Content is King
Both content and links are ranking factors for search engines such as Google. However, content has always and will continue to be king in terms of ranking.
There are countless content strategies. There are many good strategies and bad strategies. The best and only lasting strategy is to create high value relevant content for your audience. Without this, you will have no chance at lasting ranking. You cannot cheat the search engines. You have to come to the realization that Google is smarter than the rest of us and it will discover tactics meant only to gain traffic with no value to the visitor.
Moreover, time on site and bounce rate are important ranking factors. In other words, if visitors take a quick look at your site, do not find what they were led to believe would be there and then exit immediately, the search engines measure this and your rank and traffic will quickly dissipate.
Linking Comes Second
Links from high authority sites has a lot of value assuming the links are relevant. In other words, links from home appliance site is not going to do much for your social justice site. Links from sites related to the many issues encompassed by “social justice” are relevant and will have a positive effect.
Obtaining these organic links typically means your site has something worthy of linking to from these other sites and this again is reliant on high value relevant content on your own site. There are a number of ways to legitimately achieve these links but they presume relevant content on your site to which the link is directed.
This article from Practical Ecommerce is good discussion of internal and external linking in a ecommerce environment. There are number good suggestions that would apply to social justice oriented non-profits as well. It is worth a quick read.
Creating compelling, customer-centric content isn’t enough to win rankings and shoppers. SEO: Content Is King but Links Are Gold