It’s been an interesting year for nonprofit marketing strategy. Predictions that the entire nonprofit industry would seemingly collapse under the weight of COVID didn’t come to fruition. Instead, in 2021 we saw our clients focus, adapt, and do what they had to do to serve their constituencies. Whether it was moving to virtual events and fundraising, investing more in digital tools or doubling down on email outreach, the sector showed a resiliency we can all be proud of. So what’s in store for 2022? Well, based on what we’re seeing (and feeling), here are our top five 2022 nonprofit marketing strategy trends.
Despite threats of mass boycotts and a series of controversies, Facebook is still the most widely used social media platform, with 2.8 billion users worldwide, and its Fundraisers app is still a major source of fundraising for nonprofit and mission-based organizations. Meanwhile, 37% of U.S. adults use Instagram, with 60% of users logging in daily. In short, if you’re considering the cons of using Facebook and Instagram to build your audience, lack of reach shouldn’t be one of them.
But the platform to keep an eye on in 2022 — especially if you’re looking to build a Gen Z audience — is TikTok, which boasts 37.3 million members regularly logging in. Consider expanding your storytelling with this short-form visual platform. TikTok recently launched TikTok For Good for mission-based organizations, and while the platform is still in its infancy, it’s worth considering, given that video marketing has become a cornerstone of good digital strategy.
As society trends in general towards a more inclusive and equitable world, the bar has been raised to make websites not just user-friendly, but accessible to all. Not doing so, as a matter of fact, has put some organizations in a bind as more and more lawsuits are being filed on behalf of users who claim the user experience on some websites violates Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
And, these suits aren’t limited just to e-commerce businesses, as we saw in 2019 when more than 75 New York Art Galleries faced suits for having websites that allegedly violated the ADA.
I mention this not to alarm, but rather to emphasize that in the coming year that you ensure your website is inclusive and accessible and that it demonstrates that your organization is willing to adapt to serve the needs of stakeholders.
Implementing accessibility standards has moved well past simply providing web browsers with clear (“semantic”) HTML; it now incorporates understanding users and building web experiences around a variety of needs. If you’d like to learn more about accessibility for your web properties, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
This year multiple clients approached us about automating and “digitizing” some of their key processes, all of which were previously handled manually. This meant either upgrading their existing websites to accommodate these needs, or building custom applications, or sometimes a hybrid of the two.
Like accessibility, the rapid move into digitization is no longer limited to the realm of for-profit businesses. As the demands upon nonprofits increase, they’ll need to make their operations efficient and reduce the workload on historically overextended staff.
We’ll be providing resources and more thought leadership on this topic in the coming months. In the meantime, we’re advising clients to assess their processes and strategy to identify areas of friction or inefficiency. If a process is holding you back, that’s a clear indicator that things may need to be digitized.
Even though the cryptocurrency market is seen by traditional investment advisors as “the wild west” and even as a “passing fad,” the number of charitable donations made in cryptocurrency is rising. In 2021, Fidelity Charitable, the nation’s largest grantmaker, received more than $274 million in cryptocurrency contributions — nearly quadruple its prior record of $69 million in 2017.
Despite its risks, crypto donations may be a boon to nonprofits in that they open up more possibilities to donors, or even create a new class of donors entirely.
If your goal is to accept crypto donations in 2022, it’s crucial that you first do your homework to understand the product and what’s involved in integrating cryptocurrency donation platforms into your systems. (Begin first by speaking to your donor base to see if this idea appeals to them). Accepting cryptocurrency won’t be free or necessarily easy, but we expect more nonprofits to embrace it over the coming year.
We’ve always been advocates of nonprofits illustrating the clear and significant impact of their work. In 2022, as the competition for donations, grants and other funding heats up, those organizations that can illustrate the impact of their efforts will reap the rewards.
It bears repeating: telling your story in a compelling way – through written content, video and data visualization – as well as showing where the money goes is the formula for growth.
So, that’s the deal. In addition to preaching classic digital marketing strategy and fundamentals, these are the top five 2022 nonprofit marketing strategy trends on which we’re placing our bets (and our efforts!) in the coming year:
These are exciting trends, and the organizations that adopt them will lead the pack in terms of growth and awareness. We hope you find them useful – and we wish you a wonderful holiday season and safe and prosperous new year!
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