The fourth webinar in our Nonprofit Thought Leadership Series was hosted by Lauren Byrnes, VP of Client Services at Stream Companies, a full-service, integrated advertising and sales acceleration agency. Lauren hosted a session called “How Nonprofits Leverage Digital Practices. In this session, Lauren shared how nonprofits can look beyond traditional fundraising practices and drive more donors by incorporating digital practices like skillful social networking and targeted digital campaigns. 

We asked attendees at the beginning of the webinar what their biggest challenges have been when it comes to digital practices. Here were a few comments: 

  • “Relevant content for social media without being too repetitive.”
  • “Ensuring our accessibility and equity goals are still met in a digital engagement world.”
  • “Figuring out the best platforms to reach our constituents.”
  • “Technology gap among constituents.”
  • “Dealing with digital fatigue.”
  • “Ongoing individual donor engagement through technology: gamification, education, etc.”

Lauren addressed many of these challenges in her presentation. You can watch the full webinar recording here. We finished the webinar with some great questions from attendees. Check out the Q&A below.

Data and Metrics

Q: How often should you review the data and metrics?

LB: We recommend reviewing the performance of your efforts on a regular basis to be able to help guide your decision making. Monthly reviews allow you to take a step back and look at the previous 30 days to gain a sense of what is working to help you optimize as you learn.

It’s also a great idea to look at your data in longer stretches. 90 day and 6 month views can help you identify trends like seasonality shifts that can help you plan ahead.

Think about how you currently measure time when it comes to your overall business goals and that can help you pinpoint what cadence is best for you to review your data and metrics.

 

Q: What is the best way to leverage the iWave data we have for our digital efforts?

LB: One way iWave data can be used to help create donor personas that can fuel your digital marketing strategy. By understanding more about who you are looking to attract you can hone in on your marketing messages and work more efficiently to grow donors.

 

Defining Your Audience

Q: With building donor persona, are you developing this based on results from a donor survey to understand your donor demographic? And if it is a donor survey, how often would you suggest to administer a donor survey?

LB: Developing your donor personas from results from a donor survey is a great way to understand your donor demographic. These insights can help to guide you to create a message that will reach this donor as well as which channels you are most likely to find these donors. If you’re able to administer donor surveys for each type of event you run you’d likely have fresh information to consider as you build your donor personas.

 

Telling Your Story

Q: Should we share the same story with all of our donor personas or change it?

LB: Creating a persona with a story is the best way to start to map who you are attracting to your cause with what messaging will work best to attract them. The more detailed you can create this profile, the better. Stories can overlap and as they do that will help you further surface key points you’ll want to reiterate in your market messaging.

 

Q: How much content do I need to create?

LB: Creating unique educational content that lives on your website and shared across social media can help you expand your organic reach and support a strategy designed to grow donors. How much content you need to create can fluctuate based on your content marketing goals. What’s most important is getting into a regular cadence of creating and sharing content as well as maximizing use of relevant keywords to boost your opportunity to grow donors.

Sharing regular updates about your nonprofit, answering top questions your donors may have, or providing updates to your audience are all great ways to leverage content marketing to grow your reach.

 

Leveraging Social Media

Q: If I have a digital channel that is not bringing in donors should I focus more on that channel to increase performance?

LB:  If you’ve been able to identify a digital channel that is not bringing in more donors take a closer look to try and figure out why, but in the meantime, pivot and focus on the channels that are working for you. Let your data tell you what channels your donors are in and put your efforts into maximizing your campaigns within these channels.

 

Q: If we are only doing organic social and not paid, is there still the ability to grow your audience be successful?

LB: Yes! Social media marketing doesn’t have to include paid advertisements. You can grow your organic audience successfully by implementing a strategy designed to attract people to your social page and get them to like, follow, share and engage with you. One of the best ways to do that is to create unique and engaging content that entices people to share.

Don’t forget to use language in your post copy that encourages people to take action. “Like, Share, Comment” posts with these action words perform better.

 

Q: How do you create lookalike audiences on Facebook?

LB: Using customer lists to leverage for your social advertising can be a great way to grow donors. This list is matched against Facebook profiles to surface identifiers used to create a list of new people you can advertise to that fit your customer list. This can be helpful to further your reach and find new donors.

 

Keeping the Conversation Going

Q: Due to COVID we have many new donors, what are best practices in retaining them using a digital strategy?

LB: Start to get into a regular habit of communicating with your new donors. Help them get to know you and your nonprofit. Especially now when people are looking to connect, be there for your donors. Be transparent and let them know how they can help. Position yourself as an authority and a resource to your new donors. Sending emails, social media communication and creating short videos are all great ways to keep the conversation going.

 

If you want to learn more, you can watch the full webinar recording here.