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This time last year, Forbes declared that 2017 would be defined by technology across industries. This proved to be a very accurate projection, and the nonprofit sector was no exception. In twelve months, nonprofits have positioned technology to be central to their operations, and as we go through 2018, this is set to continue. Here are the landmark trends that dominated this year.
Modern life is fast-paced, and nonprofits have had to tap into this pace in order to keep up. Sponsorship forms and the like are out: people are busy, and don’t always want to have to stop and take effort to donate, they want to be able to just do it. Hence, the emergence of donation apps and peer to peer platforms. Enabling donors to make quick decisions about giving, and carrying it out, is essential for maximum engagement and donor retention, so any organizations that don’t already have a mobile donation platform should consider it. A mobile-optimized option is also essential, as people are doing more on the go than ever, and aren’t willing to waste time messing around with non-optimized websites. The more options you give to donors, the more donations you will bring in.
Humanizing the Approach
Donors have always reacted more generously to individual cases. Research has previously found that people react more to a photo, or story of a single child or person in need, as opposed for a group shot of a school class and the like. They feel a stronger affinity to an individual’s story, and this year, nonprofits have been pulling out all the stops to make their appeals strike a cord with donors on a more personal level. From regular updates about the progress of the individual in need, to using social media and memes to connect on a more personal level, it has been all about making the campaign approachable and personable.
Although statistics have told us before that the older generations tend to be the most charitable in general, this year, they outdid themselves and came out on top as the most generous. This is great news, and gives nonprofits good reason to tailor their approach to this benevolent demographic, but it also draws attention to the fact that the younger generations need more encouragement. The way that so much nonprofit promotion and awareness takes place on social media gives organizations the tools they need to maximize their reach and to make their causes appeal to a wider spectrum of donors. Understanding exactly who your customers are and what their patterns of giving are can be revealed through engaging in prospect research, which will help you to create the most effective and profitable fundraising activities in the year ahead.
A comprehensive social media presence is more important than ever, as these platforms continue to prove vital to the accessibility and audience of a brand or nonprofit. And it’s about more than Twitter and Facebook now: prominent presence on Instagram and Snapchat is necessary to achieve maximum reach, and posts of a high quality should be posted frequently. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that bombarding people is your job done though: it is all about the quality and not the quantity, so plan social media activity carefully, and keep it topical to maximize its appeal. Mix it up and exploit every platform available: weekly YouTube videos, regular Instagram updates and the circulation of memes are great ways that you can make the most of social media. Keep up with any online trends and make sure your posts are engaging and varied.
Keep It Simple
This is the trend that keeps on trending. The success of simple, bite-size approaches has been proven, and more organizations than ever are moving towards succinct campaigns. Visuals should be easy on the eye and easy to interpret, while information should be communicated in small, easily digestible chunks. Campaigns that allow their audience room to breathe and take in their appeal have been infinitely more successful than those that try to do too much at once and overwhelm their target market. Strip it all down to the bare bones, but don’t allow it to lose its essence or draw.
As prominent as these trends have proven to be, they are not slowing down, and in fact seem to have set the bar for future nonprofit activity. These characteristics of the industry are defining its latest incarnation, and should be adhered in order for organisations to achieve maximum reach, retention and donation.
Visit us online to see how Nexis® for Development Professionals can help you find the right donor prospects and maximize your contributions.