Noise, clutter, and an array of digital solutions – these are just some of the challenges that non-profits navigate to connect digitally with your members and donors.  

So, what are the key things to think about when choosing the technology on which to build relationships on different levels, frequencies, and platforms?  

3 common challenges

  1. Data – Your data might be held across your CRM system, an LMS, an email marketing system, your event management tools or simply in spreadsheets. There are many places where your data can hide! If this is the case, then one of the big challenges is that your data isn’t connected – how will this help you to utilise your data sets easily and strategically to best engage with your audiences and offer them relevant services/products?  
  2. Content– There are a few main points around this. Firstly, having content that is up to date. This doesn’t mean creating brand new content all the time. There is a lot of sense and reason to re-using old content, but ensure it is refreshed or updated. Secondly, what are you trying to do with your content – who are your audiences and what is the purpose of the content you’re pushing out. Finally, don’t forget that it still takes time and effort to refresh and update content so consider how often you’re reviewing your content and in terms of resourcing, who is responsible for making the updates, refreshes, and maintaining an overall sense of what needs doing and when.  
  3. Website – Your website may well be the main place where your audiences go to for your content but don’t just think of your website as the key to all your digital answers. Although in digital and engagement strategies, the focus can very often be on the website, this isn’t the only way that your members or donors engage with you! 

4 key areas to consider if you’re embarking on a digital engagement project

What does digital engagement mean to you? Every non-profit is different, has different groups of internal and external stakeholders, and has different avenues of engaging with them. Before starting a digital engagement project, the fundamental question to ask yourself is are you clear on what digital engagement means to your organisation? Do you have synergy and alignment across all your staff and teams on what this means?  

Channels – What channels are you using to push out your content, are they covering your needs and are they right for your audience? Consider whether your content is being pushed out on the platforms and tools that your audiences would expect to see it on – are you pushing out the same content across everything or tailoring your content according to the channel?  

Digital tools – Don’t just go out and buy anything! Think about why you’re buying something new, the purpose of bringing in another tool and what it is that you are trying to achieve with it. Look across your whole digital landscape and the tools your already have in place – often it’s easy to say it’s the tool that’s not working (!), but before you jump in to buy something else, consider whether it was implemented correctly, staff had the right training or if it’s being used for the right type of activity.  

Measurement and evaluation – This is about understanding why you’ve embarked on a digital strategy, how you’re engaging with your audiences and understanding how effective your tools are. Speak to your colleagues, audiences, and other stakeholders to gauge how effective your content is, how well your tools are working and ensure you’re measuring your engagement levels across all your tools to get that overall big picture.