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ASU Lodestar Center Blog

Nonprofit Marketing and Fundraising Trends to Look Out for in 2018

For nonprofit organizations, it is imperative to pay close attention to fundraising opportunities. As the economy continues to change, your donors need as much information and contact with your organization as possible if you want to attract qualified volunteers and increase donations throughout the year. 

That is why we have gathered some of the nonprofit marketing & fundraising trends  that you should look out for in 2018. You can use these trends to help your organization grow and hit your goals this year. Many of these topics will strengthen your nonprofit beyond just marketing. 

1. Website Encryption Becomes Serious Business

We rely on technology so much, and because of that, internet security has become one of the most critical factors for nonprofits. Similar to the threats faced by businesses, nonprofits need to protect the personal information of their donors and volunteers. Your organization needs to deliver a secure and trusted experience to your community as they interact with your online presence. 

There has been a rise in the number of hacked websites since 2016, and there are no signs that it's going to stop anytime soon. This lead to hackers taking full advantage of website vulnerability, to the point that even government agencies suffered from this.

Because nonprofit organizations manage and store a lot of relevant information from their business partners and donors, it's essential to ensure that the information being shared with them remains safe.

Website encryption has become one of the prime trends for 2018. It's crucial to transfer your website (if you haven't yet), from HTTP to HTTPS, which encrypts your site together with all the interactions that took place on it. 

2. Mobile Becomes the Focus

Nowadays, most people prefer communicating through social media platforms, especially the younger generations. No matter what your mission is or whom you are trying to reach, developing an online marketing strategy around mobile devices is vital to your organization’s success. 

That means more and more nonprofit organizations will take advantage of online giving where donations can be made using mobile devices and tablets. Everything from how your website is developed, to how you layout content and text on your site matters when you consider how your audience will experience the content on mobile devices. 

Focusing on the mobile experience will also help your nonprofit boost your SEO marketing efforts. Google puts a lot of weight on Page Speed, User Experience, and other elements that contribute to how well your organization is seen online. Focus on your mobile content this year, and your nonprofit will see a significant increase in volunteers and donations. 

Donors can utilize digital wallets and send their donations through different platforms, such as Google Pay and Apple Pay, making the process fast and simple. Changes in payments, as well as blockchain technology, will be more critical in a sense that they offer not only security but convenience and flexibility as well. 

This will encourage nonprofit organizations to utilize mobile apps so that more people would be interested in giving to the less fortunate. Crowdfunding campaigns should be run on a platform that's optimized for mobile devices, and through this, the number of donors could potentially increase.

3. Facebook Live and YouTube

Based on the predictions made by CISCO, in 2019, we can expect that video content will bring around 85% of US Internet traffic. This only indicates that nonprofit organizations will be able to create a stronger connection with their donors by being a little more “personal.” 

As it’s easy to digest, and can easily, share videos work great for this purpose through social media platforms. You will be able to highlight your organization and stand out from your competitors. Hosting a Facebook or YouTube Live will help you reach more donors while showcasing your unique personality at the same time.

Your nonprofit can create engaging content on YouTube and optimize your videos to increase your reach. In addition, you can also upload the same video to Facebook for improved range. 

A pro tip is to upload videos to Facebook as native content, and not merely to share the link. This is because Facebook will show your video thumbnail with a wrong ratio and you will have limited engagement since Facebook algorithms like native videos best. 

4. No Need to Plan Events Solo

Nonprofit organizations are slowly taking advantage of tools, such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads to promote their events to their target audience. Aside from that, they also utilize analytics platforms to determine the return on these events. 

Organizations are also getting more creative with how they plan and host their social events. As these events garner success, it allows the organization to widen their reach and encourage more volunteers or regional employee to take part in this. Through the help of networks, an organization gains the ability to operate in more places that they never thought was possible.

There is a remarkable benefit from the operations side of things too. Back in the days, it can be a challenge to run multiple events a year, but things have changed-- a full roster of volunteers has opened the doors to hosting more events.

To ensure the ongoing success and value of your events, you should be sure to capture exciting moments on video. This can be uploaded to YouTube or Facebook (see the previous point) to increase awareness, and you can use the video content for promotional campaigns next year. 

5. Integrated Data

“Big Data and the “Cloud” don't sound that unfamiliar to nonprofit organizations anymore. They're very much aware that these technological innovations have to offer. 

Just think about the way that Google utilizes all of its application and programs together, or a loyalty card app that has almost everything you need.

Although big data has been a trend for the past few years, we can expect that it would slowly enter the scene of nonprofit marketing and fundraising trends as well. That means you'll have the ability to be able to integrate all your data in a single place, such as emails, donor records, demographics, donation partner, and the like. 

These are just some of the few trends that we can expect for nonprofit marketing and fundraising. There's more to come, and these trends should have a positive benefit for those who are involved.

Chris is a Digital Media Strategy Consultant in Orlando, FL. He helps nonprofits grow their online presence as a freelance copywriter and SEO marketer. 


ASU Lodestar Center Blog