Nonprofit board members are growing increasingly interested in how nonprofit executives are using technology to increase funds, retain donors, generate engagement, and cultivate awareness.
In fact, David Edelman, a digital marketing strategist, is noticing that boards in the for-profit sector are being asked for detailed digital strategies.
Edelman identifies 5 concerns for business boards, which can be applied to the nonprofit sector as well.
Supporter information lifecycle
Relationship management is HUGE for nonprofits--small and large. Even the smallest nonprofit can have hundreds, if not thousands of donors, volunteers, and corporate sponsors and partners. The issue that evolves as these lists grow and intertwine is keeping the personal element in the relationship.
For example, an individual who makes a personal donation to your organization happens to be a board member at a business that is partnered with your nonprofit and gives donates regularly. This kind of link opens up a strategic opportunity for your nonprofit to make a more meaningful connection with this individual and his/her organization's decision makers.
Data on what we do
Perhaps the most meaningful aspect of this issue, is discovering the value your nonprofit provides potential supporters. Particularly for nonprofits, volunteers and donors are becoming increasingly interested in seeing the results of their donations. Developing a plan for analyzing and displaying this type of information is key to retaining supporters.
Content supply chain
Content marketing is another growing trend in the nonprofit space. Sharing success stories, fundraising events, mission information, and progress updates through blog posts, videos, and infographics can engage new audiences and retain supporters.
Adding your nonprofits brand to the content keeps it relevant even as it gets shared and re-shared on social media, effectively helping your nonprofit spread the mission and reach new people and even new business that are interested in social good.
Active management of the digital ecosystem
Adopting technology that is capable of integrating with current systems and software is a good way to manage the flow of digital data and information. Maintaining records of donor and business interactions, strategic next steps, planning, calendaring, and internal communication can keep all staff members on the same page. Since turnover can high at nonprofits, good records in a donor or sponsor's profile can help newcomers seamlessly pickup where the last person left off.
Maintaining a digital edge
Business processes dramatically changed from paper to pixels in the last 15 years, and new technology developments are continuing to saturate the landscape every year. There was a shift from snail mail to email; email to websites; websites to mobile websites and applications; and now we have social media in the mix as well. What is the next big consumer tech trend? Google glass? Vine? Instagram? How can nonprofits use these resources to reach their audience, and does your nonprofit have the resources to stay ahead of the curve?