This has been a turbulent year and a half for many, especially for nonprofit organizations. Yet, for all of its challenges, it has also taught nonprofits the value of digital presence, social media marketing, and incorporating new ideas into their strategic plans.
Last year in June, the Independent Sector surveyed a large amount of medium and large-sized nonprofits on the effects brought about by COVID-19 on various aspects including services, operations, staff retention, and revenue, and they reported stark changes: “Notably, 83% of organizations reported a decline in revenues, including a decline in earned revenue from events or other activities, and a reduction in individual giving and grants received. These events have hit both the organizations’ ability to fulfill their missions (71% reported a reduction in services or available operations), and their ability to retain employees (organizations reported a 47% decline in employment in April and a majority either laying off or furloughing employees between February and May of 2020).”
With all of these transformations in mind, many nonprofit organizations turned to the internet when they couldn’t host their traditional fundraising events. Now, even as in-person gatherings have been returning throughout 2021, the lessons learned last year continue to be relevant, and that’s where these three marketing trends come in handy when making plans for this year and beyond.
1. REFRESH YOUR WEBSITE
It is now more crucial than ever to have a very polished and accessible website for all of your viewers. Right off the bat, you want to make sure that they know who you are and what you care about. Accessibility is essential when picking the flow and aesthetics of your website, so remember to check on the latest accessibility standards and make sure that everyone feels welcome. Remember, your goal is to hook your viewer and make them aware of your mission. Make sure you embed other social media platforms on your website to direct visitors to all of your digital content and encourage them to engage with you.
2. AUDIT YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Social media and one’s presence on it leads to an array of different opportunities. Nonprofit organizations need to expand their reach through social media by involving themselves in current trends on social media platforms where they can nurture a whole new realm of potential viewers. Organizations not only need to have a social media presence but also a strong understanding of what they want their message to be. Take the time to audit your existing social media content and see what platforms you are on and which work best for you. It may be time to make an update!
3. OFFER VIRTUAL TOURS
Holding virtual tours has become prominent during the COVID-19 era and has benefited both parties. Essentially, you create a tour of your organization, where the viewer can watch and learn more about your mission and purpose. An interactive tour helps viewers to feel more connected instead of just reading your website and moving on. Instead, they are able to play around with the embedded software and feel as though they are on the grounds of the organization in the comfort of their own space. Even if you don’t have time to play around with virtual tour software, remember that video is an excellent medium for this as well. Consider hosting a primary virtual tour on your website and posting shorter, topic-specific videos on your YouTube page.
These digital trends aren’t going away anytime soon, so make sure to audit your nonprofit’s digital presence to ensure that you’re making the most of your website, your social media channels, and your ability to connect with potential donors and volunteers, even from afar.