Three Trends in Marketing Nonprofits Need to Jump On

Let’s take a poll. How many of your grandparents are on social media?

For those of you that just raised your hands or gave us a nod, we’re sorry. It can be difficult.

You know that some of them are pretty fluent in the unwritten rules of social media, while others still post three paragraph summaries of their last week as a status.

We find it cute until they accidentally comment (when they think they messaged you) on a photo, asking you how your latest doctor’s appointment went to check out that weirdly concerning rash. (Yes, it’s better, thanks for asking Gammy.)

Nonprofits often get a bad rap for being behind. Like grandparents on social media, for profits are rolling their eyes when we finally jump on board of a trend they’ve been owning for a few years.

It’s time to put a stop to that. And we’re here to help. Below is a list of trends happening in the for profit industry that your nonprofit should start considering now.

1. Less Social Media, More Content

More and more, brands are stopping the ‘multiple posts a day’ habit and opting to put more energy into content marketing. While social media is still a wonderful opportunity to show off your brand’s personality and great visual content, blogs are the way you get found.

Not only that, but content marketing is an opportunity to deliver value to readers—offering real advice and takeaways that your nonprofit viewer base will find meaningful. This creates an experience that won’t grab attention, but rather, hold attention.

In other words, rather than spending 10 seconds looking at a photo on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, content marketing offers potential for a longer period of interaction, which can in turn lead to more donations, more volunteers and more success.

2. Create a Unified Presence Across Platforms

This one sounds more intense, but all I really mean is that once you’ve established your branding (colors, logos, fonts, look and feel), you should keep it consistent. Meaning your Twitter colors aren’t dramatically different from your Facebook cover photo. You use similar language when describing your mission and nonprofit endeavors.

With this point of looking good everywhere (we know you’re up for the challenge), it’s important to realize that more and more, folks will be looking at your content on their smartphone rather than on a computer screen. Be sure that your nonprofit site is not only responsive, but is also able to accept donations through mobile payments.

3. Humanize Your Brand

By exposing the people behind your nonprofit, you’re endearing yourself to potential donors and volunteers. Rather than picturing a building or logo, people can imagine what the leaders of your organization look like.

One brand that does this well is TOMs. (We know, they seem to do a lot well.) But if you know a bit about TOMs, you can probably picture their scraggly, brown-haired founder named Blake almost instantly.

When putting a face to your nonprofit’s brand you enrich your supporters’ experiences. And this improvement can be enough to create a lasting relationship, rather than a one time job.

What trends has your nonprofit jumped on recently?

Three Trends in Marketing Nonprofits Need to Jump On

Kathryn Pauley

Kathryn is a regular contributor to the Nonprofit Hub. Soon to be college graduate, she enjoys helping nonprofits understand better how to reach the millennial demographic—cause we are living in a millennial world, and Kathryn's a millennial girl. With experience leading the largest student-run charity event on her campus, she looks forward to bringing her unique perspective to the Hub team every day.

May 26, 2014

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