When a nonprofit's work is to serve those in need, how do we ensure that people are learning about vital services offered when everyone is at home? How do we reach potential donors when all events are canceled for the time being?
The people nonprofits serve are at home or working on the frontlines. Potential donors are at home or out on essential errands. All of us are in the same boat. I know that when I've been at home, I've been splitting my time between writing emergency grants on top of the usual workload around the clock AND constantly looking at my phone. I'm reading the news. I'm checking Facebook to make sure my friends and family are safe. Nowadays, it seems like my phone is always in my hand or right next to my computer.
Are we living in a new digital age that replaces galas, fundraisers and in-person outreach events with online marketing and strategic digital ad placements?
I think we are.
The number of minutes Americans spend on news sites has increased by 46% (New York Times). Total internet searches and hits have increased between 50-70% (Forbes). And according to Nielsen Total Audience Report, staying home lead to almost a 60% increase in the amount of online content consumed.
I'm glad that I'm not alone.
This is enlightening for the nonprofit. More than ever before, people are relying on the Internet to learn about services and seek help. I can attest that my website's inbox has been overflowing, and I can imagine that you are in a similar boat.
However, this record-breaking consumption of online materials and resources, raises questions about your organization's website, social media presence and email campaigns.
I'm sure that I sound like a broken record by now when I mention that your website should be updated and outfitted with the best SEO words and Google Analytics. However, now it is even more imperative that your organization has a significant online presence. I've written about what you can do to improve your digital footprint here. If you haven't gone through that checklist, I recommend doing that now. If these times are not obviously indicative a new era, someone has already written a whole book about digital marketing in response to COVID-19.
Unfortunately, there is no end in sight for COVID-19 restrictions, so one can only assume that we are on the cusp of a new digital age. Are you ready?