In 2024, effective communication from nonprofits is paramount. This post explores the evolving strategies nonprofits must embrace to engage donors in a digitally driven landscape. From social media to influencer marketing, we delve into key insights to navigate this dynamic terrain and drive support for impactful causes.

Focus your Message on the Most Effective Social Channels for Your Target Audience

One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to your social media messaging. Knowing where your target audience likes to post and scroll is important to create content that best speaks to them. Instagram is the most widely used platform across all generations, with over 2 billion users. TikTok is now more popular among Gen Z consumers as it gains traction as a search engine. LinkedIn has one of the highest-earning and most educated user bases with 51% being college-educated and half of users earning < $75,000 a year. In 2024, dedicate more time to curating your organization’s voice on each social media channel to reach the audiences that are spending the most time there.

Gen Z is the Future of Giving

Gen Z, born in 1996-2012, saw its oldest members reach 28 by 2024, marking a prime age for regular charitable donations to their chosen organizations. Widely regarded as the most socially conscious generation, engaging Gen Z can foster loyal support and contributions if they resonate with your cause. Knowing what the majority of Gen Z is capable and willing to donate is an important factor in curating your message. In our 2024 Gen Z Survey, we discovered that one-third of respondents donated to a cause on social media. Gen Z is most likely to donate due to a personal connection with a cause or charity or because they believe in the mission of the organization, 78% and 69% respectively. However, just 78% of respondents donated less than $50. They are not there financially yet, but they will be soon, so now is the time to start building relationships with them.

Influencer Marketing

In 2024, more nonprofits will start using influencer marketing. Influencers’ wide reach, trustworthiness, and storytelling abilities will help boost giving and engagement. Influencers are frequently paid to promote products or services on social media through paid partnerships, while Gen Z is not very likely to purchase an item promoted by an influencer, 63% of respondents said they follow an influencer or micro-influencer, as reported in our 2024 Gen Z Survey. View our survey to check out the most popular influencers.

Partnerships with Big Media Companies Supporting Specific Issues for PSA Space

Public Service Announcements have remained a favorable platform for nonprofits to create mass awareness of their mission. In fact, according to our 2024 Donor Survey, 33% of respondents said that PSAs caused them to donate in the past.

Outside of a traditional national PSA campaign, there are other ways to gain attention from specific networks. Many national media companies select a specific industry and/or nonprofit to support each year.  Comcast and iHeartMedia are two media companies that do this. By pitching your cause individually to each network, you can be selected for additional space outside of a traditional PSA campaign pitch. View our 2024 PSA Director Survey to learn which themes PSA Directors focused on in 2024 and which ones they plan to focus on in 2025.

Make Donating Easier on All Channels

It is no secret that the internet and digital world have shaped everything about life we see today. Specifically, Gen Z grew up on the internet and are self-proclaimed “chronically online”.  In our 2024 Gen Z Survey, 54% of respondents reported they spend 1-3 hours online a day, with 21% spending 3-5 hours a day. 56% of respondents reported that they donated online, 18% used GoFundMe, 13% used a 3rd party service such as Venmo, 4% donated through SMS/Text and/or Apply Pay, and 2% donated through social media. Ensuring your organization maintains a robust online and social media presence, complete with easy donation options, is essential for tapping into this demographic’s giving potential.

Election Years Will Impact Giving

Election years bring a shift in donor priorities, with a notable proportion redirecting their contributions towards political causes. In our 2024 Donor Survey, 15% of U.S. adults plan to donate to a candidate in the upcoming Presidential election. Donation intentions increase with income; more than a fifth of those with a household income of at least $150,000 per year plan to make a campaign donation. Men plan to donate at a higher rate than women. Among those who plan an election contribution, 42% said that their donation will impact their level of charitable giving in 2024. That means that a substantial number of U.S. adults will give less to charities and other nonprofits during this election year. Strategic outreach during non-election windows (AVOID SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER) will be necessary to preserve donation levels. View our 2024 PSA Director Survey to learn more.

People are Growing More Skeptical

Building and maintaining donor trust is paramount in an increasingly skeptical landscape. In our 2024 Donor Survey, 20% of people do not donate because of mistrust in charities. Providing transparent communication and demonstrating tangible impact is essential for fostering lasting donor relationships. In our 2024 Donor Survey, 75% (Jan. 2022) vs 66% (Jan. 2024) of respondents felt their donation made an impact. Among those who were unsure of their donations’ impact, many cited a lack of confidence that their donation was used productively. For ongoing communications, donors appreciate information about participants and how they are benefitting from the program (54%).

A Local Angle Increases Giving Appeal

Highlighting the local impact of your organization’s efforts can resonate deeply with donors. Even when addressing broader issues, finding ways to connect with local communities can enhance trust and encourage giving. 40% of donors prefer to donate to local charities, an important consideration in developing the fundraising message (WW 2024 Donor Survey).

Email is Still Effective for Donations but SMS is on the Rise

While email remains a staple for donation requests, the rise of SMS marketing presents new opportunities for engagement. Personalization and segmentation are key to cutting through the clutter and connecting with donors effectively. Email requests for donations were preferred by more than half of respondents (53%) in our 2024 Donor Survey. Personalizing potential donor emails will go a long way for your organization. In a study by SmarterHQ, 72% of consumers only engaged with messaging personalized to them. SMS marketing is growing more accepted, with SMS campaigns having a 98% open rate and 71% of consumers opting in to receive texts from businesses in the past year​​. In 2024, ensure to leverage both these communication methods to convey your organization’s message effectively.

Diversify Your Organization’s Storytelling

Diversifying storytelling mediums is essential for capturing the attention of diverse audiences. Whether through social media, podcasts, videos, podcasts, or traditional written formats, embracing multiple platforms ensures your message reaches and resonates with a broader audience. In our 2024 PSA Director Survey, the creative style that resonated the most with PSA Directors was stories from beneficiaries – more than double the rate of factoids, statistics, and infographics. 

In conclusion, fostering trust, amplifying impact, and diversifying storytelling methods will be essential for sustained success.

Be sure to download our 2024 Donor Survey, 2024 Gen Z Survey, and 2024 PSA Director Survey for more relevant insights!