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You need digital + traditional to work together

Nhu Te
4 min read
Feb 15, 2024 5:36:01 PM

068: You need digital + traditional to work together


The world is becoming increasingly more digital. People are spending more than six hours a day online. For nonprofits and associations that are weathering a fall in engagement, trust, and action, relying solely on digital or traditional channels just isn’t enough, especially in this attention economy.

Supporters crave authentic interaction and connectivity. While AI-powered personalization efforts can help bridge that gap, tried-and-true approaches like direct mail and in-person gatherings are evergreen.

As organizations navigate through a tough year fueled by inflation, they’re also preparing for the impending effects of an Election year. In this week’s brief, we’ll learn how omnichannel is more than mere channel experimentation—it’s finding that partnership across channels to amplify results and outcomes.

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Snackable snippets 

Multichannel marketing that drives results 🎧
The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri is a regional disaster and hunger relief network that acquires and distributes millions of pounds of food annually.

With a mission spanning 32 counties, Katie Adkins, the food bank’s Director of Communications, knows the different supporters the organization attracts. To cater to everyone’s interests, her team mixes it up with a blend of direct mail and digital strategies to spark engagement, such as postcards, physical newsletters, and social ads.

While certain nonprofits, especially those in international aid, experienced positive outcomes during year-end, the overall picture reveals a slight decline in total fundraising revenue. As giving continues to nosedive, fundraisers are bracing themselves for a challenging year ahead.

Organizations like the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation combined their tried-and-true channels, like direct mail and in-person gatherings, with personalized video greetings from executives. The integrated effort paid off, as the nonprofit raised 27% more YOY.

Identifying the social sector AI opportunity gap 📖
Advancements in AI are empowering nonprofits to scale their work, with 66% of organizations reporting using some type of AI and 77% wanting to use more of it, according to a new report from Project Evident.

However, there are barriers holding organizations back from AI adoption: apprehension regarding bias, ambiguity about its potential benefits, and a lack of understanding of AI. As this technology progresses and more nonprofits explore its applications, marketers will increasingly seek out education on AI to remain informed and adept in its capabilities. For these people, I’d recommend giving Fundraising.AI a follow.

Email automation strategies to unlock more revenue 📽️
As you find ways to unify the supporter journey across touchpoints, email automation will be a powerful tool for delivering personalized and timely messages to your audience. This takes the weight off of your team so they can focus on more strategic tasks, knowing that your supporters are receiving relevant communications without the extra effort on their part.

Join Noah in this webinar as he unpacks the benefits of triggered emails and shares automation ideas that you can try.

How nonprofits can work smarter with AI 📖
We both know that acquisition is more than just putting out campaigns into the universe. That’s why I wanted to resurface this conversation between Noah and Julia Campbell, master storyteller and nonprofit digital marketing guru.

She wants to change the way nonprofits are perceived and believes that there’s a way to foster empathy, not sympathy. Stories are your superpower, and they “raise more money, more awareness, more reach and engagement than any other form of content.”


In the news

Ahead of its first-ever Super Bowl appearance, CeraVe recruited 450 influencers to spark an online conversation around the focal point of its campaign—Michael Cera and CeraVe. This garnered 6 billion impressions before the game even started.

Why did this work so well? In the words of Adam Kornblum, CeraVe’s Senior VP and Global Head of Digital Marketing: “It's one thing for CeraVe to say it, but it's way cooler when other people are the ones saying it.”


Even though Valentine’s Day has been marketed as a day of romance and love, there is actually a surge of breakups on the day before the special day. Capitalizing on this, Pizza Hut is giving out a limited number of Hot Honey “Goodbye Pies.”

Bringing this concept into our sector, an example that comes to mind is letting supporters spread love by purchasing meals, books, or even housing for those in need, akin to being someone's Valentine.

For your inspiration folder

The Apple Vision Pro could open new doors for marketers. While this device looks like a gaming VR headset at first glance, I can see it being the next-generation mobile device. Remember when the iPhone came out?

Luke Hurd, Director of Experience Design at VML, recounts his first week using the Apple Vision Pro, citing a big storytelling opportunity this poses for marketers. For nonprofits, it could mark a future where missions are communicated through visually immersive marketing campaigns.


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