9 Nonprofit Marketing Tips and Trends for the Future

Whilst at SXSW 2014, I managed to glean some marketing tips and trends from nonprofit experts such as David Neff (@daveiam) and Beth Kanter (@kanter) at the Future of Nonprofits session held at the Driskell Hotel. Here are 9 tips and trends that I interpreted and tweeted:

  1. Reach Gen-Z by getting content into smaller form factors. Mobile devices are the primary way that tweens use to access the Internet, so content needs to be adapted to smaller screens. That 19 page PDF annual report isn’t going to cut through the extreme amount of content accessible at their finger tips. Break up the content so that it is smaller and easier to digest with less time and attention.
  2. The number of B Corps will rise. It may make more sense for arts/cultural organizations to register as a #BCorp versus a 501(c)(3). These organizations don’t have the same urgency and cause based stories that more traditional nonprofits may have. As a B Corp, they can still support the community but have more options to generate income.
  3. Less fundraising, more marketing. Instead of directly asking for money, nonprofits need to focus on marketing their stories to draw people in and give them something to connect to.
  4. Bring media back to social media. Nonprofits need to produce better videos, photos and infographics that people consume and share quickly. People love to share media, especially infographics, which allow people to process information much more quickly and get shared more than just text and images combined.
  5. Listen out for micro-trends and micro-interests with tools such as @socialmentionFind out what people are talking about within your field and who your key influencers are who talk about your subject. Join the conversation in real-time, by talking about topics that are being discussed right this second.
  6. Cultivate informal and network learning. Help the social media savvy millennials learn about your cause with your content, and target #philanthroteens to crowdsource motivation. This generation of philanthropic teens love to learn from their peers and their own discovery.
  7. Capitalize on the joy of the internet. Put a positive spin on your mission and story. You can build support by spreading happiness. Even if your cause is difficult to talk about, focus on the success stories and try to find a humorous side.
  8. Create more video content with @vineapp and @instagramYou don’t need big budget productions to show authenticity and your impact.
  9. Listen to the needs of your supporters to keep them happy. Measure your donor retention rate and create a strategy to optimize by taking care of your biggest fans.

Thanks to the following who discussed these trends and topics at SXSW (sorry, I’m missing some names here):

David Neff (@daveiam)
Beth Kantor (@kanter)
Corey Pudhorodsky (@coreypud)
Rob Wu (@robjwu)
Mark Horvath (@hardleynormal)