Knowing how your communications plan compares to other nonprofits is a great way to help you plan for the future as well as measure the success of your efforts. There are many trends that we have seen in the past year with our clients and we thought we’d share our observations.
A strong, donation-based website is at the core of a nonprofit’s communication’s strategy. Many organizations are redesigning websites to be visitor friendly and optimized for easy donations and constituent engagement. This includes strong donation paths, easy ways to get connected and highly desirable information placed front-and-center for site visitors. Our experiences are echoed in the NonprofitMarektingGuide.com’s 2012 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report where 68% of nearly 1300 nonprofits surveyed reported that a website was a ‘Very Important’ communications tool.
This past year was also the time when many nonprofits really stepped up their emailing efforts. We saw many increase their communications schedule with not only appeals, but alerts, newsletters and updates to keep their donors and members informed. According to the same report respondents who deemed email as very important plan to email at least monthly which is an increase of 81% over 2011’s survey. We found nonprofits relying on email to get communications out quickly and loving the ability to tailor messages not only to specific audiences, but specific donors.
Social media is being embraced, somewhat timidly by many, as a tool to connect with supporters. Many organizations are using social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter to keep supporters informed and to grow their lists. We’ve seen social media campaigns raise funds, raise friends, poll supporters and demonstrate progress. We expect more and more nonprofits to use social media, in conjunction with their websites and email communications even more in 2012.
Much of the work we helped our our clients with in 2011 is echoed in the 2012 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report. You can download a copy to see how your organization compares and use it to shape your plans for 2012.