What This Year’s Digital Outlook Report Means for Your Engagement Marketing

The 2015 Digital Outlook Report, created by Care2, hjc, and NTEN is out now – it’s full of great insights into nonprofit trends and recommendations to help boost your organization’s signal. We’re also interested in helping your organization boost its signal here at Attentive.ly, so we thought it’d be a good idea to take a look at what the digital trends are saying and see how to best utilize the social data to effectively engage with supporters.

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Lesson 1: “Learn Your Lessons”

We’ve discussed the importance of listening to your audience in the past, and it’s even more important as online trends can dictate the conversations around your organization’s issues. By listening to what supporters are saying online, you can learn what topics and themes resonate the most.

Lesson 2: “Structure Your Team for Success”

No matter how great your team is, sometimes there are just too many things to do – sending out emails, engaging with social media supporters, engaging with donors, and monitoring trends can take up a lot of time and energy. A whopping 74% of polled organizations identified staff shortages as a major challenge.


Luckily, social data is here to act as its own team member. Set up triggers that know when list members are talking about a specific topic and automatically send out a tweet or email, freeing up your social media time so spend elsewhere.

Perhaps an influential donor isn’t following you on social media and could be a valuable ally in pushing out great content – follow them and automatically send a note asking them to help spread the word about the effort they gave money to; now it’s like they’re part of your outreach team!

Lesson 3: “Prioritize your Personas”

According to the 2015 Digital Outlook Report, organizations see the best donor acquisition and retention when they create personas of their ideal donors and better understand the motivations for each giving channel. Engaging these donors and supporters with language that is most relevant to them is key, and social data has an answer to this problem too.


It’s all about making sure a supporter/donor/activist is in the right list or segment to receive the right message. Create lists based on where people are engaging with your organization – is it email, Twitter, or Facebook? Look at what keywords are most used when they discuss your organization or related issues. Understand if they have a significant social influence, and want to be recognized online as a key supporter. With all of this information available, it makes it easier to craft messaging that speaks to their specialized persona and treats them like the individual they are.

Check out our recorded webinar “Engage Donors Year Round w/Social Data” for actionable retention tips from DonorDigital.

Lesson 4: “Map Your Content”

Think about delivering content based on behavioral triggers in addition to monthly calendars. Included in the behavioral triggers category are social mentions. Social listening allows you to see how your donors and supporters are talking about your programs on social.  An example of donor engagement, is sending and appeal based on how donors are talking about your campaigns on social in real-time. As soon as a donor says “fracking” — or mentions the issue they donated with, they get a personalized email asking for a second gift.

Lesson 5: “Focus on Digital For Donor Lead Generation”

Since email is still the best outreach channel, you MUST do everything you can to capture emails and invest in paid channels. The report cites that the 3 top uses of content this year are videos, high quality images and infographics. Make sure you are using this new content to drive leads so prospects are signing up for something like a guide, webinar or your enews. The Environmental Working Group actually grew their list to over 1M by using these types  of strategies. More emails means more social information you’ll have on your future donors.

Lesson 6: “Test, Test, Test”

The Digital Trends Outlook report says to try at least one new thing every month – why not see what is trending on social media across your supporter base and send them an email that related to that topic? Tie it back to your work, of course. Here’s an example of how our client the American Friends Service Committee had their best google hangout turnout and received 74 donations when Ferguson was trending. This was very much a test and is now part of their digital strategy.

Lesson 7: “Get Measuring”

What is social data, if not measuring what people are talking about online? As we discussed earlier in the “Learn Your Lessons” lesson, social data will allow your organization to quantify the exact keywords, topics, and trends of your email list. As you measure what’s important to supporters, be sure to also keep a close eye on response rates for these topics – you may have found the keys to a future campaign!

Are you interesting in learning more about social data and how Attentive.ly can help you keep up with the latest digital trends? Contact us today!

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