According to The 2016 Digital Outlook Report, a collaborative research project from the Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network (NTEN), Care2, hjc, and The Resource Alliance, “three out of five nonprofits surveyed have at least one staff member dedicated to online or digital strategy while more than half have a team of at least two to five people. The trend, however, is more common in larger organizations with smaller nonprofits lagging behind.”
This same report identified five common challenges when planning a digital strategy:
- Staff shortage
- Budget restraints
- New, engaging content
- Lack of training on new digital strategies and tactics
- Providing Return On Investment (ROI) internally
Marketing is a crucial part of the nonprofit world. It promotes an organization’s message, increases brand awareness, and helps pull together supporters around a cause.
Content marketing, unlike traditional marketing tactics is a cost-effective form of marketing that uses valuable content to attract supporters to your organization. The more relevant information you put out, the more comfortable and trustworthy you become to your customers. You can use content marketing to engage target audiences, boost web traffic, and build solid relationships with your supporters. All this, in turn, can help your organization increase its reach and boost fundraising efforts.
Here are three areas to concentrate on while forming your nonprofit content strategy.
- Website – Email acquisition from your website is an easy way to growing your numbers of prospective donors and leads. There should be a distinct area on your homepage that captures emails. You want to maintain a conversation with anyone who lands on your site, so encourage visitors to subscribe to your email updates, newsletters, or blog.
- Blog – Keep your blog content updated with fresh information. An old blog with outdated info can turn supporters off. They might think you are organized and competent, therefore diminishing trust for support and fundraising efforts. New and updated content can help search engines find you and relevant blog updates will help you attract and hold supporters to your site. Add calls to action to donate or fundraise somewhere on your blog posts. And include social share buttons to extend your reach.
- Email – To gain support and retain donors, you must build a lasting trusting relationship. And ongoing, effective communication is a good way to build this type of relationship. But, when you email your supporters, you have to remember that not everyone interacts with your organization in the same way. So, it’s best to customize messages based on the intended recipient. For example, you might want to direct an email to volunteers as opposed to another separate email for past donors etc. This helps your audience feel like you know who they are and your supporters feel appreciated.
No Kid Hungry is a great example of an organization that is compelling and provides many content streams for their supporters. Note the donate button at the top of the homepage, plus the personal stories to help compel the user and support their cause. There are many actionable items right on the homepage of their site that give an understanding of who they are and collect information on their supporters so that they can use that information to funnel relevant content to them in the future.
The Nature Conservancy also does a great job of pulling in advocates for their cause. When you first go to their site, straight away, there is a landing page with the option to donate right before you enter their homepage. Once on the homepage, there is a clear mission and multiple places above the fold to interact with their organization, whether signing up for an email or donating. Also, there is a funnel to key interest pages that explain their priorities as an organization.