Leveraging Technology and the Influencer Effect for Nonprofit Advancement

By - December 10, 2021

Nonprofit organizations play a pivotal role in the development of stronger, safer communities by providing crucial services that fortify socioeconomic stability and create opportunities for growth. As the need for charitable services continues to rise, nonprofits are finding it difficult to meet growing demand with declining government resources. Leveraging technology and capitalizing on an “influencer effect” could be the solution nonprofits need to continue advancing public interest.

How can the “influencer effect” promote nonprofit interests?

The rise of social media led to the emergence of a new marketing technique referred to as “influencer marketing”. Influencers are content creators that garner large social media followings across multiple platforms. This social media presence allows influencers the unique opportunity to share their opinions, preferences, and experiences with an audience. Influencer marketing provides a competitive advantage amongst nonprofits by actively recruiting potential donors and volunteers from consumer segments that may have previously been unreachable. Selecting a relevant, likeable influencer to promote the nonprofit’s interests and mission is crucial, and most consumers seek influencers that hold some sort of expertise or knowledge about the nonprofit service they promote. Like with all partnerships, nonprofits must be cautious and thoughtful when determining whom to align themselves with.

Why should nonprofits leverage technology and influencer marketing?

Gone are the days of massive IT departments and laborious technology maintenance. Low-code/no-code applications allow organizations to easily transition while maintaining affordability. Customer relationship management (CRM) tools are a common low-code/no-code solution among nonprofits looking to better organize donor information, manage supporter relationships, and increase fundraising capacity. RSM offers several CRM solutions that support nonprofits, including Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (CE) and Oracle’s NetSuite.

While these solutions are more affordable than traditional software, nonprofits can also take advantage of influencers and other digital platforms to promote their missions. Live streaming and gaming have become popular avenues for influencers to gain recognition and establish a following. In 2021, the video game streaming giant Twitch reported that about 2.7 million viewers watch streams on the platform every seven days. Influencers own the equipment necessary to promote their brand; as a result, nonprofits that align themselves with influencers may only incur a service fee. In return, influencers allow nonprofits to raise awareness, collect donations, and rally support from the new customer segment.

In 2018, Pew Research Center found that nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults are Facebook users, and roughly three-quarters use the platform daily. As of September 2020, Facebook does not deduct fees from nonprofit fundraisers held through the platform, effectively setting the fundraiser fee to 0%. Leveraging both a likeable influencer and “free” streaming service like Facebook Live would reduce nonprofit costs exponentially, allowing the organization to better serve the public with already-limited resources.

As they emerge from the pandemic, it is critical that nonprofits utilize affordable technology to continue serving those at the core of their mission. Joining forces with a likeable, relevant content creator will allow nonprofits to take advantage of the “influencer effect” while simultaneously reducing administrative costs and increasing donations and volunteer participation.

Tessa McCorkle is an Associate Technology Consultant on the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (CE) team. She serves public sector and state and local government clients as part of the network of solution centers and is currently based in Alpharetta, GA.

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