Design Agency Releases Top Tips for Charity and Non-Profit Digital Marketing

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The award-winning sustainable design agency Zero Above, which has worked with a range of UK charities and not-for-profits including The Church of England, MIND and Cancer Research UK, has published new digital marketing advice aimed at the third sector.

Zero Above
We do a lot of work with charities across the UK, and have come up with some tips as a guide that we hope will help.

Speaking about the release, Alex Ward, Head of Digital at Zero Above said: “Charity and non-profit websites have a unique position in the digital world; they hold that powerful place where they are led by ethics and belief with the aims to spread their message and gain funding. What’s great about this position is the ‘easier sell’; on-boarding audiences into a buying process is typically easier due to the emotional investment that plays an early part in the decision making when compared to commercial brands.”

However, Alex says it’s not always that straightforward as most charities and not-for-profits have limited resources and a huge responsibility to get the right message across in sometimes emotive circumstances. “Embarking on a new digital project for a charity or non-profit brand, or indeed evolving one already in place, can often feel like a daunting task, especially when dealing with sensitive or emotionally-provoking issues. We do a lot of work with charities across the UK, and have come up with some tips as a guide that we hope will help.”

1.    Know your audience
The likelihood is that the groundwork for understanding your demographics and your audience is already done, but it’s important to remember how these people carry-over to the digital space. They’ll act differently interacting with you on your website than they will in the street and it’s important you make allowances for this. It may seem obvious, but the very crucial first stage of understanding users is often overlooked and websites and campaigns become designed for those signing-off the work rather than those seeing it.

2.    Shape experiences from the user-up
Knowing your user goes beyond the understanding of demographics and typical buying decisions, it’s about tracking and analysing what users are doing, what their journeys are, what they need and what they engage with. From this you can truly understand how to meet users’ needs and introduce features that will inspire and connect with your mission.

3.    Be careful with your messaging
It goes without saying that all messaging should be carefully considered, but even more so when dealing with sensitive, often emotional subjects. Be careful to create relevant, positive and concise messaging throughout your digital presence - from your website through to your social media and your digital marketing. Confuse and bombard the user at your peril.

4.    Value data
As a non-profit or charity, you’ll know how important it is to build and maintain relationships, that all important-data you capture offline to get the right messages to the right people is incredibly important. When creating a digital presence, remember that the capturing and segmenting of this data is just as important - combine it with user journeys and you’ll soon have some highly-targeted data to use for multi-channel marketing.

5.    Do exciting, amazing things
You’re in a unique position to create incredible things which drive engagement and pave the way for innovation methods of interaction. Take this opportunity by the horns and try new solutions.

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About Zero Above:
Zero Above is a multi-award-winning, Essex-based sustainable design agency which has been carbon-balanced from its creation two and a half years ago. Set up by its working partners, each sharing a vision for sustainable business, the agency offers comprehensive services for brand and marketing strategy, digital marketing, design and print, web design and development, exhibition and signage, and of course mobile App development.

Zero Above approaches every project as a unique piece of work for its clients, and with the skills, commitment and experience in the team, they are able to offer a multi-disciplinary service designed to deliver great results every time.

"We call it Develop-Design-Deliver - and we can deliver the whole process from start to finish, or any stage in isolation depending on your needs."

Visit or tweet @zeroabove for further information.

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Simon Isaac
Zero Above
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