It’s no secret that nonprofit marketers are expected to have a wide range of skills. In today’s digital world, that includes learning and developing digital skills. But with technology evolving so quickly, it can sometimes be hard to keep up.

As a nonprofit marketing specialist, I’m already feeling behind. It’s only been five years since I graduated from college, but the skills I’m expected to know have changed.

So how can nonprofit marketers keep up with digital demands, and how do we determine which skills we need to be successful?

Skills for Success

There are many resources available that describe what it takes to be a nonprofit marketer. From writing skills, to creativity, to knowledge of social media, certain traits can contribute to an individual’s success.

Skills that are lauded in the for-profit world are also important. In a blog post published on MarketingProfs, author Avi Levine lists skills that are necessary to land a high-paying digital marketing job, such as:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Email marketing
  • Social media
  • Analytics

The same skills are often necessary for nonprofit marketers.

The list doesn’t stop there. With an all-too-common shortage of staff, money, or resources and an emphasis on content marketing, nonprofit marketers can also be expected to know:

  • Photography
  • HTML/CSS
  • WordPress and other content management systems
  • Graphic design
  • Video production and editing

Barriers to Success

In a world where digital skills are necessary for a successful career, are youkeeping up?

In the 2015 Digital Outlook Report highlighted in this post by communityorganizer2.0, 40 percent of respondents said that a lack of training on new digital strategies and tactics was one of their biggest challenges.

In a similar report by Kivi Leroux Miller and Nonprofit Marketing Guide, respondents were asked what scares them about nonprofit communications in 2015. Two respondents shared their concerns about training and learning new skills, including a lack of a budget for training and too much to learn with limited resources.

Where to look for digital marketing tools and resources

Whether you have a large training budget or need to do-it-yourself, there are plenty of resources available for learning new digital skills.

A simple online search can help you find companies like Moz who specialize in specific digital skills. Many offer a suite of videos or blog posts to help you learn.

Other companies like Lynda and Digital Tutors charge for their learning materials. But that can be a small price to pay for developing important digital skills.

Don’t forget to reach out to your peers, either. I often use LinkedIn groups and Twitter to ask for suggestions of free training.

Other great resources for digital skills training include:

  • Books
  • Blogs
  • Community college courses
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Conferences or seminars
  • Online courses

Let’s talk about ways to maintain our digital skills

Which digital skills do you need to be successful? How do you plan to learn and develop them?  Join the conversation! Share your input during the next #NPMC Twitter chat Thursday, July 30 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Follow the #NPMC hashtag on Twitter.

Kelly Rembold

Kelly Rembold

Marketing Specialist at Lark Enterprises, Inc.
Kelly Rembold is a nonprofit marketing and communications professional with a passion for storytelling. She is the sales and communication director at Kon-O-Kwee Spencer YMCA, a year-round YMCA camp in Fombell, PA, that offers summer programs, group retreats, and environmental education. Kelly has a background in journalism, and has previously worked as a reporter and editorial assistant for newspapers in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Kelly Rembold