Nonprofit Digital Strategies: Reaching and Engaging Audiences

Did you catch MemoryFox’s Carly Euler on August 31th? Watch it now!

About the NXUnite Panel:

Join Carly Euler, Marketing Manager at MemoryFox, for an energetic panel discussing nonprofit digital strategies. This panel took place on Thursday, August 31st at 3 pm EDT, and was hosted by NXUnite.
As technology continues to shape the way we connect, understanding and leveraging digital strategies have become essential to create impactful campaigns, expand reach, and foster deeper connections. Learn practical tips to make a lasting impact in the digital realm. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to enhance your nonprofit’s presence in an increasingly digital world.

What will be discussed?

  • Tips for crafting compelling digital content
  • The role of social platforms in nonprofit engagement
  • Trends and overcoming challenges in nonprofit digital strategies

Full Transcript:

1:53hello and welcome to our panel my name is Melody Gracia NXT unite team member

1:59at Nexus marketing and your moderator for today’s panel today’s panel topic is

2:04non-profit digital strategies reaching and engaging audiences as usual before I

2:10introduce today’s panelists and we jump into this fascinating topic I do have some quick Logistics to cover

2:17NX unite is made in partnership with Nexus marketing and serves as a powerful community resource designed to Foster

2:23connections and facilitate lasting relationships within the mission-driven sector on NXT United can find upcoming

2:30industry events suggested influencers to follow trusted Solutions and cost-driven

2:36podcasts nxtunite also provides webinars demos and of course panels with experts

2:41such as these lovely folks with me here today today’s sponsor is getting attention

2:46they help non-profits expand their impact and reach more people through Google ads your non-profit may be

2:53eligible for the Google ad Grant and getting attention can help you at any stage of the Google ad Grant process

2:59from application to reactivating Labs grants from selecting keywords to managing ad

3:06campaigns to optimizing landing pages the team at getting attention attention will take the work of online advertising

3:14off your non-profits team teams plate so you can focus on your mission thanks to

3:20getting attention for supporting the NX unite Mission as well all right today’s our long panel will

3:27include time both for questions curated by my team and questions from you all are fantastic audience at any time

3:33during the panel please feel free to submit your questions via the questions tab we will spend the second half of the

3:39panel addressing as many as we possibly can and if you’re having any technical difficulties or have any Logistics

3:46questions my team member Anton is in the chat under the team nxtunite username ready to assist you the best you can I

3:54also wanted to share that this panel is being recorded So for those of you watching live the recording will be sent

3:59to your email after the session ends people can also continue to register and access the recording after the panels if

4:06you have any friends in the industry you want to share the insights from this panel with simply send them that same

4:11registration page and they will be able to access it finally before I introduced today’s

4:17panelists I want to thank you all for attending this panel we’re very excited to be in touch with you the mission-driven community thank you for

4:23taking the time to be with us today to learn from these outstanding experts who I will now finally introduce

4:30I’d like to first introduce Andrea shireyu is the CEO and founder of one nine design she is a veteran in the

4:37marketing world with over 20 years of experience in higher education fundraising non-profit leadership and

4:44digital marketing her expertise and Compasses creating inclusive and compelling websites for non-profits and

4:51small businesses and developing developing sustainable Marketing Systems to move organizations forward great to

4:58have you Andrea

5:07sorry my mute button was not working there and hi nice to see everyone

5:13also where this today is Carly Euler is the marketing manager at memory Fox where she values the opportunity to

5:20elevate hundreds of non-profit missions she has held positions at the Wiley

5:26Network breast cancer Coalition code of support Foundation Kenya Lacrosse

5:31Association and the Bulma project where she has specialized in marketing special

5:36events Communications and fundraising storytelling has been an integral part

5:41of each role glad to have you Carly hi happy to be here

5:49also with us today is Jessica King who is the business lead at getting attention where she helps non-profits

5:55acquire and manage Google ad Grant to expand their impact prior to her work at

6:00getting attention Jessica worked in non-profit and higher education organizations focusing on communication

6:07and digital marketing and most recently in search engine optimization in the

6:12mission-driven sector in her free time you can find her reading building furniture and hanging out with her cats

6:19Benny and Olive thanks for joining us Jessica thanks Milo I’m looking forward to the

6:25panel and finally with us is Matthew Reynolds who is the founder and video Storyteller

6:31at rustic roots for over 15 years Matthew has been creating videos for

6:37organizations of all sizes he founded rustic roots in 2015 to serve

6:42non-profits and help them engage donors through video he loves filming and spending time with his wife Heather his

6:50son Jameson and his twin girls Magnolia and Carolina thanks for joining us Matthew

6:59oh you’re muted

7:06good to be here all right now it’s finally time to hear from our panelists and Andrea I’ll have

7:13you start us off with the first question in the digital age what strategies have

7:18proven effective for a non-profit organizations to connect and engage with and engage their audiences

7:26all right we’re starting off with a bang aren’t we I love this is the first question I think it’s it’s very um very

7:32appropriate here and you know I really think it can vary based on the nonprofit’s target audience non-profit

7:38I’ve learned in this course of this work it spans right so many different size organizations different different

7:45targets different missions all of those kind of things and obviously depending on the kind of amount of resources you

7:50have both time and money you know Staffing all of those things so um I think it’s really you know

7:56important for the organizations that are watching today to evaluate and adapt their strategies you know based on

8:02changing circumstances what works now may not work this time next year or maybe what’s what worked last year isn’t

8:09going to work now but with all of that said I think some of the strategies that we that we continue to see over and over

8:14again working um and these folks are going to be experts on it are going to be storytelling I’m going to let them speak on that but I know because I know that’s

8:20what they’re gonna say but I mean that definitely was the first word that came to mind um getting a little more you know gritty

8:26there though I think email marketing is something it’s totally underused by our non-profits at least those that I’m

8:32working with some of them may feel intimidated by not knowing which platforms to choose the only way they

8:38don’t have the time to produce that content but um it’s algorithm proof right you’re

8:43leaning right in somebody’s inbox you’re you’re building that connection one email at a time it’s not transactional

8:49and so I think that’s really one of the big digital strategies right now that nonprofits could easily adopt no matter

8:55what budget size you’re at there’s a product that probably will work for you and um obviously it’s going to

9:01incorporate that storytelling right into there so that’s what I would lead with

9:06wonderful thank you so much for starting us off Andrea Jessica I’m going to bring the same question over to you how Can

9:12non-profit non-profits effectively engage with their audiences in this digital digital age yeah I think it’s

9:19kind of a broad question but when it comes to digital communication strategies I think kind of no matter what channel you pick there are going to

9:25be kind of three main steps that you’re going to want to go through first is going to be audience analysis and that

9:30goes to what Andrea was talking about about finding out who you’re talking to and what they’re interested in hearing

9:36about from you what their concerns are Etc then you’re going to want to move into audience segmentation so you’re

9:42going to split your audience into groups based on shared characteristics shared interests kind of however it makes sense

9:47to do that and then tailoring your messaging to appeal to these groups that

9:53you’ve created so you’re going to want to make sure you’re tailoring your message in a way that’s not trying to please every single person who may

9:59possibly be tuned in at once but rather giving different groups what they need at the right time

10:05thanks Jessica all right Matthew over to you what strategies have proven effective to connect and engage with

10:12audiences yeah I mean it’s it’s gonna be no surprise coming from me but we are

10:17definitely Jake Believers in using video to really hit that uh Old Mission alignment and impact

10:24um you know just being able to show the work with us through video or photography but then

10:30even using we’ve really found the email is also effective and in a way of getting

10:35uh getting those stories to people you know just posting it on on social or or

10:41hoping that people see it on on YouTube um it’s it’s not enough you know getting that more direct

10:48method through email we’ve definitely seen a lot of benefit uh but yeah that

10:53video for us it really conveys that that emotion builds connection

10:58um in a way that um you know you get it you get that that visual of seeing people you hear from

11:04people it’s a very human-centered uh um medium so we really like it for for

11:10the non-profit world wonderful thanks Matthew Right Carly

11:16anything you want to add to this conversation and how non-profits can effectively connect and engage audiences

11:23yeah definitely I mean all my fellow panelists hit on the two major things I

11:28wanted to talk about which is storytelling and then email so just quickly when it comes to storytelling

11:35um we have a saying here at memory fox video is not the future it is the now so we really just want everyone to start

11:41getting on board of using video more often especially short form video um we were just I do a lot of trying to

11:49get research and read up a lot of reports and um according to classy fundraising campaigns that incorporate a video

11:56um they raise 114 more than campaigns that don’t and that isn’t 10 it’s not 20

12:03it’s 114 more percent so it’s really why are we not using video If you’re not

12:09it’s time to get on board and then um in terms of email just as Andrea was saying

12:15like email it’s not going anywhere people still love email they love opening it it’s really going directly to

12:21your audience they signed up to your hear from you so let’s talk to them and

12:26um one interesting thing that I recently learned about email which again goes back to Andrea and being able to change

12:33your strategy um I think just even a few years ago we were sort of like oh don’t put too many

12:39links in an email people won’t click on them people will find it like spam but

12:44um I was just reading this report from neon one and they were saying that actually now that people are reading

12:50emails more on their phones and they have to scroll a lot further to get through your message actually having six

12:55or more links back to your donation page is the best way to get people to actually donate in an email so that’s

13:02something I just learned so I wanted to make sure I share that all of you so you can um use that for your strategy

13:09thank you so much for sharing Carly all right we’re off to a great start and Matthew I’ll have you start us off with

13:15the next question how can non-profits create a cohesive and impactful digital

13:20strategy that aligns with our mission and resonates with a wide range of stakeholders

13:28yeah I think you know it’s really um starting off by by you know clearly

13:34defining understanding the goals the mission the organization keeping that mission

13:40centered with everything everything that you do and you really want to you know

13:46to resonate with with stakeholders really trying to get their input you know we’ve we’ve seen a lot of

13:52a lot of people do have have green in donors or board members on board with

13:59their strategy or maybe it’s on a committee or something to to bring them in but it makes it has it has that

14:05belonging to add that that piece where people feel like they’re a part of the mission you know really getting that

14:11that alignment um really want uh donors and audiences to really align with that mission and

14:18not um kind of creating those that tighter Community

14:23um and um you know being where where your audience is and and not feeling the need

14:29to be on every platform is also you know it helps kind of give that um

14:35A Little Bit Stronger strategy and not going in in every every different place that you can

14:43wonderful thanks Matthew All Right Carly over to you how can non-profits develop a strategy that aligns with our mission

14:50and connects with a broad audience definitely I would um just piggyback on

14:55what Matthew said and I would really say just humanizing your mission is the most important thing that you can do to bring

15:00people in to really feel like they’re resonating with your mission um and that really is for all types of

15:07all types of stakeholders for your board members for your beneficiaries for your donors for your volunteers

15:14um there is a reason that they support you so they and it’s most likely due to some sort of story some sort of

15:20connection that they have with your mission it’s most likely not because they heard this great impact number and

15:25that inspired them to get involved that could be true and that is a great way to show an overall impact but when you

15:31really have great storytelling as part of your digital strategy that’s what’s really going to bring people in and

15:37really going to make them stay longer um and really that’s that’s just reminds

15:42me of um I like to ask people you know what is their mission and when you meet somebody and they tell you their mission

15:48you know they probably have the talking points they know the words but um the

15:54real question is can you show me your mission and when you see somebody’s mission in action that’s really what’s

15:59going to get people to give more it’s going to make people just more engaged in your digital strategy overall

16:06thanks Carly all right Andrea same question over to you how can non-profits craft a strategy that aligns and

16:12resonate with broad range of stakeholders um yeah so when I’m gonna I’m gonna take

16:18a little bit different approach with the question um because one of the things that I see with my with my clients um we start

16:24talking about a strategic plan and they want to um they want to open the document right and start typing and I

16:31think it’s really important for our nonprofits not to neglect the data analytics side of creating this this

16:38um this digital strategy right instead of kind of focusing in on you know okay number one which platforms are we going

16:44to be on number two you know what do we need to do with our website number three is email all of those things yes are

16:50going to be part of the digital strategy but unless you start with some good data behind the scenes that strategy is

16:56probably not going to be as successful so you can you know have a great plan to go all in on LinkedIn but if your

17:02audience you don’t have any data to support that your audience is on LinkedIn then you’re really wasting you know very precious time so I say start

17:09with understanding where your funding is coming from what percentage is Corporate what percentage is Grants you know where

17:15are your annual on donors coming in and that equation and um you know how do people find you

17:22you know talk to your stakeholders that you know like Matthew said making sure you have that input from because you

17:27know you’re not just talking about your donors you’re talking about your board members you’re talking about volunteers talking about Community Partners so

17:33getting all of that data up front and and then trying to put that into a strategy is going to make a non-profit I

17:40think much more successful in the end than kind of open up that blank page and creating that document

17:48I love that thanks Andrea right Jessica what would you like to add how can non-profits craft a strategy that aligns

17:54and resonate with a broad range of stakeholders yeah I think everybody who shared so far has had some really strong

18:00ideas and the word that I kind of honed in on when I was looking at this question is cohesiveness which I think

18:06really comes down to a good organization and good record keeping because a good marketing plan should ensure that the

18:13right messages are getting to the right people which is kind of what we talked about with like that tailored messaging and with segmentation but crucially

18:18you’re also staying aware of how your audience responds so for example if you

18:24are putting out a donation request email and somebody donates they should be moved to a thank you stream and future

18:30messaging should kind of be towards nurturing them keeping them involved but not hounding them for 10 more donations

18:36because that’s the next step in the donation email pipeline for example so you kind of want to think about how all

18:42of your marketing channels that’s going to be social media your email your advertising your website Etc are working

18:48together make sure you’re thinking about how if you have one individual who’s probably interacting with you on

18:54multiple different platforms what’s the experience that person’s having are they going and kind of a barrage of the same

18:59messages from every single platform or are they getting kind of a variety of opportunities to interact

19:05fantastic Insight Jessica very quickly I’d like to remind our live audience to

19:11start submitting your questions at any time and we’ll get to them on the second half of this session

19:17all right here’s our next question and Carly I’ll have you start us off with this one what Innovative approaches can

19:23non-profits take to build and nurture relationships with their supporters donors and beneficiaries through digital

19:30means sure I love this question I have a lot of different ideas but I’ll save you all

19:36and only give a few but um my the first thing that comes to my head is I love a

19:42multi-channel approach so if you are an organization that sends out a lot of handwritten thank you cards or you send

19:49out a lot of direct mail um make sure that that Direct Mail has a way for someone to go directly to your

19:55website so maybe it has a QR code that is going to show them how to get to your website maybe it’s just make sure that

20:00it has your link on it very big so they know where they can find you to find more information um I even did sometimes I used to send

20:08like thank you cards that would have a QR code and they would pull up a thank you video that they could watch on YouTube something like that where people

20:14can really feel like they have not just one touch but two touches in one so multi-channel approach

20:21um I also just um similar to kind of this stuff I’ve been saying but I also think that just a

20:27really Innovative approach is just to elevate the stories of those who historically aren’t under underrepresented a lot of times

20:35the people who you are your beneficiaries at your organization they haven’t always had the chance to share

20:41their story and that’s really the peop what people want to hear when you’re a donor you you usually want to hear how

20:48your impact is actually showing up in real life so elevating the stories of

20:54people who are have been historically underrepresented is huge and then just

20:59as a general rule I always like to tell non-profit Brands like don’t be afraid

21:04to have a personality it’s okay to be a little funny and a little silly and to use emojis and to use you know just like

21:12more personality when you’re talking to people because um you know that’s what’s going to make

21:17people remember you that’s what’s going to put a smile on their face when they think about your brand

21:23wonderful thanks Carly all right Matthew over to you any insights on how non-profits can creatively use digital

21:29methods to strengthen relationships with supporters yeah I think you know definitely

21:36creating um we really like the idea of you know kind of exclusive

21:41um content for for different segments you know really taking the segment idea um and and really going for it and

21:47having specific things for uh you know whether it’s behind the scenes of of

21:52different aspects or uh the day-to-day operations you know kind of making it feel like you’re bringing them in

22:00um to as part of the team you know because in a lot of ways they are a lot of ways they are it may be a small part

22:06but you want to increase that that relationship um and I think along with that really

22:12having a personalized approach so um we really like to personalize videos

22:18and a lot of times it’s it can be tough to do that and fortunately there’s been a lot of

22:23Innovation over the years that has a lot of ways that you can you can use

22:29software and platforms to to take a video and split it off into

22:34personalization but really trying as much as you can to to make it personal

22:39uh so we really like those platforms for a big broader approach for segments um

22:45and then a lot of times when we’re doing a video we will do if it’s a it’s a top

22:5010 major donor list or maybe it’s a capital campaign where someone’s trying to get to a specific

22:58uh we’ve done some videos where we did an intro for the mayor and the county mayor and the city mayor just to have

23:05that way of getting in to them um it’s it’s it’s usually some quick stuff but you put it alongside something

23:11else and so it adds that Personal Touch to it um and can start building those

23:17relationships and you can have that longer relationship to talk about uh future impact but really finding ways to

23:23creatively personalize but without um without taking up all your time you

23:29know trying to utilize technology and utilize uh different different ways to

23:34um to personalize as much as you can absolutely thanks Matthew all right

23:41Jessica over to you what are some Innovative approaches to build and nurture relationships with supporters

23:46yeah so I think you do want to offer opportunities for your supporters and your donors to connect with your

23:52organization both in kind of a general sense and then also in more personalized ways and so different communication

23:58channels lend themselves slightly more easily to one or the other so for example if you need to push out Mass

24:04updates then Twitter or X is going to be kind of an easy way to do that whereas

24:09something like a private Facebook group for volunteers might feel a little bit more personal and people might be able

24:14to engage better that way um so that’s sort of one General tip but I think when it comes to Innovation I

24:20would recommend putting the emphasis on discovering kind of creative ways to highlight your organization on your

24:26existing channels coming up with inventive narratives and inventive ways to kind of connect with people because I

24:33think and Matthew touched on this a little bit earlier but it’s really tempting to try and be everyone wear it

24:39once and to be on every single platform and that’s probably not necessary for most organizations I’ve found that the

24:46organizations that have a handful of really strong channels where they really understand who Their audience is they

24:52really understand what they respond to tend to have better results than organizations who don’t really have that strong base and kind of spread

24:58themselves too thin because they feel like they need to be making tick tocks if they don’t actually really know what makes for a good Tick Tock or things

25:04like that so I would recommend uh you know doing what you know first and then kind of building from there rather than

25:11thinking I have to do an all-out Blitz on every platform I can

25:16thanks Jessica all right Andrea we want to hear from you as well what are your thoughts on Innovative approaches to

25:22build and nurture relationships with supporters well obviously I’m going to Echo what

25:28what these three have already mentioned it’s like it’s hard guys going to be in the last one isn’t it you’re like oh yeah they said all the things but so

25:33I’ll just I’ll just encourage folks that could sometimes get overwhelmed with thinking that you have to go out and use

25:41all of these third-party tools and cool platforms and every new one like kind of everyone has said don’t forget about

25:47your own website and of course this is going to be from the website gal right there is so much personalization you can

25:53do on your own website even if you are not super Savvy um no matter which platform that you use

25:58I have clients that use like interactive dashboards and basically it’s a devoted page maybe for their women’s donor group

26:06and it shows you know a dashboard where they can see the real-time progress on projects that they’re funding they can

26:12you know obviously find upcoming meeting information or um some testimonials and things like

26:18that but it feels really personal and it’s it’s literally just a page on the website that not everybody can see and

26:24so there there are spectrums here so don’t get overwhelmed if you’re on the smaller side in terms of Staffing or

26:30budget or even time and just kind of you know I’m sorry about that you use what

26:36you have yes thanks Andrea all right Jessica here’s

26:42our next question how can non-profits evaluate the overall impact of their online efforts on the on their

26:48organization’s mission and goals yeah so maybe this is uh also kind of reflective

26:54of the space that I operate in but I think really good Data Tracking and really good analytics are key here and

26:59Google analytics is a free service it is available to you there is a gold mine in

27:05there about how people are behaving on your website and similarly if you find that like email or a different social

27:11media platform or something is like one of your best platforms most of them have some sort of native analytics that I’ll

27:17kind of tell you who’s engaging with your content and how so I would start there and then my recommendation for

27:22non-profits who are just diving into the world of digital communication and marketing maybe you are kind of new to

27:28this and you’ve never really done any marketing analytics before is to not get too bogged down in trying to really

27:35create like a super complex and perfectly precise user Behavior map because I think those are very

27:41sophisticated techniques that can be a little overwhelming and not leave you with a ton of insight that’s gonna like power your further marketing strategy

27:47when you’re just starting out I would start kind of simple so like like what are the pieces of content on your site or on your social media Etc that get the

27:54most clicks or the most views what kinds of keywords are bringing people to your pages so what are they searching for

28:00what actions are they taking most often are they most often subscribing to your newsletter are they most often you know

28:07submitting a contact us form are they following you on social Etc and I think these kinds of questions are going to

28:13give you a really good starting point to experiment and innovate with your messaging and as you grow over time you

28:20can start to get into those more sophisticated like you know do we send someone from this content to this content to this content you know you

28:26need to answer those first questions first before you can kind of move into the rest thanks Jessica all right Andrea over to

28:33you how can non-profits evaluate the overall impact of their online efforts

28:40um great insights from Jessica um I’m again as the webgal analytics definitely I live and breathe breathe in

28:46those things and and it can be done really simply um I’ll add to the conversation to not forget about something as simple as like

28:52a b testing and you know for for those that might be new to that idea you know let’s say you are going to send an email

28:58out um maybe you send half your your list one version of the email one testimonial

29:04one set of pictures and you send the other half of your list a different um version of that email and you see

29:09which one you know performs the best a lot of times um we’re looking at the analytics as a

29:14whole which we absolutely need to do but we don’t know if something could have worked better right because we only know

29:19what here’s here’s what we sent here’s how it worked but we don’t have anything to compare it to so there are a lot of things that you can you can do that with

29:26your analog you know donation letters in the mail you can do that with your emails you can do that with social media

29:31posts playing around with posting in the morning versus the afternoon so don’t be afraid to experiment

29:37um even on your website switching out headlines switching out photos on your home page you know maybe trying 90 days

29:43with one kind of set of information and the next 90 days with another and doing some comparison testing there I think

29:50you can glean a lot of insights from that um just just by changing it up and don’t

29:55be afraid to bring in somebody external sometimes it just takes an outsider set of eyes to look at that data and help

30:02you glean like okay what can we learn from this sometimes we really are too close to it ourselves

30:09thanks Andrea All Right Carly over to you how can non-profits evaluate the

30:14overall impact of their online efforts yeah definitely first off shout out to

30:20Google analytics four um I did my certification it’s completely free to do I highly recommend

30:26it for anybody who just hears those words and they think I could never like you can I can do it you can do it it’s

30:33the certification is great highly recommend um so then in terms of you know other

30:39you know other things that I would like to mention I guess about this question um I would say that

30:46um they did both Jessica and Andrea touched on this in terms of the data and collecting the data but I would say

30:53um it’s really important to put the processes in place to collect the data and then to do it consistently

31:00um just over time so you can see Trends over time because otherwise like just collecting data or like

31:06um I think it was Jessica was alluding to like getting too attached to like one thing that you see

31:11um it really isn’t going to show you a trend and really trying to stick to your strategy even if it means that you have

31:17to wait and be patient um looking at Trends over time is super important and then I will also just say

31:25um as a general rule for your whole staff trying to get everybody on board with your goals when it comes to online

31:31strategy maybe why you’re doing the things that you’re doing maybe why you’re talking about your brand in a

31:36certain way so they also can reflect that and so they also understand why you’re doing it because it really is

31:42everyone’s responsibility to um taking the data together and work on these kinds of things together

31:48um so it’s it’s definitely just very important to make a culture around it as well

31:54absolutely thanks Carly all right Matthew what would you like to add how can non-profits evaluate their overall

32:00impact yeah there’s been a lot of great great answers I don’t have a whole lot extra

32:07ad um I think we’ve we’ve covered a lot of it I do think sometimes it’s as simple as just

32:13asking people whether it’s a poll or a survey whether it’s how would you like

32:18us to to interact with you over digital where where are you at or even where

32:25where have you seen us in the last little bit have you have you have you seen that we’re on these areas and

32:31sometimes it’s just as simple as you know sending out a fairly simple form to

32:37kind of get that direct response from people and um and then you know kind of

32:42evaluating getting the data from there but what everyone else has said has been has been really great too not a whole

32:48lot extra that thanks Matthew all right this is the

32:54last of my questions before opening it up to her wonderful audience but before I open that door I want to sneak in my

33:00next question and Carly I’m gonna have you start us off with this one how can non-profits leverage various forms of

33:06Storytelling to effectively connect with audiences and create a lasting impression

33:14yeah so I mean no surprise here but we are a huge uh fan of video over here but we also love a photo and we love a

33:21written testimonial um I think that just in general those are all those are all really great forms

33:27of Storytelling and um in that way um I just would like to point out that

33:34really the power of those types of form of those forms of Storytelling is really that you’re capturing the raw emotion in

33:40real time um I always like to think about how when

33:45you’re watching like an award show if you’re watching the Oscars or something they always zoom in on all the nominees

33:51so you can get everyone’s reaction in real time right and I’m sure your nonprofit probably isn’t handing out you

33:57know Oscars or something along those lines but there really is the same premise here because when you are if

34:03you’re a non-profit that plants trees you can’t you’re not gonna replant a dig

34:09up a tree and replant it so you can get the content later so let’s capture the video the photo the written testimonial

34:14in real time really being able to see the people doing the mission in real time is just so important

34:22um and then I will just say in addition to that um really strategically thinking about

34:28all the touch points that you already touch your audience at and how you can integrate storytelling into that so

34:34every email hopefully it has a little bit of a story behind it even if it’s just your own story as the person who’s

34:40sending the email or every um you you can incorporate more signage at your events or more photos at your

34:46events things like that that are really just going to make sure that you’re using every touch point you can to

34:52really bring um all different types of Storytelling to light

34:57I love that thanks Carly Jessica over to you thoughts and how non-profits can use

35:02storytelling to connect with audiences yeah so I think in the non-profit world it’s really all about stories that are

35:08going to tug at the heartstrings that are going to create a really Clear Vision for the type of world that you are trying to build and I think you can

35:14think of Storytelling in a few different dimensions like we’ve been kind of talking about this whole time so there is the content of the story there’s the

35:21audience who will be hearing the story and there’s the medium you use to convey that story so you might come up with

35:26various combinations of these depending on what your organizational needs are so for example if you know you are trying

35:32to reach people who are new to your organization you might decide that ads are going to be the right medium because

35:38they kind of bring in people who don’t already know about you as compared to say your email list where you’re mostly talking to folks who do already know

35:45about you then that content that you’re going to want to link to is going to be whatever your best of the best stories

35:50are that are going to inspire action and Inspire connection those stories that are kind of making people say I want to

35:56hear more so usually if you have some sort of impact page or something like that on your site these are kind of

36:02where those things are going to live you might change up the details of these types of things depending on which audiences you’re going to reach if

36:07you’re like Hey we’re trying to get all of our existing donors to give a little more be a little more generous this

36:13giving season then probably email or something a little more personalized is going to be a much better Avenue for

36:19that message so by kind of thinking about those things in connection with each other and kind of deciding which of

36:24those levers you want to pull you’re going to be able to kind of make sure you’re delivering the most impactful story possible

36:33Matthew you’re up next how can non-profits use storytelling to connect with audiences

36:39yeah the you know the Big Goal the ultimate goal in in telling your story

36:45is to build that empathy um and and Lasting connections and so you know it’s really important to you

36:53know have that have that heartstring moment in a way that is um that is as ethical that is that is

37:00that is creating the the recipient or the the teller of that story with

37:07dignity and really having those authentic stories uh I mean I’ll I’ll

37:12give the shout out because Carly didn’t but remember we really love memory Fox and just being able to have that more

37:18authentic pro approach and then maybe building those into something larger but

37:23really having that authentic um approach and and knowing that the stories aren’t always

37:30um the full Journey it’s not always um there are there are nuances there’s

37:36there’s humans can be complicated um and so not not shying away from that

37:42um not not necessarily embracing it not not um um over uh glorifying that aspect but

37:50knowing that there is there is nuance and and letting and letting the your

37:55viewers be um um mature enough to

38:01uh view uh that content to be able to see the Nuance because they are

38:08complicated too and and not having to you know have this complete beginning

38:13and story that’s that’s perfectly well written and well produced

38:19I love a good one for this video but it’s really having that that authentic approach

38:25um and telling the story as it is um and letting that speak to itself

38:30um and really showing showing that impact of where where people

38:37um have come from um as well

38:42absolutely thanks Matthew right Andrea any additional thoughts on how non-profits can use storytelling to

38:49connect with audiences um I’m gonna I’m gonna again because they did such a great job covering this

38:55let um I’ll use my piece just to remind you to equip people on your team to tell

39:01the stories as well it can be exhausting as the leader as the marketing person for your non-profit to be the only one

39:08who is telling the stories and creating the stories and Gathering the stories and so it’s incumbent upon our directors

39:15and our leaders to equip their board members to tell stories to give them the information maybe in a slightly

39:22different way that they can adapt to have you know to have their stories and that way those get Amplified across your

39:27audience and they’re also going to come across differently when told by the director versus being told by a board

39:32member or a staff member or another volunteer so just you know don’t leave them out of that equation

39:39um you know and then rely on your community to give you community generated stories as well we’re always

39:44going to have great examples that we know of because we’re intimately involved with our programs and services

39:49but you know don’t forget to solicit that input from your stakeholders too for them to tell you about their

39:56experience in their own words and sometimes those stories really can just you know go then go a lot further than

40:02those that we’re trying to you know like Matthew and Carly said maybe sometimes you’re trying to make them tie them up

40:07with a bow and present them in this beautiful way that can and is effective but

40:13um sometimes somebody somebody else might need to hear it just in a slightly different way or from a different person

40:19thanks Andrea all right we’re officially Opening Our q a portion and we’ll start

40:25off with a question from Mary Jessica I’ll have you start us off with this question how do you go about segmenting

40:32all the constituents in your database so you’re talking to the right groups about the right things

40:38yeah this is a big question and depending on what your organization’s database looks like and what your kind

40:44of existing data capture and processes are could be a very big project so I’m going to lead with that

40:49um and I’ll kind of talk about like different levels you can do here but generally speaking what you’re going to want to do first is sort of sit down and

40:55say okay what are the important sort of signifiers markers Etc like what

41:02important uh I guess like ways that we could categorize people so this could be demographics it could be you know age it

41:08could be location um it could be gender it could be something kind of like that it could be

41:14their relationship to your organization so you might have donors volunteers board members Etc

41:20um it could be maybe if they are donors make maybe Their donation size whether they’re recurrent monthly or not any of

41:26these sort of different ways you could assign a label to a person you’re going to want to kind of think through what are the significant ones for your

41:32organization and you’re going to want to look through your database and say have we captured this information for the the

41:38folks in here for things like donation size I’m going to guess that at a lot of organizations that’s probably already

41:44being captured for some things like demographics data that might be a little bit harder one thing I will mention to

41:51this end is there’s there are services like data appending services where they will like if you don’t have someone’s mailing address for example then go out

41:57and find that mailing address and and you can purchase kind of lists of those and things like that um so that’s that’s one way that you can

42:04kind of fill in but basically if something is significant you want to as much as possible have that information

42:09for everybody that might also just involve calling the person and saying hey you know we’d love to connect we

42:14want to make sure that we’re up on the latest with you are you still at the same employer that you ever had a year

42:20ago if that’s like a significant uh marker for you for example this can be also a good opportunity for your

42:25development team to catch up with major donors for example things like that um once you have all that data collected

42:31in your database most platforms like most uh either like ads platforms email

42:37platforms Etc if you upload a list you can start to segment those based on different tags and so that is kind of

42:43how I would recommend doing it is capturing whatever possible information you think you might want in your

42:49database and then I would actually recommend kind of uploading that most marketing platforms will let you do that and then segmenting it within the

42:55marketing platform rather than trying to create little lists in your CRM I find when I do this personally I find it gets

43:01out of date really quickly and that is the harder way to do it the easier way to do it is to update your segmented

43:08um messaging streams within your marketing platform but keep your your database really really up to date with

43:13whatever the latest just information on your donors is so that is that is how I would tackle it I went to try and type

43:19that in the box and I ran out of characters so thanks for handing Me That level

43:25very helpful Jessica thank you so much all right anyone else want to add to that otherwise we’ll move on to our next

43:32question all good all right um Carly I’ll have you start us off with

43:37this next question what strategies are most beneficial to extend your demographics to younger audiences our

43:44main demographic is older adults and we’re looking to connect with a wider more diverse audience

43:51hey that’s a great question yeah if you’re looking to connect so okay so let’s see you said you’re your audience

43:57is older adults you’re looking to connect with younger adults okay hey that’s great um I know I’ve said this like a bunch of

44:04times by now but really the short form video is going to be where it’s at in terms of digital strategy and

44:12um we also know there’s there’s been a lot of you know again recent studies that are saying that gen Z especially

44:18they really love to learn about the mission and they care much less about the actual brand and about you know The

44:24Branding and all of the you know the fancy stuff um they really want to know actually who

44:29you’re helping and really just the nitty-gritty of the mission so being able to just have those impact stories

44:35again just like those real-time impact stories that you can have available for them um and then let’s see

44:42yeah in terms of just the younger audiences that’s where you’re going to reach them so on Instagram if you’re

44:47posting to your reels not just to your feed getting on Tick Tock posting your tick tocks on there and also just like a

44:54hot tip you can just keep reusing the same ones they they don’t they don’t mind I know a lot of social media

44:59platforms it used to be um kind of taboo to like repost the same thing but um nobody Minds anymore we’re

45:06just we’re post we’re reposting stuff and that’s because it’s hitting different people

45:11wonderful thanks Carly anyone else want to add to that

45:17I’ll just add real quick um I completely agree with Carly nobody cares about reposing content anymore they’re

45:23probably not seeing it the first time actually so make sure you share it over and over again they’ll eventually see it

45:28somewhere but um I would say two things to consider depending on your definition of young which could could vary

45:34um as one would connect with your Community Partners that also serve a young audience that maybe complement what you offer and see if there are

45:41partnership opportunities there um what other people are doing you know can you piggyback on volunteers that they’re using can you show up and and

45:47talk to those folks um and then use your board members to introduce you to their kids to their other family members

45:55friends of their kids those kind of things that’s a perfect use case for using your current volunteer base

46:00including your board members to make introductions we a lot of times limit that to like oh introduce me to other

46:06donor potential you know um colleagues those kind of things but you know don’t forget that they can

46:12introduce you to other completely new audiences as well so it wouldn’t hurt to ask them about that you know if and

46:19that’s if you don’t have like a student group you work with or something like that thanks Andrea Jessica

46:26yeah one other thing I was going to mention and I think it kind of complements what both Andrea and uh Carly were saying is that your younger

46:35audience is why may look different than your older audience is why so you want

46:40to make sure that you are kind of checking in with them about this like an example that I can pull from a client

46:46that we work with they’re a veterans foundation and when you ask older donors sort of why they donate it’s like they

46:51have reasons like patriotism like it’s our duty we are supposed to do this those are great reasons when they talk to younger donors the picture’s

46:57completely different they think you know it’s important to support people’s mental health um you know they are concerned about

47:04like housing access and things like that and so both of these are very good reasons to support an organization but

47:10if you’re building a messaging that you’re hoping is going to reach young people and you’re kind of beating this drum of like it’s your patriotic Duty

47:16you may just not have as much impact as you’re hoping for so I would if you have even a handful of young people who are

47:22connected with your organization I would ask them why and honestly if you get in front of student group and you’re like hey do you want to support us and

47:27they’re like we’re not really feeling it ask them why too it’s kind of it can be hard to have these vulnerable conversations of like you know it feels

47:34like why don’t you like me but uh it’s important to get that feedback because there’s a good chance that they would be

47:40engaged but you just need to understand sort of what kind of message is going to resonate with them

47:45thanks Jessica all right Matthew yes go ahead oh yeah well first off I just want

47:51to say Bravo for asking this question it’s um it’s a very long-term play and it’s

47:56hard to justify let’s extend our audience to a group of people that don’t have money

48:02um and don’t have influence but it’s but it’s it’s definitely uh I I look at

48:08looking at the next couple Generations they’re very social impact aware they want to make a

48:15difference um and so while it’s not necessarily a digital strategy I would say volunteering they people want to be

48:23involved they want to have their hands on something if that’s something applicable for

48:28um your organization but um just having that Hands-On approach to have them be able to see the mission

48:35um and be a part of it and then over time start to introduce other ways that

48:41they can help whether it’s an advocating role or um if there is a monetary donation role

48:49but uh volunteering I’ve seen it has been a big benefit for a lot of organizations we’ve worked with on a

48:54younger population because they want to they want to be involved and so getting them involved in ways that they don’t

49:00have to spend the money they don’t have they don’t have to um use the influence they don’t have but

49:06on the volunteering side they want to do that they want to do it with their friends they want to have a group of

49:12people go they want to have a group people that normally goes and and volunteers so volunteering I’ve seen has

49:20been a non-digital way but a strategy that has worked really well for organizations

49:28thanks Matthew all right here’s our next question how do you determine what details in your communication to change

49:35or swap out when a b testing Andrea I’ll have you start us off with that yeah um this one should be kind of a

49:42quick one that the real answer is you can test whatever you want right any anything in your message can be tested

49:49that being said some of the things that are easiest to start with are going to be um for your emails it’s going to be your

49:55subject line it’s going to be your call to action um it’s going to be even the preview

50:00Tech so that little bit of text that shows up in the inbox you know sometimes play around with leaving that blank you

50:06know inviting them you know with a little question there lots of different swaps you can do there

50:11um if you’re talking about social media you can be swapping out the types of photos or videos that you’re sharing or

50:17testing a photo with a video and I’m gonna assume these guys will agree that video is going to outperform that photo

50:23but it’s great to get that data for yourself um and then even again analog in your in

50:30your donation letters you can test out asking for a specific gift amount based on the previous gift versus asking for a

50:37range of of gift there or um two different stories that you have to pull from you know send one to one

50:44group and one to the other so again you can really swap out any of your elements as long as you’re tracking what you’re

50:49swapping out and you’ve got some mechanism on those envelopes on those emails to know okay this one had this

50:55set of data this one had this set of data let’s let’s look at it and give it enough time to work a lot of people want

51:00to you know make these swaps and look at it next week you really need a good window of time to to determine which

51:06which of those is really working best for you thanks Andrea anyone else want to add to

51:12that sure I’ll just say um in terms of the a

51:19b testing for your emails um I Andrea made so many great suggestions and I would also just say

51:25you could um you could also a B test the length of your email so just um really just what’s

51:31it look like if you have a newsletter that doesn’t have a big intro at the top versus a newsletter that has like your

51:37event at the top I don’t know something like that you might see that it might make a big difference

51:45Jessica anything you want to add as well I mean to be honest I have been uh dropping some ideas in the chat and I

51:51feel like we could go on and on probably just any like like Andrea said anything you want to test you can so I if I think

51:58of more I’ll throw them in the chat but I think we can totally move on all right thanks Jessica all right

52:04Matthew here’s a question from Jessica how often do you recommend updating a non-profits professional video

52:14yeah that is a that’s a tough question I mean sometimes there’s

52:19um you know I’ve seen a lot of organizations have to change it because something someone left some someone

52:26there’s a reason to to change it um and I do think and Jessica you’re

52:31probably not going to love my answer I think in some ways it’s it’s not video singular the way that

52:38everything the way that marketing and digital is going it’s it’s a regular

52:45um updating it I I see a lot a lot of people really love having the one video

52:51that hits At the Gala that they can use throughout the rest of the year but in a lot of ways that idea that is

52:59one video that is that that stays the test of time

53:05it’s a lot more of splitting that main video out into other videos so it’s not

53:11always just doing a new video every time I’m not uh going to advocate for that because that would be

53:16um that would not be cost effective but taking taking a a main piece of video

53:22and splitting it up so maybe you have a couple testimonials within that video well those can be their own their own

53:28video and so using it in a way that you can use it over time but as far as

53:33updating um I’ve seen I’ve seen people do I mean I’ve seen people do every every year at

53:40their Gala but it’s not always a brand new video that’s a cup seeing the whole organization it may be focusing on a

53:47different program and maybe focus on a different facet um so would love to talk we’ll have to

53:54answer that more but it’s kind of depending on what what your your needs are and what the way you’re using it

54:00um you could you could say for years if you have no staff changes and and

54:05changes in in um in Mission scope or or programs

54:11um or it could be kind of a always constant um changing so I’m not sure I have a

54:18direct answer to that but it kind of depends on the context there thanks Matthew all right unbelievably

54:26the hour has gone by so quickly so we’re gonna wrap up this portion of the panel so we can stick to our schedule if you

54:31have more questions for our panelists please complete the survey that will be dropped in the chat to indicate which

54:38panelists you have questions for and we’ll make sure to connect you with them after the session

54:43all right I’ve had such a wonderful time hearing from our panelists today and I’m hoping to get one final piece of insight

54:49from them all and Jessica I’ll have you start us off with this question what do you see as the future of digital

54:55communication for non-profits and how can non-profits get ahead today yeah I’m gonna do a little wrap up uh

55:02faux pas here and introduce a completely new topic which is that uh europol estimates that in a few years up to 90

55:08percent of the content on the internet could be written by AI um and so I think this is the time to

55:14really be thinking about what your message is how it stands out and how you’re going to keep your content unique

55:20and compelling for your human readers in a world that may become increasingly quick like messages can be produced

55:27really quickly but maybe come a little bit Bland or a little bit monotonous as AI kind of Blends everybody’s voices

55:33together so something to think about thanks Jessica all right Andrea thoughts

55:39on the future and how to get ahead today that that’s Jessica I know that’s true and I hate I just it makes me cringe

55:46so I would say two quick things one invest in digital skills with your team I know that budgets are tight if this is

55:53the area that nonprofits continually cut every year we don’t have time to send or money to send our folks for training but

56:00I think investing in those skills now understanding how to use Ai and these other tools that are evolving are only

56:06going to give you that that edge you need as things do move really really quickly and then

56:12um as many people you know mentioned throughout here today diversify your digital channels if you’re just doing

56:17one thing every year the same year this is this is the time to start diversifying trying something new

56:24um fail fast right just figure out if you if it works for you great if it doesn’t move on and try something else

56:29but it’s stay Diversified thanks Andrea Matthew thoughts in the

56:35future and how to get ahead today yeah uh I’m gonna take slightly

56:40different approaches kind of and with the encouragement but I think the future is

56:46um impact it’s it’s people showing their impact it’s I mean you see corporate

56:51Brands all the time that are trying to use CSR and cause marketing to distinguish themselves and in the nonprofit sector

56:58we have that naturally we don’t you don’t have to partner with someone that’s doing great

57:05work you’re out there and doing great work and and don’t I was I would just leave people with don’t encourage or I

57:12would encourage them to not shy away from telling that story and getting out there

57:17because I think I think a lot of times we think we’re going to reuse the same the same content we used you know we

57:24talked about that earlier we’re going to be bugging people with the third email this month but I think

57:31I think a lot of that stems from the for-profit way of thinking about it

57:36where you are trying to sell someone something but we have the um we have the the opportunity

57:44um to to encourage people and people want to see our our content they want to

57:49see um they want to be a part of something bigger they want to see um the work that people are doing they

57:55want to see good news they want to see this and so we have that naturally um so I think that’s the future is is

58:02more people whether it is Corporate brands or it’s it’s the people that are doing the work but it’s showing more of

58:08that um that impact that that um uh the mission Side of Everything

58:18thanks Matthew All Right Carly what do you see as the future and how to get ahead today

58:23yeah well hey Jessica brought it up so I decided I’m also going to talk about it but

58:29um when it comes to AI I actually will say yes I agree that we all don’t want

58:35to be just like pumping out more content that isn’t authentic and that doesn’t have any brand voice however there are

58:42ways to use AI for good and I think that we as a as a non-profit sector we need

58:49to not be scared to implement AI in ways that will help us save time and that will help us make our jobs easier so

58:57um just I I really caution everybody from being scared of it and please try maybe give it a try and like you know

59:03mess around with it and just try to see you know chat ubt for example just how could it help you there there definitely

59:09are ways and um I I think we just we might need to embrace it

59:16thanks Carly all right and with that we have reached the end of our panel I want to give a big thank you to our panelists

59:22today for sharing their insights I also want to give a big thank you to our audience thank you so much for your time

59:28and I hope you enjoyed yourself and learned something that will benefit the work that you do on a daily basis we

59:34have a packed few months of panels ahead of us and I hope that you will join us for them so keep an eye out on the

59:40nxtunite website or on our LinkedIn page to make sure that you don’t miss out on any of these and finally I’d like to

59:47thank our sponsor for today’s panel getting attention thank you so much for your support on this free educational

59:53content all right that is it for me once again thank you all for joining us and

59:58have a nice rest of your day bye everyone