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Digital | Seven Trends To Watch

After a whirlwind year (okay more like two years) organizations continue to seek more effective ways to engage supporters in the rapidly evolving fundraising landscape. Not surprisingly, the topic we see driving the most interest is new and emerging digital trends. New platforms, channels, trends, and buzzwords – like metaverse – are being discussed in board rooms and planning meetings as teams grapple with how to stay relevant and where to invest.

Pursuant brought a group of industry leaders together to discuss the following digital trends and unpack effective ways to activate new opportunities in this space.

1. Use an agile approach:

> Make sure you are set up to monitor and adjust. Pursuant’s VP of Digital, Kacey Crawford reminded us of the importance of ongoing tracking and optimization in a constantly evolving channel, like digital. Before launching a new campaign or testing a new platform, ensure you have the infrastructure in place to observe, track the KPIs, and make adjustments accordingly.

2. Start with a warm-up act:

> Before a big ask, send something fun, playful, or engaging. Reminding your supporters why your mission is so important, before asking them to give again, will significantly improve how they respond to that ask. We also heard this great tip from Pursuant Strategist Britney Mathias -- when you’re amidst a multi-touch campaign, like a Giving Day for example, consider a “half-time show” where they can receive a thank you in the middle of the campaign.

3. Stewardship and more stewardship:

> There is no such thing as saying 'thank you' too many times. Giving is one of the most personally rewarding actions an individual can take and allowing them to realize the impact of that action makes a world of difference. Oftentimes, replacing an ask with a “thank you” still results in giving.

4. Layer in diverse and modern ways to give:

> Incorporate Venmo, Shop Pay, Apple pay, etc. (yes even Crypto for some). The easier you can make it for your support to give, the more likely they will. Take the necessary steps to ensure your giving page is optimized to reduce all barriers to giving.

5. Test new channels:

> Explore new channels like voice broadcast, video, text, etc. Our audiences are receiving a lot of communication in a day across various channels – so an unexpected touch like a raw video of a donor or service recipient really stands out. We’re also spending a great deal of time on our phones these days so a text or voice message from a respected leader at the organization we’re passionate about can really feel personal. Think outside the box to really create that mission engagement echo chamber.

6. Be worthy:

> Make sure your message is worth your donors' time. It is incredibly valuable to take the time to understand your supporters at a more human level. Leveraging research, surveys, 3rd party insights, and many other data aggregators we have the ability to tap into our constituents’ heads and hearts and ensure we’re sharing mission updates and offers that are personally meaningful. Understanding the motivations and preferences of those who support our missions ensure we’re providing content and communications worthy of their time and generosity.

7. Remember the basics:

> Confirm you have a strong CTA, personalization, mobile optimization, etc. As seasoned fundraising experts most know how to create a beautiful package, segment the file, and deploy a strong strategy – but it's always important to take a step back and ensure we’re sharing a compelling and personal CTA through the ideal channels to the right audience. Each piece of the puzzle matters. Regular evaluation of processes, tools, business rules, and platform activation should be a priority to ensure we evolve our approach to align with the evolving marketplace.

At Pursuant, we have the great privilege of developing, managing, and supporting comprehensive Digital programs in partnership with dozens of leading nonprofit organizations and with each partnership we test, track, and learn something new. One observation that is consistent across each program is the incredible power of digital channels to engage with supporters in more of a 1:1 relationship. This channel allows us to experience, in near real time, how individuals engage, behave, and even speak; equipping us to continually adapt our approach to create more meaningful experiences.

If, like many organizations, you’re looking to evaluate, optimize, or grow your digital program and expand your virtual footprint – we’d love to help!

Reach out to me anytime at whitney.norman@pursuant.com.