Having the biggest impact on nonprofit fundraising in 2015 will be strategies like conversion optimization; engaging with Millennials; donor retention; online fundraising and mobile; and visual storytelling.
Here’s a deeper dive into our predictions, along with the actions nonprofit leaders can take to gain the advantage in an ever-evolving sector.
Prediction #1 – Conversion Optimization
Many small businesses are adopting this practice, which, in a nutshell, is the method of creating such a meaningful, relevant online experience that you’re able to convert site visitors to customers (or donors, in your case) at increased rates. Nonprofits, too, can greatly benefit from this practice.
Think about how to better convert existing website visitors versus simply attracting new ones. By measuring, testing, and optimizing the donation flow, you’ll be able to raise more money for your organization with the same amount of traffic and visitors.
Prediction #2 – Millennial Engagement
Millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025, according to The Brookings Institution in its report titled “How Millennials Could Upend Wall Street and Corporate America.” This is important to note because Millennials engage with nonprofits differently than previous generations.
As Millennials enter the workforce and have money to spend, you’ll need to put strategies in place to engage this demographic in a way that makes sense to them. Many Millennials follow a very nontraditional path to becoming donors – you’ll need to learn, understand, and adapt to these differences.
Prediction #3 – Donor Loyalty and Lifetime Value
With the competition for donors increasing, it’s vital that nonprofits begin to really focus on donor loyalty and the lifetime value of the donor. It’s no longer enough to get individuals to donate. You must now focus on engaging with them over the long term to create loyal donors who continue to support your cause for years to come, much like you do with major donors.
Spend more time analyzing characteristics and behaviors of all of your constituents – not just major donors – to better understand what drives their giving behavior. Tracking donor engagement will enable you to further segment your appeals, personalize your outreach efforts, significantly increase donor loyalty, improve lifetime value, and treat all donors like major donors.
Prediction #4 – Online and Mobile
2014 was the tipping point for more Web traffic coming from mobile devices than desktop computers. This trend will not only continue, but increase, into 2015.
When designing and updating your website, consider responsive design. This approach provides an optimal viewing experience across a wide range of devices. And don’t forget social media. The likes of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram are not going away, and if anything will proliferate. Learn to leverage social media to your advantage, and rise above the online noise.
Prediction #5 – Visual Storytelling
Creating a narrative and sharing a story have always been important for nonprofits to successfully engage donors, but doing so in a visual way is becoming essential.
Identify and employ creative and innovative ways to engage supporters in a world full of distractions. Visual components are key. Web posts with visuals drive up to 180 percent more engagement, and research indicates people process visuals 60,000 times faster than text.
The nonprofit sector must continue to evolve and keep pace with behavioral changes we see in society. Those organizations that embrace new ways of thinking, streamline their databases, modernize their engagement approaches, and create visual stories will be the most successful.
Watch this 4-minute video for more from Abila’s Rich Dietz:
The preceding is a guest post by Rich Dietz,Senior Product Manager at Abila. Rich began his nonprofit career when he was the director of a mentoring organization in college and went on to get a Master's in Social Work (MSW). He has spent the last 20 years working both in and with a wide variety of nonprofit, political, and government organizations as well as technology companies focused on the nonprofit sector. It is this unique background and experience – working directly in nonprofit organizations AND working on the technology side – that allows him to better understand and assist nonprofit organizations with their technology needs.
Rich holds a Masters in Social Welfare (MSW) from the University of California – Berkeley as well as a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA.