6 Key Points from the 2012 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report | Miratel Solutions

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6 Key Points from the 2012 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report

I cover many nonprofit fundraising reports, studies and surveys on this blog as they all lend unique perspectives into past, present and future trends which give nonprofits and those working in professional fundraising greater insight to apply to analysis and planning. Ultimately, the more we understand how to reach and retain donors, the more equipped we will be to maximize nonprofit fundraising opportunities through successful fundraising campaigns. Some examples of the reports which lend unique views are World Giving Index 2011, The 2011 Study of High Net Worth Women’s Philanthropy and The Impact of Women’s Giving Networks Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 as well as the 2011 State of the Nonprofit Industry Survey by Blackbaud

We are now adding the recently released 2nd edition of the 2012 Nonprofit Communication Trends Report to this list. This is another great report that analyzes responses from 1,288 nonprofit organizations across 42 countries (82% in the U.S. and 6% in Canada) collected in November 2011 specifically pertaining to their 2012 marketing and communication channels.

The following are the 6 key points I took from the 2012 Nonprofit Communication Trends Report:

Communication Tower image courtesy of stellarcommunications.blog.com

  1. I found it incredibly surprising that although 59% of surveyed nonprofits had a written or informal plan as of November 2011, only 24% have an established or approved marketing plan for 2012. It’s understandable that this year brings many uncertainties and most are taking a cautiously optimistic approach but without a solid, formalized plan, the challenges that may lie ahead become even more daunting. As the saying goes failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
  2. Online communications will continue to factor heavily in importance for most surveyed participants and they continue to outweigh other traditional forms of marketing. Six out the top ten nonprofit communication channels are digital based marketing tools including email marketing, websites and Facebook. When combining all the ‘Very Important’ and ‘Somewhat Important’ responses, these were the top three. All three are also relatively cost effective channels in terms of driving awareness, engagement and donor dollars which further buoys their worth.
  3. Facebook still dominates as the number one social media platform, with more than double of the nonprofits citing its importance in comparison to other social media tools. Even with recent changes, nonprofits can still be successful on this platform using some key tips to maximize its effectiveness.
  4. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn remained consistent with results from the 2011 survey. However, video marketing has been making some increases and is expected to continue to grow. We recently wrote about the importance of video marketing and detailed 8 Types of Online Videos to Help Increase Supporter Engagement  as well as 6 Steps to Producing Successful On-Screen Nonprofit Videos
  5. When it came to frequency in communications, 15% sent a direct mailings on a month basis, in comparison to 78% of respondents who cited the frequency in email communications to be at least several times a week to monthly, with 43% citing only once a month. Great to see that nonprofits are making excellent use of this marketing tool and hopefully all are taking advantage of the ways to build a strong nonprofit fundraising email program.
  6. It’s also encouraging that the trends show smaller organizations are focusing more on low to no-cost solutions like digital marketing, email and social media platforms. Interesting to note is that larger organizations with larger budgets invest in more costly traditional means of marketing, while still maintaining a presence in digital marketing. Perhaps 2012 will see the brand presence of smaller organizations make great leaps forward as the playing field is leveled.

The report offers more insight than I have presented here and I encourage you to review the full 22-page downloadable digital copy of the 2012 Nonprofit Communication Trends Report

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Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centre, eBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including telephone fundraising, online fundraising, lottery services, donation caging, donation processing and other donor management services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all contact centre services and mail house operations and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.

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