SEO Basics for Nonprofit Fundraising Campaigns

How do you create fundraising projects that excite audiences and that are easy to find in organic search? It’s all about striking a balance between vibrant, active, intriguing messaging and the strategic use of keywords. The latter fall under SEO basics for nonprofit fundraising, and are essential to success in today’s noisy digital world.

In previous posts, we’ve talked about how to name your fundraising campaign and how to determine your “why,” to help you develop effective messaging that emotionally connects audiences with your fundraising projects. So today let’s turn our attention to the other side of the coin: search engine optimization, or SEO.


What You Need to Know

Good SEO starts with thoughtful keyword research, or finding the words or phrases that people are most likely to use when they use a search engine to look for something—like places to buy unique gifts, named giving opportunities, or charities that align with their personal values, from humanitarian or animal rights to family well-being and arts and culture. Those keywords are what search engines, such as Google and Bing, use to rank each page of a website. The higher the ranking, the easier it is for someone to find your page.


Pages that show up with the designation “Ad” next to them are referred to as paid search—meaning the organization had to pay a fee in order for their page to be preferentially displayed in this section. Those that show up underneath the paid ad section are considered organic search. Where your page appears in organic search ranking is dependent on several factors, with the most important being effective use of keywords.


How to Conduct Keyword Research

If you’re new to keyword research, don’t sweat it. You don’t need special tech skills or fancy, expensive software to develop strong SEO basics for nonprofit fundraising. All you need is something you already have: in-depth knowledge of your industry, and a solid understanding of who your audience is. It’s that easy!


This post will walk you through the basics of how to perform your own keyword research, using Google AdWords Keyword Planner, though you can also use a number of other free online keyword-planning tools, like


Your Formula for SEO Basics for Nonprofit Fundraising

Once you have your target keyword for your blog post or fundraising project, here’s your basic guide to using it effectively to help your page or project rank higher in organic search. Use the keyword:

  • Once in your project or blog post title
  • Once in a subheading within your post
  • Once in your image title or file name
  • 3-5 times in your body copy—less for shorter copy and more for longer; be sure to include the keyword once in your opening paragraph, and again in your closing paragraph, if possible
  • Once in your page’s meta descriptionor your image’s metadata


We know that when you have a small staff and a limited time to focus on digital marketing, optimizing web pages can be a challenge. It’s also not an option on some online fundraising platforms, so at Pungl, we’ve made the process super simple. When you upload your images or click on an already-used image, you’ll see a pop-up, like the one below.


On the right-hand side, enter a Title and Alt Text that both contain your keyword (they can be the same, or you can vary them, if you prefer.


Once you’ve mastered these SEO basics for nonprofit fundraising, you’ll find it easy to prepare any project or campaign for “prime time.” Remember to focus on what your audience is looking for and what your project provides, then spend 30 minutes or so on keyword research. When you have your target keyword, use the guide above as a checklist to ensure that you’ve hit on each of these SEO sweet spots. Your audience will be happy to find your organization, and you’ll discover that raising money for much-needed projects will become that much easier.