Digital Rhetoric for Nonprofits

Nonprofit organizations are often a great source of digital rhetoric examples.

This video by The Girl Effect is one of the best examples of nonprofit digital rhetoric that I’ve found:

The video works because it takes the viewer on a journey, which seems to escalate in accordance with the music. It includes words rather than narration so that viewers are engaged and feel obligated to participate in reading the video.

A video such as this needs to be compelling in order to be successful — the exigence is quite clear; the organization is looking for people to support their movement, to donate if possible or even just to spread the word. Successful digital rhetoric for a nonprofit must be engaging, it must speak to the mission of the org itself, and it should probably be something that other people will want to share on social media platforms, so that as wide an audience as possible can be reached.

The way nonprofits communicate and market themselves has drastically shifted since the rise of social media; organizations today are inclined to create an online presence, and, in effect, to go where they can reach volunteers, donors, and members most effectively.

Digital rhetoric has huge implications for nonprofits. The Girl Effect has taken advantage of the opportunity and created an engaging video that has reached almost 2 million views, which translates to 2 million potential volunteers, donors, or advocates.

Digital rhetoric is no joke.


Brie Winnega

Hey, I'm Brie. I'm an English major who's addicted to reading, writing, and ponytails.

2 thoughts to “Digital Rhetoric for Nonprofits”

  1. Brie,

    I think this is a great example of digital rhetoric (partly because it gave me an idea for my example). Marketing for non-profits is definitely most effect via digital rhetoric. I was finding it difficult to put into words why that is, but you do it really well. In order to get people to donate, non-profit “advertising” has to be compelling and engaging. That’s why something like this video or the Ice Bucket Challenge works so well. It draws people in and makes them want to talk to others about the awesome thing they have just seen. It also makes those people think the cause is a worthy one, hopefully compelling them to donate. Great idea!

  2. Great post! Like Christina’s example, this shows perfectly how the digital world can have positive impacts on the world. The video does a great job of pulling the viewer in, especially in such a short period of time. It also is very engaging – this video presentation does a much better job of conveying their message than something like a simple news article would. I think this goes to show that in certain situations digital rhetoric certainly has an advantage over just plain old text.

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