Technology can seem like quicksand, constantly morphing (and swallowing, and regurgitating) the landscape. While we know advances and evolution are good for us, and good for our businesses, it can be dizzying to try to keep up with what we’re supposed to be doing, and what we should definitely stop doing, and then oh, yeah, what’s that coming down the pike? Is that anything interesting?
As a firm that offers technology to nonprofit organizations (and associations, and schools, but those are covered in other blog posts), we’ve got a pretty good handle on how technology is changing, and how it can help your nonprofit. We offer five points that deserve a little thought this year:
- Batten down the hatches. In saying this, we want you to take a look at cybersecurity. It’s easy to think you can’t be a victim, but trust us when we say everyone is vulnerable, and some experts think nonprofits are particularly vulnerable. Look at the security of your content management system, consider multifactor authentication, and find robust antivirus software. The best usually isn’t free, but it’s far less than you’ll spend if you’re hacked.
- Reach your members where they are. Can you guess where you’ll find many of them, regardless of your industry? Staring at their phones! So, of course you need a responsive site, but you also need to think of innovative ways to reach your audience. Many B2C stores text coupons to loyal customers…can you text tips or resources or member benefits? Can you drive members to an online survey? Can you ask them for a small donation?
- Don’t underestimate social media (see #2). Your audience is on their phones, and they’re scrolling and swiping and hearting. Pay attention to your social media presence, including your voice (how are you perceived?) and the engagement you’re getting. If you’re trying to increase donations, one of the hottest ways to do it is to create a unique Facebook campaign. So far, Facebook Fundraising Tools has raised more than $1 billion for nonprofits all over the globe! That’s a pretty alluring bandwagon, so jump on.
- Rethink where your employees work. The days of 9-5 office jobs are slowly fading as technology allows more and more organizations to rely on remote workers and virtual teams. The benefits of this are twofold: one, your overhead costs plummet if you’re not paying for an office (or you’re paying for a smaller one). Two, a virtual team means your pool of prospective employees is huge! You can find the perfect person for every job in your organization, and you appear quite forward-thinking when you tell him or her there’s no dress code.
- Now we risk sounding a little like a broken record, but it’s an important broken record: personalization. If you’re trying to increase anything, from revenue to engagement to membership, smart, strategic marketing automation software can help you create personalized, relevant campaigns that nurture your website user and give them the information they need, when they want it. Think Amazon. The end.
Overwhelmed? Don’t be. Now that you’ve got a list, check off what you can and choose one thing to focus on first. Regardless of your resources, there are firms and software that can help you accomplish almost anything. By using technology to your advantage, you’ll find that your job will get easier and you’ll watch your desired results roll in.