For the majority of Not-For-Profit (NFP) organisations, one of the consequences of COVID was the impact on service delivery. A 2020 research project reported 54% of nfp’s had to significantly change the way they provided services, while 17% of nfp’s had to suspend services completely. Only 3% of nfp’s did not have to change their method of service delivery.
In adapting to these changes, the technological environment in which nfp’s operate has become more important. Technology within organisations has an internal and external aspect. With the sudden shift due to COVID, the internal aspects of technology such as enabling staff to work remotely, ensuring data security and continuity of service delivery have taken priority for the majority of nfp’s. However, it is important not to forget the external, or outward facing aspects of the nfp such as websites, social media, and digital marketing. It is this external aspect that assists nfp’s to build a presence and engage more effectively with clients, the community and importantly potential sponsors or donors.
With the shift away from face-to-face interactions and large crowd functions which have been traditional sources of fundraising, nfp’s need to think through, the opportunities for fundraising and engaging with sponsors and donors through online mediums. Currently 43% of nfp’s collect donations online. It is likely more nfps’ will look for ways to fund raise online in the future. This is where the effectiveness of the organisations social media and digital presence is so important because it is the first point of contact for potential donors and sponsors.
The good news is that 90% of nfp’s are using at least one social media platform, with Facebook being the most popular. Of the 90% of nfp’s 79% acknowledge social media as being effective and important for the organisation.
The good news is that 90% of nfp’s are using at least one social media platform, with Facebook being the most popular. Of the 90% of nfp’s, 79% acknowledge social media as being effective and important for the organisation.
While it is positive many nfp’s are engaging with at least one social media platform when looking at the effectiveness of nfp’s use of social media, there is still much to be done to improve and build an organisations online profile and engagement.
One simple effective way a nfp can improve their digital presence is to use the benefits of the Google for Non-Profit program. Only 20% of nfp’s are making use of this program, which provides $10,000 USD of free advertising for eligible organisations. Equally, less than half of nfp organisations track and report on the results of their digital marketing activities. Consequently, with no review of the effectiveness of the activities and whether they are reaching the targeted audience, Boards and Senior Management do not see the value of the money being spent on digital marketing. If Boards do not understand the value of digital marketing and building a social media presence, it is unlikely the organisation will have a consistent, clear strategy to consolidate its online brand and this ongoing spend.
1.Dgital Technology in the Not-for-Profit Sector 2020 Report