Inside the Mind of a Donor

July 25, 2016

As our world becomes more digitally advanced, it’s important for industries to remain up to date on the newest technological advancements. Nonprofits especially need to be aware of business trends involving social media and digital marketing so that they don’t get left behind or overshadowed by for-profit institutions. Just as for-profits do, nonprofits need to market themselves using modern promotional tactics.

According to Forbes, millennials will constitute 75% of the workforce by 2025. This means that companies cannot solely rely on efforts that have been effective in the past, especially since the millennial generation is much more digitally focused than older generations have been. If nonprofits don’t tap into technology as it evolves, their message may be lost. After all, 90% of young adults ages 18 to 29 use social media, and people ages 65 and older gained 150% of growth in internet use between 2009 and 2011 (Pew Research Center). Whether a college graduate or grandparents, people are relying more and more on technology for information, including information regarding nonprofits.

Content is key when donors decide whether or not to donate to an organization’s cause. Today, nonprofits have the ability to share a message that resonates with their donors’ values that is presented in a dynamic way.

In February 2016, Abila and Finn Partners teamed up to discover what makes people tick when making that very decision. Of the 1,136 donors polled, 72% said randomized, irrelevant content would stop them from donating to an organization. Of that 72%, more than a third said they would be discouraged by content that was too ambiguous.

The study revealed that the majority of respondents prefer a short, self-contained email with no links, followed by a short letter or online article. The favored length of YouTube videos was found to be less than two minutes long. Types of content that scored the lowest with donors were posts to Twitter, long YouTube videos (10+ minutes) and podcasts.

Content Graph

It’s important to keep your nonprofit’s content congruent with the newest trends in the industry—not only to remain credible in people’s minds, but also to be the primary organization people go to as an outside resource.

Listening to what potential donors resonate with is just as important as publishing and sharing content applicable to your organization. There are an unlimited number of organizations and causes to support, so you need to be relevant in the eyes of your target audience, or they may put you on the back burner.

Want to be the top nonprofit on people’s minds? Give them a reason to trust you. The first step to gaining that trust is generating content that people can rely on to be consistent and worthwhile.

Inside the Mind of a Donor