer tools and services that power social good to create a better world.

We work with companies to create unique, engaging content and turn their websites into revenue-generating assets. Our core services include content creation, search engine optimization, and lead generation. Check out some of our case studies to see our work in action.

What’s more, our team is made of passionate storytellers, savvy marketers, and analytics nerds. We’re always looking for innovative ways to improve our clients’ success and grow our team with talented individuals.

What does the hiring process look like?

Our goal is to find inspired individuals and hire great fits for the team. That’s why joining the Nexus Marketing team requires a few different steps. Here’s what to expect:

  1. You apply! Visit our Job Openings page to see what roles we’re currently looking to fill. If one sounds like a good fit, send us your résumé, a cover letter, a list of references, and any other materials the listing requests.
  2. Someone from our leadership team will review your materials. If you’re approved, you’ll receive an email saying you’re moving on to the next step of the hiring process.
  3. You’ll complete an assessment and a short one-way video interview. This will help us get to know you better as a candidate!
  4. Our leadership team will personally review your assessment and one-way interview. From there, we invite select candidates in for a full interview, which is currently being done over Zoom.
  5. You’ll complete a mock assignment and talk to someone who’s currently in the role. The mock assignment will give us a chance to see your skills in action, and the ‘Day in the Life’ chat will give you a chance to ask any questions you have about the role and company culture.
  6. We’ll reach out to your references. As a final step, we’ll reach out to the references that you provided us early on in the process. After this, we’ll let you know whether you’re hired!

Apply to work at Nexus Marketing here.

Do any colleges recommend working at Nexus Marketing post-graduation?

Our goal is to make Nexus Marketing an incredible place to work for inspired individuals. We work closely with some of the top universities in our area to connect with ambitious individuals who’d be great additions to our team.

As part of our relationships with these colleges, we are currently:

Nexus Marketing is a preferred employer of UGA's Grady College of Journalism.Nexus Marketing is a Soar-level Sponsor at Emory University.




What are Nexus Marketing’s core values?

  • Support a culture and environment where high performers feel challenged, are empowered, and want to work. We strive to create an atmosphere where people feel inspired to pursue growth and directly influence their peers to do the same.
  • Indecision is the only wrong decision. If you’ve got a reasonable shot at making the right call, take action. Nexus thrives on generating timely, meaningful results for clients and partners. As you get into the groove of your role, you’ll be able to make quick decisions that leave a positive impression on your peers and external stakeholders.
  • Demonstrate best-in-class responsiveness with quick, proactive, and thoughtful responses to clients, partners, prospects, and team members. Your team members and external stakeholders will depend on timely responses. When it comes to communicating quickly and effectively, no one does it better than the Nexus Marketing team!
  • Give back to your community and the causes you care about. As a company, we want to support the causes you care about. That’s why we encourage you to support your local community through giving programs like matching gifts, volunteer grants, and fundraising sponsorships.
  • Stay open to new ideas and advocate for them, but commit 100% once a decision is made. Sometimes you have to adapt based on clients’ or partners’ preferences. Always keep an open mind to their suggestions and come up with innovative solutions when necessary.
  • Treat clients, partners, prospects, and team members fairly and exceed their expectations. Nexus Marketing relies on effective and collaborative relationships between clients, partners, prospects, and peers. You’ll need to do your part to keep the ball rolling on projects and go above and beyond when needed.
  • The status quo is unacceptable. Strive to learn and grow professionally while pursuing the best ways to drive impact at the company. Working at Nexus means constantly pursuing growth through additional training opportunities to increase the impact of your work, drive the business forward, and feel more confident in your abilities.

What is the company culture like?

We want team members to love where they work, which is why we aim to create an inclusive and welcoming environment. Team members regularly host culture and social events covered by the company both in and out of the office.

From company-wide dinners to Braves games, our culture events are a great way for team members to get to know each other and explore the city!

During office hours, we have team and company meetings to help everyone collaborate on the most important tasks for their roles, work through challenges, and build professional camaraderie. We’re also located in the Inman Park neighborhood of Atlanta, so you might catch team members strolling along the beltline for a quick break or grabbing lunch together at Krog Street Market.

How does new hire training work?

Over the years, we’ve built a very robust training process with thorough reference materials, so you’ll know exactly what you’re doing by the time you’re introduced to partners or clients.

When you come in for your first day of work, we’ll kick things off with an orientation meeting and dive straight into your onboarding process, which lasts around a month. The first few weeks are jam-packed with training sessions and courses, led by your manager and other team members across the business. We strongly recommend asking any questions you have because, chances are, we’ve all had the same ones at some point!

We also strongly believe that the best way to learn is by doing. That’s why we’ll get you started on your first assignments within your first day or so. Don’t worry, though! You’ll receive plenty of feedback from your manager to put you on the right track. You’ll also be paired with a new hire mentor, who will guide you through the transition into your new role for your first six months at the business.

One final note: we believe that training and forming relationships are best done in person. So, while we traditionally follow a hybrid work model, your onboarding process will be heavily hosted in person, so expect to come in every day for your first few weeks.

Will there be ongoing training opportunities available?

Beyond initial training, we also have a company training philosophy that we implement to help push team members toward ongoing professional growth. Beyond our weekly team meetings, here are some of the core ongoing training opportunities we offer:

  • Scaling Up Book Club: This is our company book club which aims to teach team members to become business-minded by learning the best ways to grow and optimize a business. Everyone reads the assigned chapter, then comes together to discuss the most important takeaways and how it applies to our company. Everyone is welcome to join!
  • Manager Tools: Manager Tools is a podcast that focuses on giving career advice and helping managers become more effective in their roles. Everyone listens to the same episode. Then, we come together as a company to discuss everyone’s perspectives and how we can apply the advice to our own careers, either as managers or direct reports.
  • SEO Training Tuesday: Once a month, the entire Nexus Marketing team comes together to discuss the latest trends in SEO best practices. The meeting facilitator sends out an article for everyone to read. Then, everyone comes together to brainstorm how we currently use the advice in our work and how we can more intentionally leverage it in the future.
  • Ad Hoc Training Courses: Each employee is allotted a training budget to spend on training materials like books, classes, and online courses directly related to their role. The company also helps cover the costs of professional certification for long-term employees.
  • Food For Thoughts: Individual team members set up these meetings to share particular skills or projects that their peers might find interesting or useful. Past topics have included site audits, content development, client upsells, image creation, and many more.

Does Nexus offer remote work?

Our goal is to create an office environment where people want to come in and get to know their coworkers while still having the flexibility to do what works best for their needs. That’s why we follow a hybrid work model.

Each week, different teams have a set day in the office. Then, everyone has one additional required day of their choosing. However, team members are welcome to come in as often as they’d like!

Note that newly hired employees are required to come into the office every day for their first three weeks before shifting to this model. The goal is to help them build relationships with one another, get to know other employees from across the business, and get them up and running in their new roles!

Apply to work at Nexus Marketing here.

What do employees have to say about the company?

If you think you’d like to work at Nexus, hear more about the different roles we offer from our employees: 

Colleen is a content publishing coordinator at Nexus Marketing.Colleen Carroll, Content Publishing Coordinator

A lot of the daily work of a CPC involves managing our robust partner network, following up on deadlines, and holding partners accountable for what they agreed to do. This means sending lots of emails, keeping an eye on calendars, and tracking the progress of projects.

But there is also a creative side to maintaining each partnership. Every quarter, we build content calendars for each of our partners. This activity almost feels like solving a puzzle because I have to align the interest of my partner with the interests of 2-6 of our clients by finding an article title that will please all parties, benefit the client, and be unique on the partner’s blog.

Then, there is the relationship-building aspect of the partnership. I meet with each of my 30+ partners every quarter and exchange emails with many of them every few weeks to maintain our connection. The final facet is partner sourcing. In 2021, the CPC team onboarded over 125 partners, and we are now working to continue to grow this network in 2022. In order to do so, as a CPC team member, I often find myself:

  • Researching organizations
  • Making connections on LinkedIn
  • Building pitch presentations
  • Hopping on calls with organizations to share why I think they would enjoy being a Nexus partner

The CPC role is a very public-facing one — I am representing Nexus to each of my partners. If you consider yourself to be organized, friendly, and a great communicator, you’ll likely enjoy this role.

Outside of the role itself, I really like the company culture at Nexus.

We are a young, engaged, and detail-oriented group that enjoys working with each other and participating in optional company activities outside of work hours.

There are also many opportunities for collaboration with other teams and personal growth.

Jessica is an account manager who works at Nexus Marketing.Jessica King, Account Manager

As an account manager, no two days are ever the same! I’m the face of Nexus for our clients — I’m their main point of contact. I coordinate the work that gets done on each of my accounts each month, I liaise between the Nexus teams, and most importantly, I’m in charge of setting the strategy to lead our clients to their SEO goals!

The account managers have a monthly workflow that starts with deciding the most important activities for client accounts that month and ensuring the copywriters and content publishing coordinators know what they should focus on to best support our clients’ goals.

Then, there are two weeks where we’re actively meeting with clients, analyzing their data, and reporting on the results of our work to collaboratively make decisions about the strategy. Once calls are all wrapped up, then there’s a week to plan the next month’s work, make any changes to the strategy, think of ways we might grow client accounts, and keep pushing Nexus forward!

This job is a great fit if you value:

  • Variety: there’s always something new to do!
  • Autonomy: as the account manager, you’re making the calls for your client accounts.
  • Fast pace: making sure you’re keeping up with the latest in SEO best practices and client priorities and quickly helping teammates get unstuck to drive results!
  • Data-driven decision-making: each month, you’ll assess the strategy to see what’s going well and what opportunities there are to pivot if results aren’t where we want them to be.
  • Lots of interaction: you get to meet and collaborate with just about every stakeholder in the business, from C-level executives at our clients’ companies to copywriters, content publishing coordinators, and company leadership at Nexus.

If that sounds like you, the account management team might be the perfect fit!

Madalyn is a copywriter at Nexus Marketing.Madalyn McRae Gunnell, Copywriter

As a copywriter at Nexus, I spend most of my time writing for clients with the goal of creating authoritative, interesting online content that can help them connect with their customers and be more visible on search engines.

In my role, I’m assigned to seven to nine different clients at any given time, providing plenty of variety in the subject matter I get to research and write about every day. (Our clienteles’ services range from nonprofit fundraising consulting to donor management software and beyond!)

In the day-to-day, I research and outline pieces of content, write, edit my coworkers’ work, brainstorm graphic design ideas, and manage content on the backend of clients’ websites. I’m also responsible for communicating with clients (mostly via email, but occasionally on Zoom) to ensure that the content I write for them fits their unique brand voice.

At Nexus, I feel like I’m always learning something new and encountering new challenges that keep my job interesting!

Here are a few other reasons I love my job:

  • I get to use my expertise (creative writing and journalism) in a very practical and unique way to help social good-centered companies grow.
  • Nexus provides plenty of opportunities for you to get to know your coworkers and participate in the company’s fun internal culture, from patio parties to bake-offs.
  • When I have new ideas for how our internal processes could be strengthened, I know I can voice those ideas and see them come to fruition.
  • Nexus offers me lots of opportunities to take on new responsibilities, whether it’s leading team-wide meetings or mentoring new team members.

If you love learning, listening to music while you come up with pithy sentences, and enjoy seeing all the pieces of a final project come together, a copywriting role at Nexus may be just the thing for you!

Shannon was a copywriting intern at Nexus Marketing.Shannon Moran, Copywriting Intern

During my final year at the University of Georgia, I was looking for an internship that could offer me new skills and the potential to grow into a permanent position. After meeting with the team at Nexus Marketing, I knew it was the place for me.

Nexus Marketing values every team member and intern equally. From marketing to copywriting, Nexus understands that each role is vital in providing mission-driven businesses with the tools and services needed to power social good.

I had the privilege of joining their first internship program, and as a copywriting intern at a growing agency, I was able to make an impact on the company’s continued success. Here’s a rundown of what I did:

  • Received intensive training that included Search Engine Optimization (SEO) writing best practices, Nexus Marketing style preferences, and editing strategies
  • Conducted deep-dive research on a variety of topics in the nonprofit field
  • Completed marketing and educational content from start to finish, including initial research, drafting, editing, and coordinating with graphic designers
  • Joined a weekly, team-wide intern meeting to discuss upcoming projects and general SEO topics
  • Met one-on-one with the internship coordinator regularly to ensure I was comfortable with the workload and on track for success

In such a fast-paced work environment, it’s important to manage and prioritize your work for multiple projects to meet defined deadlines. I kept a running to-do list of tasks which helped me to stay organized and efficient.

With a hybrid work schedule, most of my time was spent completing tasks remotely with regular opportunities to come work in the office and make connections with my coworkers.

My internship ultimately transformed into a full-time copywriting position, and I’m thrilled to continue my journey at Nexus Marketing.

Hear from even more Nexus Marketing team members in this quick video!

How is performance management handled?

At Nexus Marketing, we believe that ongoing performance management is a powerful driver of our team members’ success.

We understand that performance management can be nerve-wracking, especially for new employees! However, it’s important to track individual contributors’ performance while also making sure they have plenty of opportunities for growth.

To reduce the anxiety surrounding performance management, we make sure there’s consistent open communication about each individual’s performance.

Weekly

On a weekly basis, you’ll meet one-on-one with your manager to chat about what’s going well, any challenges you’re facing, and what to be thinking about for your future at the company.

During these meetings, your manager will provide positive and constructive feedback. This way, you can make adjustments based on their recommendations, and nothing comes as a surprise when you have your official performance review!

Biannually

Twice a year, there’s a more formalized process where directs undergo an official performance review with their managers and other members of the leadership team.

There are a few stages of an official performance review, including:

  1. An individual’s self-evaluation: You’ll be asked to complete a survey where you evaluate your performance over the past performance period, provide insight into your peers’ performance, and share feedback about how the company can support your professional development.
  2. The performance review meeting: The team member, manager, and another member of leadership sit down to discuss what was shared in the self-evaluation and the manager’s evaluation of the direct. This meeting is typically broken into a combination of wins, improvement opportunities for the next performance period, and other relevant items.

That’s all there is to it! What’s more, we believe that hard work shouldn’t go unnoticed, which is why compensation changes go into effect for high-performing team members each year.

What opportunities are there for promotions & career advancement?

We aim to reward team members who excel in their roles and want to take on more responsibility. Depending on your role, promotions and role changes can look a little different from one another.

Here are some examples of how role changes have worked across the business in the past.

David is a copywriting manager at Nexus Marketing.David Myers, Copywriting Manager

David is one of our outstanding copywriting managers! He joined the team in 2018, and he quickly got up and running as a copywriter. After working diligently on clients’ sites and writing their content, he became a senior copywriter in 2019.

In his new role, he took on elevated leadership responsibilities for the team, which primarily included:

  • Leading the weekly copywriting team meetings
  • Contributing to the development of the copywriting role itself
  • Developing standardized quality control systems to ensure the entire team’s writing was up to par with expectations

As the writing team started growing, there came a need for managers to help guide the team. As a high-performing team member, company leadership looked to him to step in. In 2021, David was promoted to copywriting manager and began managing a team of 4 direct reports.

Today, he continues to serve as a copywriting manager where he leads a growing team of talented individuals. He continues to guide the team toward greater heights by leading training for any new direct reports who join the team.

Erin is the special projects copywriter at Nexus Marketing.Erin Toland, Special Projects Copywriter

Erin joined Nexus Marketing as a copywriter in 2019. After working diligently on client accounts and helping to amplify their web content on search engines, she was promoted to a senior copywriter in 2021.

Beyond being staffed on some of our valuable client accounts, she took on elevated internal leadership responsibilities for the copywriting team. Among those elevated duties, she did the following:

  • Spearheaded and continues to manage a mentorship program for new hires today
  • Served as the internal documentation coordinator, a role in which she kept existing documents up-to-date and regularly developed new valuable resources for the team
  • Led key projects such as the development of our partner content type guidelines and accessibility guidelines

Within a few months, there came a need for increased focus on the strategy and development of our company-owned websites. In 2022, Erin was offered a new role to manage the company’s keyword strategy, copywriting, and other special projects.

As part of this new role, she’s now also in charge of the internship program, where she manages the intern team and helps plan activities that contribute to the advancement of the business. Today, she continues to work on optimizing our company-owned sites and enhancing their keyword rankings.

Hannah is a content publishing coordinator manager at Nexus Marketing.Hannah Thompson, Content Publishing Coordinator Manager

Hannah has made a real impact on our content publishing coordinator team in her time at Nexus Marketing. After joining us in January 2021, she quickly got acclimated to managing relationships with our external publishing partners and was ready to take on increased responsibilities.

After expressing her interest in making a bigger impact on the company, she got the opportunity to create our digital PR program. Thanks to her hard work, the program has evolved into a robust free service where our team makes valuable connections between clients, partners, and friends in the industry for cross-marketing and educational opportunities like webinars, podcasts, and conferences.

Not only did she help create one of our most successful services, but she also got to learn what goes into launching a big initiative by working alongside the president of Nexus Marketing.

As the content publishing coordinator team started scaling up in late 2021, Hannah took on more responsibility for the team by leading meetings and serving in a support role for new employees. Outside of her day-to-day responsibilities, she also volunteered to serve as a new hire mentor, where she helped a group of new employees get acclimated to post-college work life.

Today, she’s on deck for becoming a content publishing coordinator manager and plays a vital role in leading the team toward success!

Kendall is an account manager at Nexus Marketing.Kendall Lake, Account Manager

Kendall joined our team as a copywriter in July 2020. After becoming well-versed in our different clients and gaining some SEO experience, leadership quickly recognized her as being a great fit for the account management role.

After about half a year at the company, she became an account manager, a role she still holds today. She regularly:

  • Meets with our wonderful clients to discuss SEO strategy and performance
  • Creates the strategy for enhancing clients’ search presence
  • Works directly with the copywriting and content publishing coordinator teams to build authority back to clients’ sites
  • Develops and presents opportunities to accelerate clients’ SEO strategies and expand engagements

On the account management team, Kendall has led initiatives such as creating a brand new reporting process for our clients, and she has represented Nexus in SEO webinars within our partner network.

In addition to taking on the responsibilities of her new role, she also volunteered to be a new hire mentor, a role in which she made a real impact. She met regularly with her mentee, helping to guide the new hire through her transition into her first full-time role post-graduation.

Today, she continues to serve as a successful account manager for several of our clients!

Ready to join the team?

If life at Nexus sounds like a great fit for you, we’d love to have you join us.

Apply to work at Nexus Marketing here.

Text: research library for mission-driven businesses, image: business people shaking hands

Mission-Driven Business Research Library

Looking for research on nonprofits? On fundraising? Or on any other number of topics related to the mission-driven sphere? Here at Nexus Marketing, we know how hard it can be to find relevant information for that next project. We wanted to make it easier for our clients, partners,  and other members of the mission-driven space to be connected to much-needed information. So the Mission-Driven Sector Research Library was born. 

Below, find trustworthy resources on the following topics:

    1. Research on Fundraising and Nonprofits 
    2. Research on Associations
    3. Research on K-12 Education and Youth Welfare
    4. Research on Higher Education
    5. Research on Small Businesses
    6. Research on Museums
    7. Research on Technology Usage
    8. Research on Camps
    9. Submit a Resource for the Library

Research on Fundraising and Nonprofits

Double the Donation’s “Corporate Giving and Matching Gift Statistics”

Updated annually, Double the Donation’s webpage offers data addressing the impact of matching gifts, matching gift promotion, and employee participation. This resource will be most lucrative for those looking for matching gift research. 

Double the Donation’s “Nonprofit Fundraising Statistics”

Also updated annually, this Double the Donation webpage includes information on online and mobile donations, as well as marketing and email. They also provide their own list of recommended resources for fundraising statistics. Turn to this resource when looking for general fundraising statistics.

Fundly’s “Crowdfunding Statistics [Updated for 2020!]”

Fundly’s resource provides data points in areas such as general crowdfunding statistics, the growth of crowdfunding, how crowdfunding’s impact varies depending on the geographic region, and more. Use this resource when looking for data on crowdfunding as a fundraising tactic.  

GrantStation’s “2022 The Annual State of Grantseeking Report”

GrantStation’s 2022 State of Grantseeking Survey highlights recent developments in funding to allow organizations to become more strategic in their grant seeking. This resource helps organizations review their grant-seeking efforts, report on performance, and plan for the future. 

OneCause’s “The 2021 Giving Experience Study” 

OneCause’s 2021 report takes the information learned from surveying 1,026 social donors on topics related to motivation to give, interest in returning to in-person events, engagement tactics, and donor retention. Find relevant stats to your work such as, what percent of donors find the opportunities through advertisements, what factors donors find the most important in a run/walk/ride fundraising event, and what percent of donors plan to engage in-person post-pandemic. Turn to this 32-page report when looking for the opinions of donors on giving in 2021.

OneCause’s “The 2022 Giving Experience Study” 

OneCause’s 2022 report reveals the findings of surveying over 1,000 social donors, capturing their evolving expectations, generosity motivators, giving patterns, and future intentions. Find relevant stats to your work such as current social donor trends, how the social giving experience has evolved since 2018, what donors of all ages find most important to the giving experience, best practices to grow ease, trust, and engagement to unlock generosity, and what makes social donors want to give again. Turn to this 45-page report for insight into donor expectations and patterns of generosity in 2022.

OneCause’s “The Fundraising Outlook: 2021 Insights & Planning for Post-Pandemic Engagement” 

In this brand new report OneCause looks back at the nonprofit experience in 2021 with data from 1,954 nonprofit professionals taken in the fall of 2021. Find sections on successes and challenges in 2021, post-pandemic engagement, and technology. Turn to this report for insight on effective strategies for 2022 based on what was seen in 2021. 

OneCause’s “Fundraising Through a Pandemic: Virtual Pivot Insights & 2021 Outlook” 

This 2020 report was based on the surveys of 1,997 nonprofit professionals and features insights on the Nonprofit experience in 2020. This resource will be helpful for those searching for information on the impact of the pandemic on nonprofit professionals in 2020. 

OneCause’s “Social Donor Study: Understanding Motivators & Giving Behaviors”

Looking specifically at fundraising event or peer-to-peer campaign donors, this report report features chapters such as: “Social Donors: Who They Are,” “Retaining Social Donors,” and “Converting Social Donors.” Check out this report when looking for information of fundraising events and peer-to-peer fundraising. 

RaiseDonors and NextAfter’s “The State of Nonprofit Donation Pages” 

Donation pages are an essential part of any nonprofit’s digital presence. In this report learn about the techniques put in place by 200+ nonprofits and what that means for nonprofits as a sector. This report will prove helpful for those looking for donation page-specific research.

Salesforce.org and NextAfter’s “The Global Online Fundraising Scorecard” 

Based on an examination of 630 organizations across 9 countries NextAfter’s report addresses online fundraising today. Use this report for insight on fundraising communication topics.

Salesforce.org and NextAfter’s “The Nonprofit Recurring Giving Benchmark Study”

Always wondered how others in the industry acquire and cultivate recurring donors? This report uses the experiences of 115 organizations to explore effective tactics for accomplishing just that. Those looking for information on recurring donor cultivation and acquisition will be interested in this report.

1832 Communications’ “Employee Giving: Does charity begin in the office?”

This free ebook written by Ephraim Gopin explores why employees of nonprofits either give or don’t give to their own organization. This resource includes chapters such as, “Giving Starts at the Top,” “The Case for Oh Hell No,” and “Inviting Employees to Increase Mission Impact.” The “Key Findings” chapter will be particularly beneficial for those looking for data on employee and board giving.

Achieve’s “the Millennial Impact Report: Final Report: Understanding How Millennials Engage with Causes and Social Issues” 

For 10 years Achieve’s research team tracked how millennials interacted with the causes they cared about. This report provides suggestions for how nonprofits can effectively interact with millennials as well as data and graphs on millennials’ giving and participation habits. Turn to this resource when looking for data on millennial giving.

Concord Leadership Group’s “The Nonprofit Leadership Report: The Wake Up Call”

With data-backed insights, this report addresses many facets of nonprofit leadership including leadership styles, strategic planning, leadership development, and more. This report will be most useful to those searching for insight into the internal workings of nonprofits.

Fundraising Report Card’s “Live Benchmarks: Fundraising Metric Reports”

Get truly up-to-date info on the state of fundraising. This resource provides insight such as average donation amounts, donor retention rates based on giving amount, first-time donor retention rate, and more. Those looking for current statistics on nonprofit fundraising will find this resource helpful.

GiveGab Insider’s “Giving Day Data Report 2020” 

Looking for data on giving days in a particular sector, the power of giving days, the impact of repeated giving days, or the results of seasonal giving days? GiveGab may have just what you are looking for! Having tracked data on Giving Days since 2015, GiveGab’s report is the perfect place for those looking to discuss the impact of a Giving Day on fundraising.

Blackbaud’s “Luminate Online Benchmark Report 2022” 

This report features information on recent trends related to online fundraising and communication. This report will be useful for those looking for data divided by sector, as well as those looking for research related to nonprofit communications.

CommunityBrands’ “2021 Nonprofit Financial Health Study” 

This resource features sections such as “a deep dive into nonprofit financial health,” “growth and challenges,” “revenue, funding, and grants,” “technology needs, IT and cloud solutions,” “security and risk management,” and “good news on the horizon.” Each section includes data and helpful statistics. As a comprehensive look at nonprofit financials, this resource could be helpful for anyone looking to speak to the state of nonprofits in 2021

Dorothy A. Johnson Center’s “11 Trends in Philanthropy for 2021” 

This report aims to look at all the changing facets of philanthropy over the past year. The report’s contributors speak to the forces impacting philanthropy right now, globalization’s relationship to philanthropy, and more. If what you are looking for is not mentioned directly in this report, it may lead you to the research that does! This report will be most useful for those looking for information on the relationship between philanthropy and our society. 

Fidelity Charitable’s “The Role of Volunteering in Philanthropy”

With a section dedicated to “Volunteering and COVID-19” this resource provides helpful data on the current state of volunteering. Check out this twenty-page report when looking for recent data on volunteering and how it has shifted over the years.

Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies’ “2020 Nonprofit Employment Report”

Nonprofits currently are the 3rd largest employer in the US. This report provides data on the employment practices of nonprofits including an examination of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the nonprofit sector. Turn to this report for recent information on nonprofit employment.

Nonprofit Finance Fund’s “State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey 2018” 

Based on responses from 3000+ nonprofit leaders, this report provides information on the financial health of nonprofits. This resource will be relevant for those looking for general information on the state of nonprofits.

NonprofitHR’s “2021 Nonprofit Talent Retention Practices Survey” 

We all know that retention is a hot topic right now, but what is currently going on in the nonprofit world? In this report find data on talent retention metrics, turnover trends, and more. Take a look at this report when looking for information on retention in the nonprofit sector.

Nonprofit Tech for Good’s “82 Fundraising and Social Media Stats for Nonprofits”

Featuring data from as recently as 2018, this resource compiles information on fundraising, international giving, email fundraising, recurring giving, mobile giving, tribute gifts, matching gifts, P2P fundraising, crowdfunding, #GivingTuesday, giving’s relationship to gender and generations, and more from various sources. This resource will be helpful for those looking for data ranging across all facets of nonprofit fundraising.

NPSource’s “Volunteering Statistics and Trends for Nonprofits” 

This resource provides various percentages related to the current state of volunteering in the United States. Looking for data on volunteers? Check out this resource.

Rogare’s “United States of America: Critical Fundraising Report #3”

This 2019 report features sections written by experts such as Taylor Shanklin (Pursuant), Marc A. Pitman (Concord Leadership Group), and Barbara O’Reilly (Windmill Consulting) with topics like: “the misalignment of social fundraising data sources and donor relations,” “stagnant donor retention rates and national giving levels,” and “state of public trust and the nonprofit starvation cycle.” This resource will be best for those looking for research to back up conversations on fundraiser career development, language to use in donor conversation, the state of US nonprofits in the past few years, and nonprofit professional practice.

Research on Associations

ASAE’s “Association Global Maturity: Critical Actions for Successful International Growth”

For less than $10 access research on association global success in recent years designed for CEOs and chief global officers. Use this report when looking for information related to association growth.

Research on K-12 Education and Youth Welfare

Blackbaud’s “Using 2020 Data to Transform Your K-12 School’s Strategy” 

This report from Blackbaud uses their data from their Charitable Giving Report to examine best practices for K-12 fundraising. Turn to this report for information on the current status of K-12 fundraising. 

Blackbaud’s “The State of the K-12 Education Subsector”

This August 2020 report addresses the upheaval faced by the education system in the early months of the pandemic including discussion of “The Long View,” the current trends of the time, and a look at the future. This report will be useful for those looking for information on the pandemic’s early impact on education.

CASEL’s “Respected: Perspectives of Youth on High School & Social and Emotional Learning” 

This resource addresses topics such as “Young People’s Views on the High School Experience” and “The SEL Effect in American High School.” Check out this report when looking for the impact of education styles on learning outcomes.

EdSurge’s “Education in the Face of Unprecedented Times”

This 60-page report uses research to address topics such as, informed practices, current challenges for educators, and instructional technology. Featuring data on educator satisfaction with edtech, on which skills educators prioritize when teaching, and on what event convinces educators to change their current teaching practices this report will be most useful for those looking for current research on the state of education from the perspective of educators.

National Runaway Safeline “2020 Crisis Services & Prevention Report”

The report examines the characteristics of the individuals who contacted the National Runaway Safeline (NRS) in calendar year 2020, the channels through which these individuals connected with NRS, the problems identified that warranted crisis intervention, the services that NRS provided, and how connections with NRS differed before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The data in this report provides critical information about the needs of youth who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, and how NRS can best meet the needs of youth in crisis and those who care about them. This resource will be useful to anyone looking to better understand the issues surrounding runaway, homeless, and at-risk youth.

Research on Higher Education

CASE’s “Voluntary Support of Education Key Findings, 2019-2021” 

Using research from their Voluntary Support of Education survey CASE examines college and university giving in research years. Those looking for information on giving practices related specifically to higher education will find this resource helpful.

Research on Small Businesses

FinancesOnline’s “63 Crucial Small Business Statistics for 2021/2022: Data Analysis and Projections” 

This 2021/2022 research features sections such as, “Small Business Sector Statistics,” “Small Business & Finance Statistics,” “Small Business & Technology Statistics,” this resource will be helpful to those searching for recent data associated with small businesses. 

US Census Bureau’s “Small Business Pulse Survey”

This resource includes charts and infographics related to COVID-19’s impact on the sector including a breakdown by geography and sector, as well as over time. It is updated regularly. Check out this resource when looking for info on the current state of small businesses.

Research on Museums

UNESDOC’s “Museums Around the World: In the Face of COVID-19” 

In this comprehensive report, UNESDOC addresses topics such as “museum activities in times of crisis” and “public measures in support of museums”. Includes key findings such as how much revenue dropped for museums since 2019, the number of museums around the world, etc. Take the time to peruse this resource when looking for information on the current state of museums.

Research on Technology Usage

 

The RW Institute’s “Corporate Volunteering, Giving and Grants Technology Review: 2021 Edition”

This review is the only one of it’s kind in the industry. It offers CSR practitioners with an overview of platforms from around the world that support employee giving, volunteering, and grant programs. It provides insight into technology procurement, implementation, and adoption. This resource will be most helpful for CSR practitioners exploring platforms that pertain to employee giving, volunteering, and grants as well as managers responsible for corporate community investments.

IMPACT’s “14 Case Study-Fueled Statistics & Web Design Trends of 2019” 

Want data on what design choices make a website successful? Check out this 2019 report to learn what draws web goers in. Use this resource for when you need data directly related to effective website design.

Pew Research Center’s “Mobile Fact Sheet” 

We all know smartphone usage is a major part of daily life for the majority of Americans. But, have you ever wondered specifically the role of mobile devices in American society? Pew’s research provides insight on who owns smartphones, as well as smartphone dependency. Insight from this resource can be useful for anyone discussing the role of mobile presences. 

The Verge’s “Tech Survey 2020” 

It is hard to imagine American life without an abundant use of technology. But how do Americans actually feel about the technology, the companies behind the popular platforms, or the various social media platforms? The Verge’s research provides clear numbers on all of these topics. This resource will be most helpful for those looking at the role of technology, tech companies, or social media in American society. 

Research on Camps

American Camp Association’s “CampCounts 2020 Report” 

This annual report is comprised of research based on 486 camps that operated during the summer of 2020 and speaks particularly to the health and safety measures put in place and the success of these measures. Use this resource when looking for information on the pandemic’s impact on summer camps.

Submit a Resource for the Library

Have original research you would like to have hosted in the Research Library? Fill out this survey to submit a proposed addition to the library.