Does Your Nonprofit Have a Digital Strategy?

If your nonprofit organization doesn’t have a digital strategy, you may be missing out on volunteers and donors who want to support your mission. If your digital strategy amounts to hoping something you post will eventually go viral, you really need to rethink how you’re approaching the digital world, your non-profit’s brand, and marketing in general. A well-designed digital strategy can make all the difference to a new or growing non-profit organization.

Your digital strategy can help you connect with people who are passionate about your cause. It can help make those who are already aware of your non-profit become more engaged. It can show your stakeholders how you offer a demonstrable social value. If your organization is one of the many non-profits that do not currently have a digital strategy, it’s time to seriously consider developing one.

What Is a Digital Strategy?

When any business creates a comprehensive digital strategy, it outlines its goals for digital communication and growth. It also creates a plan for how to use various digital tools, such as social media and online payment platforms, to help achieve the non-profit’s overall mission. Proper planning and careful consideration can help ensure that your digital efforts are on-brand and on-mission for your organization.

A digital strategy, like a business plan, explores each facet of the digital world your organization will utilize, and examines how to do so effectively. It can create and track targets, such as fundraising and awareness goals. A digital strategy, in short, is your non-profit organization’s plan to use digital tools to increase its overall reach and make goals more achievable.

Common Deterrents to Digital Strategy

For many non-profit organizations, expense and time are the biggest obstacles when it comes to creating a workable digital strategy. However, non-digital networking and fundraising can be even more time-consuming and expensive. Digital strategy can help your organization save money and grow its reach.

The second biggest deterrent to creating a comprehensive digital strategy is often lack of internal expertise with the digital world. Lack of skills, in other words, are holding them back. While almost all non-profit organizations have some kind of digital presence, more than half are still trying to expand and grow their presence. Many organizations are making critical internal changes, such as prioritizing new hires and board members with experience in the digital world. These steps are critical to non-profit organizations that want to remain functional and socially relevant in an increasingly digital world.

Other organizations may worry about additional issues that currently seem more pressing. They may have yet to invest in digital security, thus worrying about data security and the potential for ransom attacks or information hacking. The non-profits who don’t have a digital strategy may feel like their competitors have already cornered the digital market, leaving nowhere for them to flourish. Others may worry about the internal changes an emphasis on digital outreach could create. They may not understand how their target demographic uses digital tools.

How Digital Strategy Can Benefit Non-Profits

One of the most important benefits of a carefully constructed digital strategy is greater awareness. That means better market penetration, improved use of data for targeted fundraising efforts, and greater overall progress toward your organizational mission. Chances are that your employees, volunteers, and board members already understand how critical digital strategy can be to the growth of your organization. A well-designed strategy can help you ensure that messages on a variety of platforms, from social media to regular email updates, remain on-brand and on-mission for your organization.

Digital strategy typically requires investment of both staff time and finances, but it can pay off quite well in the short and long term. If your company has a modern, up-to-date approach to digital presence, it can maximize the impact of marketing and fundraising efforts online. For example, the collection and analysis of data regarding emails, social media pages, and website visits can help your non-profit adjust and fine-tune its approach. Big data isn’t only for big businesses anymore. Data can help you improve marketing efforts and increase your conversion rate when you reach out to your supporters.

A solid digital strategy will also make your non-profit more attractive to the best workers, board members, and volunteers. It helps your organization appear modern and well-informed. When your organization makes it clear that it knows what it’s doing online, people are more likely to view your non-profit as competent and trustworthy.

Digital Strategy May Need to Be Outsourced

One of the best ways to ensure that your non-profit’s digital strategy is data-based, modern and effective is to team with an outside organization to create it. Even with some digitally savvy internal employees, your organization could spend many salary hours trying to create a strategy that ends up disappointing everyone involved.

An outside firm will be results-driven and will be able to offer your non-profit real world experience in digital strategy creation and data collection and analysis. The more detailed and accurate your strategy, the more your business stands to benefit. It’s an investment that will almost certainly pay off for your non-profit.

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