It hasn’t taken long for nonprofit marketers to find creative ways to carry out their missions in the new normal.
Fundraising efforts that were traditionally live events have gone digital – and some of them have raised more money than ever before! Food banks and farmers markets have increased access with innovative digital services and delivery channels that emphasize sanitation and social distancing. Museums and other brick-and-mortar attractions have developed creative ways to engage their audiences with online access to videos, music, entertainment and other valuable content.
Red Orange Studio hosted a virtual Coffee & Conversations event on nonprofit marketing to help identify some of the challenges and solutions in the industry. With more 60 people registered, it was our largest virtual discussion to date, and understandably so! It is clear that nonprofit marketers are persevering, and they are doing so by learning from one another.
We surveyed our attendees to learn about their most pressing issues and here’s what we discovered. Nonprofits are concerned about:
- Turning in-person fundraisers into profitable online events
- Creating engaging and consistent social media content
- Understanding and avoiding screen fatigue and information overload
- Reaching those who don’t have access to technology
- Shifting from print to digital to tell stories and convey impact
- Reaching new audiences with compelling messages
- Doing more with less
During our conversation, we addressed these issues and had an opportunity to learn from one another. With help from our PIP partners, Journey Seven, Good Run Research & Recreation and Feedback, we were able to dig even deeper and hear from their perspective how we could all help nonprofits work towards solutions during this time and beyond. Take a look!
As some of the best storytellers in the industry, nonprofit organizations like Girls On the Run Hampton Roads and Virginia Community Capital shared stories of hope and inspiration along with some tactical tidbits. Here’s a few of tips we found most helpful:
- Everyone is experiencing screen fatigue. Consider going the “old fashion” route and using US Mail to reach your constituents. After all, who doesn’t love getting mail?!
- Celebrate other people’s successes in your content marketing. Making others the hero of your story puts the emphasis on the community, heightens awareness for your partners and ultimately helps builds stronger relationships.
- Be consistent. In this time of change and uncertainty, people are craving regularity. Provide that regularity through consistent messaging.
- Leverage your board. From social media to word-of-mouth, there is ample opportunity to cast your message to a broader audience by calling on your board members to advocate for your cause. After all, your board should be your biggest ambassadors.
- Vulnerability and sensitivity are key tones to maintain in your messaging. Be real and be relevant to avoid coming across as tone-deaf.
- Research and listen. Anyone can be a researcher and now is the time to really gather insights and understand your stakeholders’ needs. Free survey tools and interviews are a great way to start gathering information.
- Remain flexible. Be willing to shift your timing and messaging as the world around us changes. Stay focused on your mission but be ready to pivot on your tactics.
We appreciate the participation of all our nonprofit friends and their vulnerability, generosity and creativity. It is through our collaboration that we can all continue to fulfill our missions and make an impact on the communities we serve.
Looking for more helpful tips for nonprofit marketing?
We’ve created The Essential Marketing Resource Guide for Busy Nonprofit Professionals: a curated list of free and affordable resources compiled just for our nonprofit friends. You’ll find the perfect tools for:
- Social media & analytics
- Email marketing
- Website analytics
- Video Conferencing
…And as always, if there is anything that Red Orange Studio can do to help, please don’t hesitate to reach out.