InspireHUB reveals the top three nonprofit trends to watch for in 2016, and how to incorporate them into your engagement strategy!

Each year new technology is produced and new innovations change how we do business. For the nonprofits and charities of the world, 2016 beckons a handful of exciting new opportunities. For the past decade we’ve witnessed the slow replacement of print outreach with digital. In 2014, mobile advertising surpassed print in various markets around the world.

In 2015, more nonprofits were switching their primary focus from donor acquisition to donor retention. According to the Nonprofit Communications Trends Report, 2015 marked the year that donor retention became the second most popular priority for nonprofits (acquisition falling to fourth place).

So what does all of this mean for 2016, and what other exciting changes to the nonprofit landscape can we expect? InspireHUB is your resource for emerging engagement trends, and we’ve listed the top three trends (including HOW to leverage each) below, so your organization can stay ahead of the curve this year.

  1. Increased Digital Outreach

The digital age has officially arrived for nonprofits and charities. In an increasingly competitive market you must have a digital presence. The question now is, how engaged are you? Most nonprofits have the basic (free) digital assets: email and social media.

In 2016 nonprofits will be seeking digital engagement solutions for more of their outreach and appeals - something that allows them to better manage their growing digital assets in less time.  Progressive web apps are creating an opportunity for organizations that were once hesitant to invest in native apps due to building and operating costs. There are now affordable solutions (InspireHUB being one of them) that help save time, increase engagement, and do dozens of features in real-time. For instance, the IHUBApp, allows nonprofits or charities to create custom-branded mobile apps, run email marketing, share brand stories, gather metrics, and even accept online donations.

ENGAGE IT: Progressive web apps are the next frontier, and unlike native apps they are more affordable. The first step is looking into your options. Check out the market for nonprofit digital engagement solutions and start comparing products.  

  1. Donor Retention Over Donor Acquisition

In 2015, more nonprofits prioritized donor retention - keeping their current donors engaged and active in their organization before seeking new beneficiaries. In 2016 we expect that number to rise. Donor retention is competitive, but can be done by organizations that master engagement. Digital communication via apps and social media has enabled organizations to share more stories with a broader audience more regularly. However, moving into 2016 it’s not about the breadth of your reach it's about making your content and messaging personally relevant for every donor interacting with your organization.

ENGAGE IT: The key to a good donor retention strategy is donor engagement, which can be achieved with a solid communication strategy. With the IHUBApp you can share donor profiles or stories like “top volunteer moments.” These stories keep your participants engaged in your organization. Email marketing is another way to keep your donors engaged. At InspireHUB we recommend transparency and sincerity in all communications. Email your donors information that’s relevant to them. Build an entire communication strategy with the intention of keeping your current donors engaged in your organization - the donations will come.

  1. Engaging The Community

More nonprofits are looking to engage their local and niche communities. With limited funding or resources, it can be difficult hosting successful events or creating conversations with people in your community. Lots of nonprofits are investing in new technologies and have started building out their social media brands and email marketing campaigns. However, so many nonprofits are disappointed by underwhelming engagement results. This is why it’s imperative to understand that no technology is a silver bullet. If you struggle with engagement using your existing tools, there is a good chance you will continue to struggle on whatever new technology you adopt.

So, what do you do? You must first understand the principles of what is involved in creating engagement that is personally relevant to your audience. At InspireHUB, we use our 8 Perceptual Determinants™ to understand how our audience perceives the world around them. When you speak to their perspective, you can engage them. A good starting place is to adopt unlimited channels of communication so your audience can choose to subscribe to whatever is most important or interesting to them.

ENGAGE IT: Community engagement isn’t as simple as a Facebook page or a website. It requires connection, conversation and opportunity. Start by making a list of all the audiences that you need to engage (staff, supporters, donors, volunteers). Consider each one is it's own community. Then picture an individual within that community. Next download the 8 Perceptual Determinants Infographic from InspireHUB and answer the questions as they pertain to each group of people.

The IHUBApp Solution

The IHUBApp is an all-in-one engagement tool leveraging progressive web app technology. As one of the earliest enterprise-grade web app platforms, it helps organizations of all sizes save time and improve overall engagement for every audience. Learn more about it here.

Topics: mobile, charities, mobile apps, communications, nonprofit

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