The new year is here and we’re ready to kick things off with a clean slate; at least that’s what we’re hearing from nonprofits who experienced the turmoil of 2020. While you may still be treading lightly as we enter 2021, here are some ideas for marketing your nonprofit in a fresh light—bring on those ‘new year, new you’ changes—and apply them to your nonprofit.

Invest in a CRM

An effective CRM and CRM process will help build effective donor touchpoints and make it easier for you to manage donor communications and donations. The best CRMs work in tandem with your fundraising—being able to either manually input donations that come in offline and automatically track donations that come in online is key in identifying additional opportunities throughout the year. Import your contacts, customize fields of information that are relevant to your nonprofit, tag contacts into groups; you can even research your donors across social media in many instances. A solid CRM will set you up for a successful fundraising year.

Craft your story for the year

What are your pain points in fundraising? What do you need to happen and how can you relay those urgencies to your donors? Think about what your ‘story’ will be this year and the themes and content pieces that can be developed to support this year’s story. If it’s been a while, make it a point to gather more stories of impact to share with your donors throughout the year. Think about crafting a 2020 highlights reel, blog post or email campaign that shows how their support during the past year helped and your plans for continuing those services into the next year. This interview we did with Julia Campbell a few years back is still relevant for nonprofits and storytelling. She has some great insight on how to craft your messaging and how to share that messaging online and beyond.

Fine-tune your online donation pages

How effective are your donation pages? If you’ve noticed lower-than-usual conversions on those pages (i.e. people visit the pages but don’t complete the donation process) you may need to revamp the content that is on the page or the overall donor experience. We have a great (free!) donation page checklist that you can download to make sure your online donation pages are in the best shape for online giving in 2021.

Think outside the typical event ‘box’

I don’t think any of us are immune to virtual events after coming off of 2020; use that momentum to fuel your fundraising in 2021. Even better? Think about how you can turn your virtual events into a supportive platform for new peer-to-peer giving campaigns this year. Use virtual events as fun ways to engage your donors and spread the message about your campaign—the great part about virtual events is the online marketing opportunities. As donors register, give them links to share their registration with others on social media, invite a friend with customized URLs or customize email templates that they can share with family and friends. Create an event hashtag, Snapchat filter or geolocation that event attendees can use before, during and after your virtual fundraising event. Need more fundraising event ideas for 2021? Check out these resources:

Focus on digital

We have seen an enormous increase in the use of digital media—specifically social media—in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As consumer (read: donor) behaviors have changed in the way content is consumed, it’s important for nonprofits to have a handle on omnichannel marketing (using multiple channels to relay messaging). Start by making sure all of your social media channels are updated, that you craft a plan to post content on a regular basis (i.e. multiple times a week) and that you have someone identified on your team who will be in charge of digital community management—responding to requests, comments and questions that appear on these channels.

If you haven’t done so already, develop a strategy that merges your traditional fundraising communication pieces (direct mail, annual reports) with your digital channels (blog, social media, email marketing). Work to continue building your email contact lists by encouraging donors to subscribe to your emails, to download helpful materials from your website or to fill out a giving form through your social media channels.

Make it about your donors

Donors are still out there and willing to give. Make it easy for them with quick links, calls-to-action and responsive donation pages. Put yourself in their shoes and think about why they give—focus on those reasons for giving as you market your nonprofit throughout the year. Tell your story. Show your personality. Acknowledge your donors. Highlight the great things that your organization is doing year-round (not just at annual giving time); build a relationship with your donors that will last throughout the years to come.

How can we help? We are here to make sure you are successful in raising the funds you need in 2021 and beyond. Connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook for additional insights and tips throughout the year. We’d also love to hear about your successes (and struggles). Contact us and let’s stay connected in the new year.





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