This week Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com released their 2011 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report. The report features 780 nonprofit organizations (mostly small to medium-sized groups) responding to questions regarding their marketing plans, the value and frequency of use for a number of communications tools, and what they are most excited/scared about as they enter the new year.
The focus of many organizations continues to shift to online communication as a relatively inexpensive way to reach a broad and diverse audience. Email, websites, and Facebook pages were ranked among the top communications tools by importance – none of which particularly surprising.
There were, however, a few unsettling facts. The first of which is that only 51 percent of the responding organizations indicated that they have a written marketing and/or communications plan. That means almost half of the respondents haven’t yet formalized their plans, or don’t really have a plan at all. That became less shocking as I read on to find that one of the biggest concerns many organizations face is having the resources available to implement a comprehensive communications strategy. If you can’t manage to find the staff time to map out a strategy, it will certainly be a struggle to allocate the time and money to put it into practice.
The same old problems – shrinking budgets, inadequate staff, and the perpetually uncertain economy – continue to be concerns for the sector. But, overall, this report found excitement for all things new – a new year, new technology, and new approaches that can open doors to new donors. Are you introducing new tactics into your communications for 2011? Tell us about it in the comments below!
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