Nonprofit marketing trends to watch this year

Dina Younis \
January 11, 2018

Whether you’re putting the final touches on your marketing plans or beginning to create one for the upcoming year, keep an eye on these trends and predictions for 2018:

Influencer Marketing

Consider partnering with an influential person in your niche to reach a whole new audience. An influencer can be a big-time donor, a blogger, a volunteer who has a vast social network, a local celebrity, etc. Influencer marketing is part-advertising, part-testimonial. This type of marketing works especially well in the arts and culture sectors. For example, offer an influential person a pair of tickets to a show in exchange for a testimonial on a social network.

Here are some innovative examples of influencer marketing.

Disappearing Content

More brands and nonprofits are developing social media campaigns that utilize the 24-hour feature of Instagram and Facebook Stories and Snapchat. This disappearing content engages followers and supporters and creates a sense of “act now” urgency.

Humanizing your cause through storytelling

This is the year to get personal. Use as many tools as you have in your toolbox to humanize your organization through compelling storytelling techniques. Videos and social media are just a couple of ways to get your stories out there. But also consider blogging, reaching out to local podcasts, and creating special spaces on your website for stories. There are hundreds, if not thousands of resources out there to help you become a better storyteller. Here’s one. 

Mobile and online fundraising campaigns

If your site isn’t already mobile friendly, consider making the switch this year to make online donations easier to make and receive. The thought of creating an app overwhelm you? You’re not alone. However, check out this handy resource where professional designers compete for your business. 

Video Streaming

Professional videos are great, especially for galas, special events, and fundraisers. However, as audiences continue to crave quick soundbites, your nonprofit can now get away with informal videos through live streaming. Try Facebook or Instagram Live or simply post or link a video you took with your phone to grab your audience’s immediate attention. This also allows you to connect with your audiences on a more personal level in real-time.


It may seem like the focus has been shifting toward social media, but don’t lose focus of your e-news. Take the time to build and organize your lists this year to directly connect with your supporters and subscribers. Remember to develop a realistic editorial calendar to ensure you’re including relevant and interesting information that always includes a call to action, and that you’re not bombarding your subscribers with emails.

Eye-catching design and having an online presence

If you don’t already have a website, 2018 is the year to ensure your organization has some type of strong online presence. There are free and low-cost resources online that allow you to create simple websites such as Wix and Weebly or even Facebook business page or Google site. Remember to keep your website updated at all times and include the most important information, including a way for supporters to donate and contact you.