There’s no question that the last couple of years have been hard on nonprofits. Like most for-profit organizations, many nonprofits have had to do more with less and have to work smarter (and harder!). Is it realistic to expect an increase in donations in the coming year when there are fewer resources with which to work?
The good news is that some of the resources (tools) nonprofits have at their disposal can bring in increased responses—without necessarily increasing costs. That’s just one of the benefits of today’s social media tools. Your costs remain consistently low whether you’re reaching five people or 5,000.
Another advantage with today’s online tools is that you have the ability to customize your content to subsets of your overall audience—easily and inexpensively. Today’s world moves at an extremely fast pace. But that’s another benefit to using online tools (such as your website, your blog, Twitter, or Facebook). You have the ability to respond quickly to events and needs.
Believe it or not, nonprofits often have a certain advantage when they communicate to their constituents. You see, as much as people will tell you that they’re rational and respond to facts; the truth is that the key to someone’s wallet is usually in his heart rather than in his head. One of the best ways to get through to people is by telling true stories. Most nonprofits have a lot of great stories to tell. We’re not talking about trying to manipulate people. It’s just that stories are extremely powerful; so whatever your marketing efforts include this year, make sure that you always tell a story.
There’s one more ray of hope for nonprofits. We’ve talked a lot about social media and online tools. Many for-profit businesses have backed away from conventional marketing tools such as direct mail. But for whatever reason, direct mail for nonprofits remains an effective tool. And with less competition in the mailbox, that can give you an additional edge.
Is it possible to increase donations this year? Yes, if you use the online and offline tools at your disposal wisely!