How the Digital-First Revolution Drove Momentum for Social Issues in 2020
This year, connections between digital experiences and real-world action rose to the surface. Certain social impact organizations iterated quickly and upgraded their websites to accommodate donations and traffic surges. Conversions of casual supporters to long-term advocates exploded. Large-scale issues became highly visible: housing and food insecurity, voter suppression, climate change repercussions, and systemic racism. The reality of these issues spurred masses of people to get involved from all over the world.
Social impact organizations were all too ready to respond, delivering guidance and calls to action. They adapted their digital platforms to accommodate their new supporters. And they delivered up-to-date information with tangible ways to get involved, providing engagement opportunities at a deeper level. Organizations optimized their CRMs and adopted more efficient donation platforms in order to keep up with the surge of new supporters. A welcome demand, to be sure.
It is undeniable that the digital-first revolution facilitated so much of the conversation and energy around these large, systemic issues. Organizations took the digital media model to the next level. They reached larger geographic areas and made donations, letter writing, online auctions, and educational Zoom presentations accessible with nothing more than an internet connection. Just look at what the Democratic National Convention did. They hosted an entirely virtual event and achieved their end goal of getting Joe Biden elected president.
Right now, people consume exponentially more content because social impact organizations spread their messages through digital media. And they are responding in earnest. Supporters are getting off the couch and into the street (literally) with organizations that up until recently they hadn't heard of. They are inspired by the progress they see in their newsfeeds and social media accounts — and they want to be part of it.