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What do you think of when you hear the term nonprofit? Altruism? Saving the world? Or do you actually think of money?
You wouldn’t be wrong.
No matter how well-intentioned or efficient these organizations may be, they all ultimately still need donations to survive. In return though, they need to communicate their own value — especially online. Our latest episode of the Feedback deep dives into the digital pain points and potential web solutions for nonprofits.
Nonprofits in Need of an Update
WDG sat down (we actually stood up) with Monica Flores, the director of digital products at Green America, to define the current state of nonprofits and how to stand out in the digital-scape. In this in-depth conversation, Monica stresses the need for her sector to fully embrace web development as a necessity.
With a revitalized internet presence, nonprofits can better share their mission, more effectively engage their members, and create closely connected communities. Many nonprofits are still woefully analog, such as relying only on mailed donations. There are others attempting a digital impact but that still have glaring gaffes on their website, e.g., not having a donation CTA on their homepage. For Monica, an impactful web presence should match a nonprofit’s proficiencies with what the world needs.
Managing Content and Expectations
Success often starts with the basics. Foundationally, nonprofits need a collaborative content management system with multiple blog permissions and the capacity for program managers, editors, and executives to log in and post the most resonant content. This kind of CMS will provide a much more expansive reach to connect with audiences and promote items such as blogs, press releases, and campaigns. It’s also pertinent to have fluid lines of communication with all the stakeholders, lay out what their needs are, and converge those into one main platform.
We cover all sorts of touchpoints for nonprofits, particularly the challenges of organizational focus and project scope. For instance, it is always better for a nonprofit to pick two minor and two major campaigns per year to maximize results. Consequently, full attention must be paid to who is engaging and how they are engaging, along with what kind of content the user wants. Then cue the analytics to determine data such as audience demographics and reports on email newsletter sign-ups, all of which inform your branding/messaging efforts on Social. Then design a dashboard of five key data points that will determine metrics of success.
Make it Human
Beyond analytics and CMS, a nonprofit’s site and its featured content should always tell an impacting narrative that humanizes its mission. Monica also details how vital it is for nonprofits to commit to diverse, inclusive hiring practices to ensure progressive, far-reaching messaging. These organizations have an opportunity to be veritable thinktanks, showcasing better vetting and better ideas. The incubating of new, actionable insights begins with having a team of varied perspectives and backgrounds that can coalesce into a shared vision.
“The personal touch makes a difference. People donate/give to other people. They don’t necessarily give to a picture of a sea turtle.”
The Citizen Sector
Referencing branding, Monica makes mention that some nonprofits now classify themselves as being in The Citizen Sector. This brings home the fact that many nonprofits are facing an existential identity crisis and are struggling with how they want audiences to perceive them. But Monica insists that with a sound digital strategy and execution, nonprofits can continue to thrive.
The essential purpose of any nonprofit is to show the user how the world could be, inviting them to be part of an idealistic mission still grounded in grassroots pragmatism. Just like with any organization, they can’t fear change, or merely embrace it — they must be the change.
We discuss all of this and more in the latest episode of The Feedback. Check it out now and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. WDG Presents: The Feedback is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, RadioPublic, Pocketcasts, Podcast Addict, and more!
If you want to hear us talk even more, sample out new mini-pod Strategy Bytes, our compact series of digital tips and tricks.