Digital Connections: Donor to Mission

by Tina Hasselbusch
digital connections

As we reach new pandemic milestones, it’s clear that Covid-19 impacted almost everything. From new vocabulary to fashionable face masks, it’s touched every aspect of life, especially how we communicate, interact and do business digitally.  

What’s suitable (or not) on social media has shifted dramatically. One hard truth we learned this year is that, in order to reunite safely, vaccines or social distancing are a reality. The “new normal” altered digital interactions, as social media platforms and virtual experiences, morphed into social lifelines, a way to gather and amass information about a global crisis that upended life as we knew it. 

More than ever, social media serves as a vital source of information, public influence, marketing, and a fountain of support. Twitter now notably behaves as a real-time news source with fact-checkers at the ready. The written online word holds more power than ever before, and almost every business, regardless of industry, is hard-pressed to deny the value of a single tweet. To remain relevant, nonprofits quickly embraced the growing significance of digital marketing as an essential resource for success.  

With sudden closures and unemployment skyrocketing during the pandemic, traditional nonprofit funds began drying up. By the end of 2020, the top three concerns for generating organizational revenue dried up: fundraising events, funders or corporate partners, and grants/contracts with government agencies (Nonprofit Leadership Center). 

Digital marketing and social media transformed from a nonprofit nice-to-have to an irreplaceable form of engagement, enabling organizations to swap in virtual events and network with potential donors at limited to no cost. The tools available that measure digital performance and offer actionable data is a natural appeal for the industry. For many of Social T’s clients, the transition from traditional and print marketing occurred swiftly to reduce costs and continue to reach as many audiences as possible. Over time, growth presented itself in followings and impressions, and in less than one-year nonprofit clients significantly increased engagement across their platforms. The organizations we support reported a direct correlation between social media posts, digital communication, and essential donations that helped keep doors open.  

From virtual events to refreshed campaigns and increased awareness, social media presents an opportunity to address audiences with relevance, encouragement, ideas, and essential information that support raising the funds necessary to operate and thrive. Digital communications kept nonprofits connected to their base. Clients held annual fundraising events, raising record-breaking donations through virtual events with messaging amplified via social media and email marketing.  

Done well, nonprofits can stir the emotions of their target audience with the click of a button. Emails that speak directly to a client’s passion can be customized per recipient and reactions measured. It makes sense that nonprofits are reaching goals despite pandemic speed bumps. Their shared mission is to assist and serve through difficulty, making now the perfect time to optimize communications and reach more people. 

Now that we are well into 2021, it’s clear that digital marketing and social media will continue to be best friends to nonprofits. Even with vaccine and treatment progressions, people will continue to heavily rely on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms to stay connected to news and trends and receive updates from friends and businesses. Online transactions continue to surge (Statista) and email marketing that feels personal for each user offers a competitive advantage (litmus). 

There are 3.78 billion social media users in the world right now – a 5 percent growth from last year (Statista). The average annual growth rate from 2022 to 2025 is forecast to be 3.9 percent. Nonprofits also understand the importance of young adults joining their donor base. This demographic in particular demands digestible information and emotional connections (NonProfitPro). A reliance on all things digital will only rise in value for nonprofits as potential reach, content customization, and the benefit of data continues to increase.  

If Covid-19 taught us only one thing, it’s that communication is key to unifying and mobilizing audiences in accessible ways. Nonprofits will not soon forget digital marketing’s impact on their bottom line and mission as a whole.

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