12 Trends to Watch:
- Social Analytics – Savvy nonprofits will put their social media data to work. Already, companies like SocialMention, HootSuite, and others are looking to give nonprofits a full picture of their social media presence, along with a sense of how friends and followers are responding.
- Twitter Promoted Products – Twitter rolled out “pay as you go” advertising this year to the masses, and now many nonprofits are joining top brands as “promoted” accounts and tweets. The social targeting options are enticing, and many nonprofits are seeing the insight into their followers as an added perk.
- Mobile Giving – More than Text to Give, mobile giving will continue to increase as the number of smartphone users increases. Smart nonprofits will use mobile giving to coincide with large events or virtual actions. This leverages social pressure of a crowd to drive people to pull out their phones to give.
- Image Blogs for a Cause – Tumblr and Pinterest both saw huge growth in 2011, and these image driven platforms seem perfectly poised to offer quick and easy way for nonprofits to share images. With a viral element, one compelling image can have a significant reach across the web.
- Simple Donation Processing – As more people are reading email on mobile devices, a simple, mobile-friendly donation form is becoming important to any nonprofit’s email marketing campaign. Online constituents expect their web transactions to be easy!
- Personalization – “One size fits all” approaches to nonprofit communication efforts are becoming a thing of the past with the rise of social analytics. Personalized newsletters and emails show supporters their value and grab their attention, making your nonprofit’s messages less likely to go in the junk bin (real or digital).
- Transparency – There is no guarantee that this year will be a better fundraising year, so nonprofits must continue stepping up their game to attract new donors. Increased openness and transparency provides more insight to supporters and builds trust–a very important factor when pulling out a credit card.
- Multichannel and Integrated Marketing – Multichannel marketing is nothing new in the nonprofit world, but it will continue to rise as the percentage of online donations increases and as more older donors adapt to new technology. Online giving may be the fastest growing sector, but traditional direct mail approaches are still effective. Integrating the two still proves to be one of the best strategies.
- Crowdsourcing – The popularity of crowdsourcing platforms like Crowdrise and Kickstarter will continue to grow, allowing individuals and small charities to set up personalized, social media friendly pages for a particular cause.
- More Control in the Hands of Supporters – With the growing number of ways to communicate to followers comes a growing backlash against a digital overload. Allowing supporters to filter the ways they are communicated with (email frequency, paper-free, content filters, etc.) lets organizations reach supporters without annoying them.
- Diversification of Income and Business Models – It’s still hard out there financially for nonprofits, and many of them need to be more sustainable and find streams of income other than fundraising in order to stay afloat. This will require a more business-oriented mindset, strategic planning, and a possible restructuring of operations. Keep an eye out for the possible rise of social investment.
- Changes in the Social Media Landscape – This is an obvious one, but also a very important factor to consider. All of the major social networks will continue evolving and new digital platforms will continue to emerge. It’s up to you to navigate the ever-changing social media landscape and decide what will work best for your organization’s fundraising efforts.