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What separates effective nonprofit communications teams from ineffective ones?
That's one of the questions we set out to answer as part of the 2017 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report. We asked participants to assess the state of their communications work in several ways, including their use of marketing technology.
We asked nonprofits to rank their ability to manage their website with a content management system (CMS) that multiple people on staff knew how to update.
The overwhelming majority (68 percent) of the most effective organizations — those rating themselves as 4- or 5-star organizations on communications effectiveness overall — ranked themselves as proficient or masters on website management.
In contrast, only 24 percent of the least effective organizations — those rating themselves with just 1 or 2 stars on overall communications effectiveness — ranked themselves as proficient or better.
Thirty-one percent of the least effective organizations were unaware of this best practice, and 44 percent were knowledgeable, but hadn't implemented a CMS.
We also asked nonprofits about managing their mailing lists with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool or database that allows them to track information, interactions, and activities for each individual on their lists. The CRM data is like the CMS data: 69 percent of the most effective organizations say they are proficient or masters at this best practice.
Conversely, only 26 percent of the least effective organizations ranked themselves as proficient or better at using a CRM. Twenty-two percent of the least effective nonprofits said they were unaware of this technology, and 52 percent said they knew about it, but weren't implementing it.
We also asked about the ability to segment email and print mailing lists, and to target advertising, so that people see content from the nonprofit that they find highly relevant. Since this ability is largely based on the use of a CRM, the results aren't surprising: 67 percent of the most effective organizations say they are proficient or better at segmenting.
Only 31 percent of the least effective organizations said the same. Instead, 12 percent of the least effective nonprofits said they were unaware of this practice, and 57 percent said they had knowledge of it, but were not implementing it.
The results are clear: Nonprofits report that their communications effectiveness is closely tied to the adoption and use of marketing technologies.
Learn much more about what separates effective and ineffective nonprofit communicators by downloading your free copy of the 2017 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report.
Kivi Leroux Miller is the founder and CEO of Nonprofit Marketing Guide and the author of the seventh annual Nonprofit Communications Trends Report. She is also the author of two books on nonprofit marketing, The Nonprofit Marketing Guide: High-Impact, Low-Cost Ways to Build Support for Your Good Cause and Content Marketing for Nonprofits: A Communications Map for Engaging Your Community, Becoming a Favorite Cause, and Raising More Money.
This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License.