February 11, 2015

Announcing the 2015 Digital Outlook Report

“DownloadWhat does digital strategy look like in your organization? We asked, and nearly 500 individuals from nonprofit organizations responded! In collaboration with Care2 and hjc, we are excited to release the first ever 2015 Digital Outlook Report that captures the digital strategy landscape in nonprofit organizations, as well as strategies in 2015 for staffing, tactics, tools, and more.

Digital strategy is a growing priority in nonprofits, but the findings reveal that this growth is not consistent across organizations in terms of staffing, tools, and strategies. 56% of survey respondents reported that they do not have any staff dedicated to digital strategy. Size plays a role in determining this to some extent, where 66% of respondents from organizations with 76 or more full time staff noted that they do have a dedicated team for this.

Findings from the report also reveal that nonprofits are changing the way they raise money and acquire new donors and supporters. Nearly 60% of respondents indicated that content marketing will be a key strategy in 2015, with over 60% indicating that they will continue to use visual media such as videos and images, underscoring this upward trend from 2014.

While budget and capacity constraints continue to play a key factor for all nonprofits when planning their digital strategies, the report highlights four elements to improve digital interaction with prospective donors and supporters where budget is not a barrier: right audience, right plan, right content, and right tools.

“We know that staff time is valuable, but we’ve already budgeted for it. Many of the recommendations highlighted in this report require staff time to strategize, make changes, and optimize online processes or experience. They do not, necessarily, require new funds or larger budgets for new tools. It’s a matter of being strategic, not buying more technology.” Amy Sample Ward, CEO of NTEN.

The report also includes three case studies from nonprofits: Alzheimer Society of Ontario, Covenant House International, and Ontario SPCA. Across the board, nonprofit leaders are focused on building the right infrastructure and resources to enable multi-channel marketing.  They are hyper-focused on the constituent experience, and converting that experience into a viable marketing strategy to bring in new donors.

For nonprofit digital strategy, 2015 is all about integration. Whether it’s integration of content or integration of staff, nonprofits are trying to take the next step beyond engagement to conversion. Digital is now, more than ever, an inherent component of effective organizations. Looking ahead, the report offers seven steps for nonprofit digital strategy success in 2015.

“It’s all about people in any industry. Whether we’re talking about Oracle, IBM, or a charitable organization, how you deploy your human resources is the key to success. This exciting new piece of research digs a bit deeper to uncover the evidence, and subsequent guidance for, any nonprofit with rationed resources, who wants to be more successful in digital marketing and fundraising.” Mike Johnston, President & Founder of hjc.

>> Download this free report, which includes case studies from nonprofits, and seven steps for digital strategy success in 2015.

Joleen Ong
Joleen is a strong advocate of the nonprofit sector’s role in bringing about social change, and the power of technology to make this happen. At NTEN, Joleen is the editor of NTEN: Change, the quarterly journal for nonprofit leaders, and helps to support NTEN’s 50,000+ community members meet their mission through technology. Joleen is a published writer and researcher on the topic of nonprofit fundraising, communications, marketing, as well as international human rights and labor relations in Asia and Latin America. Prior to NTEN, she was the Communications Manager at Social Accountability International in New York for five years, where she focused on supporting programs to advance workers rights in factories around the world. Joleen earned her MS in Nonprofit Management from the New School, and BA in International Studies and Spanish/Anthropology at the College of New Jersey. She has led presentations on the topic of nonprofit marketing, communications, and sustainability worldwide. She is also a member/blogger of the Integrated Marketing Advisory Board (IMAB) and frequent webinar trainer for FundsForNGOs. Joleen is also the editor of two award-winning social justice documentaries that focus on responsible procurement with Fair Trade on college campuses, and military recruitment.