Big Nonprofit Ideas for 2018
As we’re quickly moving through the New Year, many nonprofits are getting ready to push out—if not already—their newest, brightest and most compelling campaign strategies. Whether it’s direct mail, digital, memberships, etc., it’s imperative for nonprofits to devise a strategic plan for the year, so they have a goal to aim for and achieve those goals.
Back in January, we release a cover story titled, “40 Nonprofit Trends for 2018,” and our experts had some innovative ideas to share. In terms of big ideas for 2018, the theme(s) among what our experts had to say was stick to the basics and be more donor-centric, which may not be something we’ve never heard before; but it’s something that nonprofits need to be constantly reminded of. The nonprofit space is different from the for-profit space in that nonprofits are constantly working toward fostering great relationships with their donors—it ensures long-term, possibly lifetime, relationships, where donors will give more frequently and at higher amounts over the years to come.
Our experts weighed in on some big ideas for the year. Let’s take a look:
Avoid Social Media Overload
Nonprofits don’t have to leverage every social media channel on the planet. Resources are tight, so take some pressure off and focus on the one or two channels that really work for you. In 2018, less is more. Most nonprofits are just “okay” at seven or eight different channels. It’s better to be great at one, maybe two.
— Joe Pulizzi, Co-Founder, Orange Effect Foundation
Further Growth of Co-Ops
The sector has been hurting where acquisition of new donors is concerned for some time now. The advent of co-ops has helped to lick those wounds. Co-ops model on your file and overlay that on their database in order to achieve a better selection and improve response rates. Since they have your data, they can remove duplicates and, thus, charge only for net names. The savings that are created by this are enough to make this the way to go for 2018. Additionally, we have seen an increase in first-time gifts over rented lists.
— Angel Aloma, Executive Director, Food for the Poor
In the world of PR, thought leadership will continue to be a powerful tool in 2018. Not only will it increase brand awareness, trust and credibility, it will also help put your company on the map. Many people think that if you write a blog post, you automatically become a thought leader. It takes strategic planning to break through all of the noise. This year, I see more companies getting serious about being an industry leader and seeking help from PR pros to shape their overall brand messaging.
— Nijha Diggs, Director of Public Relations, Smile Train
Moving Beyond Silos
We as a nonprofit community must move beyond our silos. Our professional organizations need to band together to create plans, momentum and finally move the bar. This will require a collaborative (between organizations within and outside our field), multi-year approach ranging from school curriculum to media campaigns. It means moving beyond gimmicky giving days and a focus on the values and principles that make philanthropy a significant part of our American tradition and essential element in our nation fulfilling it potential and our citizens fulfilling theirs.
—Jeff Jowdy, President, Lighthouse Counsel
Back to the Basics
The big idea for this year may not seem big at all, but it’s actually a game-changer. In 2018, more nonprofits will stop chasing new trends and techniques and instead, they’ll focus on really getting the fundamentals right. This starts with eliminating confusion from your website, clarifying your message and implementing a simple, effective fundraising strategy.
— Rod Arnold, Founder, The Frontier Agency
To read all 40 trends, download the free resource here.
Nhu Te is senior content manager at Fundraise Up, the AI-powered online donation platform for enterprise nonprofits. In her work, she focuses on helping nonprofits create more impact through personalized donor relations, digital fundraising and thoughtful use of technology.