With in-person fundraising on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, digital seems a natural fit for nonprofit groups.
But many are not buying it — only 49.4% of nonprofits have created digital experiences for donors since March 2020, according to a study by the Charities Aid Foundation of America. And that’s a problem, says Lasso Digital, a digital marketing agency.
"While it's unquestionable that many donors have had to pull back their giving because of the pandemic, there are still donors who are ready and able to give," said Taylor Rosty, managing director for Lasso Digital, a marketing firm that specializes in serving the communication needs of non-profit organizations.
Rosty adds: "It's just a matter of reaching them, and frankly, many nonprofits aren't prepared. They're fighting with outdated websites they don't know how to edit and trying to learn how to use social media on the fly to reach donors."
Organizations need updated, mobile-friendly web sites, a robust email communication strategy and active social media channels where donors can engage with the group, Rosty adds.
Teresa Devine, development director at Seniors' Resource Center, agrees.
"Before, social media was viewed as a nice-to-have," she said. "Now, we are learning quickly to harness social media as a critical tool in helping us reach donors and clients as well as grow our relationship with our community partners,” Devine states.
"The winners post-COVID will be the nonprofits who were able to maintain and grow relationships with donors and right now, by definition, that has to be online,” adds Lara Jakubowski, senior consultant at La Piana Consulting. “Audiences are shifting and after COVID they will be more reliant on digital communications."