As a nonprofit, no one wants to hear the word, “recession.” I’m here to tell you today that the recession does NOT mean failure and is actually just an opportunity to try digital marketing in a different way. I’ve compiled some of my best insights for remaining recession-proof with online giving.
First and foremost, I have to bring up the difficult truth that if you work with at-risk individuals through your cause, a recession can mean more trouble than merely the initial struggle for your organization, but trouble for the individuals you are serving, too.
The next recession is slated to hit in late 2020, so it’s smart to start preparing now. Invest now to make sure your social channels are properly set up to collect donations. Similar to a PR crisis communications plan, what’s your social media strategy? Schedule time into your week to think through what areas you invest in now to help you in the future – content marketing influencer partnerships, social advertising, and more.
Switch Your Demographic Focus
During recessions, people are more likely to limit their spending, especially the extra income that’s usually given to charities.
Outline who your primary donors are now. How can you expand that demo to include new donors? Think about the content and messaging that would reach and engage them. How do they give? Make sure your website and social channels are ready to collect their donations.
Use the Power of a Minimal Viable Action
As Marie Forleo preaches, using a minimal viable action is so important when requesting donations.
For example, here’s two different ways to ask for donations.
- Option 1: “Would you be willing to give a donation?”
- Option 2: “Would you be willing to give a donation? Every penny helps!”
Research showed by simply adding on the phrase: “Every penny will help,” nearly doubled the amount of donations.
Marie says, “If you want to inspire someone to act, suggest the smallest action possible.” All they need to do is sign up with their email, tag a friend in the comments, donate just $1, etc. Utilize this type of copy in all of your fundraising efforts for stronger impact.
Turn Online for Donations
Implement donation functionality to your website in a prominent way, utilize Instagram Stories’ Donation Sticker, Facebook Live’s Donation Button and run an effective email marketing campaign with incentives for donations no matter how big or small.
Showcase Your Security
When you encourage online donations, showcase the security of your payment processor and overall site. Always send people to a reputable website with an SSL certificate (https:// vs. http:// sites), cookie notice and a stamp of security – this latter piece is incredibly useful if you are including the older audience that is more accustomed to seeing these notices on websites.
Don’t Just Accept Cash & Cards
Increase your likelihood of gathering donations by offering payments through systems such as PayPal and Venmo. Many folks in the 25-34 age bracket hold funds in their Venmo accounts from interactions with friends and family and don’t consider this pool to be a part of their savings. Being prompted to donate via Venmo could feel like an easy give and not a trade-off for something else that they value and enjoy.
Optimize for Mobile
Make sure that your website for donations is optimized for a mobile experience, as more and more users are exclusively browsing using their mobile devices and need an easy, stress-free experience donating to your cause.
Make sure your call-to-action buttons are prominently displayed and no glitches occur during the donation process. No one wants to go through 10 clicks to try and give to a cause.
Be a storyteller. Continue to share positive stories about the incredible work you’re doing! Recessions can be tough for a lot of people and they look on social media for encouraging and motivational stories.
Stay convicted in your purpose and command the attention you so deserve from potential donors. Showcase your mission, utilizing storytelling techniques in all of your marketing copy and sharing success stories from people who have been positively impacted by your organization.
Teaming up with influencers who believe in your cause is one of the easiest ways to showcase your social proof and encourage more users to get involved in your organization! I’ve written a freebie go-to guide detailing how to launch your very own grassroots micro-influencer campaign that will come in handy and give you a jumpstart on the process.
I hope these actionable tips were helpful! Listen to me when I say: This world needs what you have to offer. You’ve got this! 🙂