Whenever you read the news, you will come across reports about the economy – how the stock market is performing and data on jobs, unemployment, and currency exchange. You will read terms such as “Gross Domestic Product”, “recession”, and “trade balance”.
For the past few months, the news has given massive coverage on the trade war launched by the United States against China and how it has impacted the bottom line of many U.S. companies in the manufacturing and agricultural sector.
Certainly, these types of news are disconcerting because when companies are in trouble, jobs and consequently, the livelihood and well-being of many families are on the line.
Thus, in a world that has become increasingly concerned about profit, the idea of a non-profit organization must leave some people scratching their heads.
What Is A Non-Profit Organization?
By definition, a non-profit organization is an entity that does not funnel its earnings to stockholders or investors. The majority of non-profit organizations are not connected with the government and are private entities.
However, instead of paying out dividends to its stockholders, a non-profit organization appropriates its income to help the group achieve its goals which are usually philanthropic in nature.
A non-profit organization can support a variety of causes. Some of the most popular ones include endangered species, preserving the arts, social reform programs, protecting the environment, education, and literacy.
What Are The Challenges Facing Non-Profit Organizations?
Spearheading a non-profit organization can be a daunting task. With information flowing freely – thanks to the Internet and the advances in digital technology – decisions are more easily influenced by data that is available on the web.
Similar to profit organizations, non-profit organizations face several challenges that may obstruct their efforts to achieve their goals and objectives.
We have identified 3 challenges that non-profit organizations have to contend with in the coming years:
- Government Regulations – Changes in government regulations and tax reform laws may affect the decisions of individuals to contribute as well as hinder the ability of non-profit organizations to invoice for their services and generate more funding.
- Hiring Volunteers and Recruiting Staff – An increase in the number of jobs available in the market in combination with an upward adjustment in the wage rate has made it more difficult for non-profit organizations to hire and recruit volunteers needed to attend to its various duties and responsibilities.
- Lack of Technological Support – With the decline in available funding, non-profit organizations are finding it increasingly difficult to avail of and utilize technology needed to further its growth and open new avenues for financial support.
Mountaintop Web Design is not an interest group and neither are we in the recruitment business.
However, we are in the technology business. We understand how digital innovations and the Internet can be utilized to help non-profit organizations meet their goals.
How Can Non-Profit Organizations Benefit From Digital Marketing?
If you want to know how digital marketing benefits small businesses, please read our blog, “5 Reasons Why Small Businesses Need To Invest In A Digital Marketing Strategy”.
The truth is, a non-profit organization also reaps the same benefits from incorporating a digital marketing strategy as a profit organization.
1. Low-Cost Method Of Promoting the Organization’s Objectives
Digital marketing is the process of utilizing digital technology – various online tools and platforms – to market and promote a business, it’s products and services. The process is run via online channels foremost of which is the website.
For the reason that the world is becoming more technology-dependent, all businesses, whether profit or non-profit, should have a website. Here’s a statistic that you should keep in mind:
Of the 7.7 Billion people on our planet, 4.3 Billion are on the Internet every single day. That number accounts for 55.6% of the world’s total population.
If your business is not on the Internet, how would potential customers – or donors – find you? The website is your business address on the Internet.
The cost of putting up a website will depend on the type, functionality, and design features. At Mountaintop, we can customize a fully-functional, mobile responsive website that will meet your needs and budget.
And if you wish, you can build your own website by using a free design template from WordPress. We have written about it in our blog, “How To Build Your Own Website In 4 Easy Steps”.
Another effective channel for digital marketing is social media. According to a study by Sprout Social, 74% of consumers’ buying decisions are influenced by social media content.
Of the 4.3 billion people on the Internet on a daily basis, more than 3 billion are on social media. Facebook accounts for 2.2 billion of social media’s daily traffic.
Setting up a social media account for your non-profit organization will not cost you a cent. There are many social media platforms to choose from – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube – are the popular ones and have large communities.
You can choose 2 to 3 social media platforms to post content on a regular basis. With time and by creating useful, engaging, and compelling content, you should see more traffic driven to your website.
2. The Non-Profit Group Becomes Available 24/7
Unlike a shopping mall or a commercial building, the Internet does not close down or take holiday breaks. It is open 24/7.
When you have a website and social media accounts on the Internet, your non-profit organization becomes available 24/7.
- Potential donors can read about your charitable cause; its purpose, vision, and organizational goals.
- The use of compelling content delivered through regular blogs and video links are strong influencers which can immediately convert interest into donations.
- If the site visitor wants to make a contribution, we can integrate a donation system that will easily facilitate the payment.
3. Measure Performance In Real-Time
One of the great advantages of using digital marketing is that you can track its performance in real-time by accessing data known as analytics.
Analytics will provide you key information on your current digital marketing strategy. You will have empirical evidence that will identify the processes which are delivering good ROI.
Likewise, Analytics will point out the processes that are not delivering results. By determining the processes which result in ROI and those which are not, you can fine-tune the strategy.
Thus, you can adjust the budget and allocate more resources to high-return processes. By using analytics as a reference tool to manage your budget, your overall digital marketing strategy should deliver higher ROI.
4. Adapt to Changes In Consumer Behavior
Blogging and social media marketing are platforms that allow your followers to directly engage with you. Some will post comments related to the content you posted.
Our advice is to respond to these commenters right away – within 24 hours if possible. The reason is these comments are valuable data. They provide keen insights on how your audience thinks, behaves, and processes information.
When you respond, you create a feedback system between your non-profit organization and the commenter.
The feedback system will establish communication which can eventually lead to an important component of business development: Relationship building.
Building a solid market base of end-users and regular patrons will come down to expert relationship management.
Digital marketing will provide you with the platform, tools, and channels to build a strong following and an enhanced presence on the Internet.
In the following section, we will discuss 2 case studies of non-profit organizations which greatly benefited from having a website designed and managed by our company.
Case Study No.1 – Severe Weather Shelter Network
Severe Weather Shelter Network is a non-profit organization which partners up with various groups and agencies to provide immediate shelter to people who are living on the streets during harsh weather conditions.
The non-profit group already had an existing website but it was not delivering the expected results. SWSN approached us to redesign the site with the objectives of increasing awareness and improving the process of making donations.
For the website redesign, we put more focus on the homepage which is the primary landing page on a website.
You will see the group’s Brand Value Proposition (BVP) right away – “Help Us Make A Difference. Helping the homeless build a community of supporters and providing a place of refuge on freezing nights.”
The BVP is short, direct, and easy to understand. Below the BVP is the Call-to-Action (CTA) which is asking the site visitor to make a contribution through the donation system that we built into the website.
Severe Weather Shelter Network is happy with the site and have seen a large increase in the number of their donations. They have also subscribed to our Extreme WordPress Care Plans to keep their website safe from potential cyber-attacks.
Case Study No.2: Love In The Name Of Christ
Love In The Name Of Christ is a non-profit organization that works with local churches to help transform the lives of people who were lost and had no direction or purpose through the teachings of Christ.
Similar to Severe Weather Shelter Network, Love In The Name Of Christ had an existing website. However, it had an outdated design and was not functioning very well.
We gave it a fresher look that was aesthetically beautiful and fully-functional. The BVP on the homepage was effective; it was easy to remember and direct to the point.
We also included a donation system to facilitate contributions faster and more convenient for donors.
Love In The Name Of Christ also signed up with our Extreme WordPress Care Plans.
Digital marketing has been proven to be an effective way of helping non-profits achieve their goals.
Whether you are a profit or non-profit organization, you need to have a strong presence on the Internet.
Having a website in combination with the right digital marketing tools and processes will help spread the message of non-profit organizations while effectively addressing the challenges they face.
If you are a non-profit organization that is thinking of putting up a website or having your existing one redesigned, please give us a call or drop us an email.
You can consult with us for free.
Coffee’s on us!