Is your Non-Profit Ready for Real-Time Marketing?

As more organizations try to become donor-centric, how can you make sure your nonprofit fundraising marketing stands out? Potential contributors receive numerous email messages, Facebook posts and other communications from similar charities and other causes, so you need to find strategies that help your asks rise above the noise.

One possible solution is real-time marketing. Marketingsherpa described the tactic as using major new events and trends to promote your organization's message. Breaking news, hit movies and online jokes can all serve as content strategies for fundraising messages and nonprofit online pages.

As any parent knows, participating in youth culture and popular trends isn't always easy. Before launching a real-time marketing campaign, you need to recognize how the strategy can help and what your organization needs to do to prepare for implementation.

When to use real-time marketing
Your organization most likely strives to make a difference in the world. This means major events probably have some bearing on your goals and daily activities. For example, if you raise money for schools or community centers, any local news story may have some effect on the children in the area.

T​ying activities to events on the tips of your donors' tongues is a great way to show the real impact of contributions. Fired Up Fundraising said a major trend for nonprofits in 2016 will be providing specific projects for donors to take part in. When news stories provide specific events, nonprofits can ask for funds to give people a unique goal.

It doesn't always have to be serious. Third Sector Today said nonprofits can take part in running gags or other popular bits of amusement. When a meme - a type of graphic joke - is being shared by online audiences, taking part in the publishing of popular images and creation of content shows your organization is fun and makes it appear as another friendly social media contact.

How to deliver content
Online channels like email and social media are best suited for rapid exchanges of information. These platforms can facilitate real-time marketing for fundraisers - provided your organization is ready to jump on trends.

It can be hard to plan for events that haven't happened yet. You could ask young volunteers and other members of your organization what movies, TV shows and other media is currently popular with people in their demographics. The best solution, however, is the ability to instantly adapt fundraising strategies to incorporate late-breaking content.

This means being a consistent source of communication. For example, if you have a Facebook page, your subscribers should expect regular updates featuring amusing or interesting content. As long as you're posting four messages a week anyway, it's simple to use one of those posts to comment on popular trends and news stories. The same can be done with email, and it's easy with marketing software that provides automation and blank templates.

What your nonprofit will need
When all goes well, your content will catch the eye of young donors, and they'll look for ways to take part in your cause. So, you have to be ready to accept their funds.

Before launching any new marketing tactic, you need to make sure your payment processing software and donation forms are ready to respond to increased demand. If you find the right payment partner, you can streamline donation strategies on social media pages or other online platforms so it's intuitive to move from reading entertaining content to clicking donation buttons.

Its also important to see the effects of new marketing strategies. If you can recognize where donations come in from, you can see how online tactics compare to traditional fundraising practices. This will show how real-time marketing performs and when it should be used again.


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