Communication – Best Bang for Your Buck

For our December blog series we are examining the Non-Profit Marketing Trends of 2012 this month based on a survey of 1,288 nonprofits and their strategies, fears, and plans for the new year.  Today we will share the next data point:

What are the top three communication tools that nonprofits consider most important, somewhat important, and least important from the following options:

  • Email marketing and newsletters
  • Print and direct mail
  • Website
  • Blog
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Video (YouTube, etc.)
  • Audio (e.g. podcasts)
  • Media relations/PR
  • Photo sharing
  • Paid advertising
  • Phone calls/phone banks
  • Texting
  • In-person events

For two consecutive years, nonprofits identified the same top six communication options as “very important:” Websites and email marketing are significantly more important, followed by print, in-person events, Facebook, and media relations.  Are these communication channels open in your organization?  Do you have a plan for using these options to reach your clients and potential donors?

The data indicates that online marketing tools continue to be of highest import with 93% of participants identifying their website as being a very or somewhat important tool, and 89% say the same of their email marketing tools.  Facebook follows in third place with 80% of participants identifying it as a somewhat important communications tool – greatly more important than the more traditional tools of print marketing (67%), in-person events (66%), and media relations/PR (57%).

Smaller organizations tend to be more social, embracing more frugal and less labor-intensive communication efforts.  However, that is not to say that these online marketing efforts can be low budget.  Investing in an updated website and Facebook page that aligns with your marketing plan deserves much time and attention to get the most bang for your buck.  Considering the importance ranking of your online presence, make sure it is current, accessible, and consistent with your goals and image.


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