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3 Content Tips for Engaging Your Nonprofit Audience

3-ways-to-engage-nonprofit-audiences

Join us on October 28th at 2:00pm ET / 11am PT for our upcoming webinar on how to boost your organization’s year-end campaign!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, especially for nonprofits. With the holiday season fast approaching, people will be in the giving mood, and charitable organizations can capitalize on that spirit to improve donation efforts. Chances are, you already have at least the beginning of a year-end fundraising strategy in place, but are you making the most of your digital assets?

To help you meet your 2015 goals, we crunched the numbers and came up with some data-driven ways you can improve your year-end marketing.

Tip 1: Optimize your website for mobile.

If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you could be missing out on crucial traffic—which means missing out on donations, too. Mobile usage has grown 27% since last year, and 56% since 2013. We don’t see that trend reversing any time soon, so if you haven’t already, it’s time to start thinking about how potential donors experience your content on smartphones and tablets.

Here are some points to consider:

  • Responsive design templates: Your website should respond to a user’s platform, screen size and orientation and deliver an easy-to-navigate experience for each.
  • Clear calls-to-action: The action you want a website visitor to ultimately take should be front and center on mobile devices. Whether it’s a button to donate, sign a petition, or subscribe to a newsletter, those calls to action need to be clear, concise, above the fold, and unencumbered by large blocks of text.
  • Minimal images: On mobile devices, you don’t have a lot of room to get your point across, and large images take up a lot of real estate. Use images above the fold sparingly, unless they’re of fundraising merchandise.

Tip 2. Sharing is key.

The easiest and most effective way to get the word out about your year-end campaign is to let your donors do it for you! With AddThis Share Buttons, you can make it easy for users to share your content across multiple social networks and platforms, so you can engage with potential donors wherever they are. Here’s where you should be focusing your content marketing efforts when it comes to sharing:

  • Facebook and Twitter: Your audience is still using Facebook as its primary sharing vehicle, generating 55% of clicks and shares (up 2% from last year). Twitter is a distant second at 14%, though it has declined in shares over the past year. Still, Twitter is great for hashtag campaigns. The best timeframes in which to post for maximum engagement on Facebook is Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11:00am-3:00pm; for Twitter it’s Tuesday and Thursday between 11:00am and noon. These timeframes are a great starting point, but you should test your fans and followers to discover your own peak engagement times—every audience is different!
  • Email and printing: Visitors to nonprofit sites are increasingly using private forms of sharing like email and printing. In fact, printing has jumped 7% over last year! This may have something to do with the fact that it’s becoming easier to print from mobile devices. The content users like to print tends to focus on wellness topics, like arthritis diets, crate training for dogs, oral health, and iron-rich foods for anemics. Make sure your content has print-friendly layouts and is easy to send to a friend.

Tip 3: Feature the right content.

What are your most popular pieces of content? What gets the most shares across social networks? The answers to these questions should inform your content creation strategy. Content should be a mix of evergreen and timely, and it should complement your organization’s mission. And, because an article or blog post may be a user’s first introduction to your organization, you should make sure that it’s easy for a first-time visitor to learn about you and your cause, get involved, donate and subscribe to your newsletter regardless of where they land on your site.

Our data shows that the following content themes have proven popular on nonprofit websites, so consider implementing them into your overall strategy:

  • Volunteer opportunities: People want to get involved with causes they care about, even if they don’t donate. Give them ways to help, either by signing petitions, sending supplies, or showing up in person if their location enables them to.
  • News and research: Industry happenings and information are important for those that care about specific causes. Make your website a go-to source for current events that support your cause. Featuring relevant news and research is also a good hook to get people to subscribe to your newsletter to stay informed.
  • Religious content: Not every organization will benefit from creating content around religious themes, but if it makes sense for your website, items like daily devotions and religious bulletins are often popular.

As you refine your year-end fundraising strategy, explore how AddThis Website Tools can help you to grow your audience and convert first-time visitors into donors and advocates for your cause. Let us know if any of these tips have worked for you, and good luck with your holiday giving campaigns!