All nonprofit organizations face the same fundamental challenges regardless of their area of focus:
- They struggle to be heard above the digital media noise
- They are constantly searching for sustainable revenue streams
- They’re looking for more ways to connect with, grow, and mobilize their supporters.
If any of this sounds familiar, you’re in the right place. We’ve called out three specific challenges that all social impact organizations wrestle with and solutions that can change the game.
To take you deeper into the challenges, we’ve aggregated articles that talk about them in-depth. But more importantly is how your nonprofit can break through and be the leaders in real-world change.
The crucial element to tackling any of these challenges is to embrace a digital-first media strategy. Social organizations must go all-in on becoming a digital-first organization, otherwise these challenges will remain in the way of you achieving your mission.
3 Tough Challenges for Every Nonprofit
1. Be seen and heard in the new attention economy.
Whether you like it or not, your nonprofit is competing for attention in a very loud and crowded digital space. You aren’t just competing with other nonprofits. You’re competing with Netflix, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, the New York Times, HBO, and TikTok. Oh — and you’re also competing with major corporations, many of whom are adopting cause marketing with gusto. In other words, you’re competing with the entire Internet.
If you want to be heard, you must understand the way people consume information online. They are almost always online, but their attention is almost always divided. Moreover, the content they consume is often dictated by the algorithms to which they unwittingly submit. From search engine results pages (SERPs) to social media feeds, most of the content we encounter is now algorithmically curated. Between sender scores and promotions folders, not even your email inbox is untouched.
Perhaps it would be more accurate to call the attention economy the “attention-and-algorithm” economy.
In summary, your audience’s attention is sparse and sporadic. And that’s assuming you find a way to make your organization’s content visible in the first place. One thing is certain: If your content marketing consists of nothing more than a sporadic email newsletter, before too long nobody will see — let alone read — your content at all.
In the attention-and-algorithm economy, your social impact organization must act as a digital media outlet to be consistently seen and heard. That means strategically producing excellent content and sharing it to the right channels. Whatever you do, don’t forget to take time to make your content visually powerful and user friendly. Your content, like your brand, must be well-designed to rise to the top.
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