Fri, May 31 2013

What the latest online trends mean for your cause

Caryn Stein's avatar

Director of Content Strategy, Network for Good

Filed under:   Fundraising essentials • Mobile • Social Media •

This week, Mary Meeker presented the 2013 Internet Trends report during the All Things Digital D11 conference. Meeker’s report is consistently a treasure trove of data, trends and opportunities within the digital world. This type of insight is incredibly useful for nonprofit fundraisers as we navigate how to effectively engage and inspire supporters in a rapidly changing online landscape.

The entire report is worth a look, but here are a few especially important points for nonprofits:

Mobile usage continues to explode.
If you’re wondering whether mobile is important for your cause, consider this: there are now 1.5B smartphone subscribers. Plus, mobile traffic is projected to maintain its current rate of growth if not accelerate. To drive this point home, Meeker also reveals that smartphone users, on average, reach for their devices around 150 times per day. Wow!

Takeaway: It’s critical for your cause to be mobile friendly. Make it easy for constituents and supporters to find, interact and give to you via smartphones.

Rich content is ramping up.
Digital photos, video and audio are becoming easier to create, refine and share. To effectively compete for attention in crowded inboxes, social streams or browsing sessions, stand out with original content that embodies your message.

Takeaway: Incorporate multimedia formats in your online outreach to illustrate your impact, attract new donors and retain existing supporters.

Sharing and connecting diversify.
Social media platforms are still on the rise with sites like Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr showing significant growth. Though Facebook was the only platform in the report to see a drop in usage from 2011 to 2012, it still sees the lion’s share of usage.

Takeaway: Leverage social media to provide supporters another way to forge relationships with your cause and empower them to share your message with their networks.

We live in an age of unprecedented “findability”.
With such easy access to massive amounts of information online, it’s nearly impossible not to have full transparency—whether that’s coming from your organization or those talking about you.

Takeaway: Understand what is being said about your cause online. What do readers find when they search for you? It is critical to take the lead in being open about your organization to build trust and loyalty.

Other fascinating tidbits include emerging devices and formats that could prove to be powerful tools for nonprofit storytelling, fundraising events and reporting impact.

• Tablets are showing more rapid growth than smartphones; they may also become the predominant type of large-screen computing devices.
• Short-form and temporary content sharing (think Vine and Snapchat) are also seeing rapid adoption rates.
• Wearable technology and other connected devices—such as Google glass, smart watches and activity trackers—are poised to transform how we interact with all of the information available to us online.

You can view the full presentation below or via the KPCB website.

KPCB Internet Trends 2013 from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

How do think these trends will affect your organization’s fundraising and how you fulfill your unique mission? Chime in with a comment below!Caryn Stein


  • Comment: (15)   


Great tips shared for promoting marketing program. Promoting your cause marketing program is about making it discoverable: in person, in everything you do that’s connected to the program and online with blogs, Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare. Because the best person to promote your cause marketing program is you.

Posted by Karen Walters  on  05/31  at  07:08 AM

Katya, you really are insightful. Loved the way how the technology changed the whole world in a matter of years. Cant wait till 2020 to see where will this go!

Posted by Ramu  on  06/04  at  05:29 AM

Thanks so much for this Karen.

I think the first one was the one that I had underestimated the most (despite probably reaching for my mobile device about 150 times a day too!).

I recently revamped my website and made it mobile friendly and my traffic has increased ten fold. Some of that due to the website just being easier to navigate and share content. But the mobile devices visiting this website account for almost 1/3rd of the unique visits.

I’m going to take the time later to look through the full presentation and have a note of anything else I need to turn my attention to.

Thanks again!

Posted by Phil Drysdale  on  06/06  at  05:34 PM

Making your site mobile-friendly also means simplifying things, and limiting the image sizes, and keeping ads down to a minimum, or not at all. If you know your HTML, you can tailor your content to fit a range of mobile devices, using media queries, and hopefully it will work reasonably well on most of them.

Posted by timmon  on  06/08  at  11:11 PM

Its really Great tips shared for promoting marketing program. Thanks for the article

Posted by rishi  on  06/09  at  01:57 PM

Brilliant article, Karen. I have to admit, I’ve been neglecting mobile as a factor in my business. But after reading your post, I’ve decided I’m definitely going to reassess things as a matter of priority.

Posted by Neal Mayhem  on  06/09  at  08:20 PM

We do really live in an age of unprecedented “findability”. Marketing became so much easier to do that you can do it from your smartphone/tablet with a touch of a finger. I seriously can’t wait to see what the future is hiding.

Thanks for sharing, Caryn!

Posted by Mozzie  on  06/10  at  07:24 PM

I think we will certainly see a steady continuation of growth in relation to mobile usage.

As the bandwidth available to mobile devices on the go increases and inevitably the price of data allowances decreases the experience of browsing on your mobile is only going to get better.

I think a few years from now when we are all getting download speeds of 100mb/s or more on our mobiles we will see a real shift towards rich multimedia consumption.

Posted by Andy  on  06/12  at  08:11 AM

what a wonderful write up and highly informative article, you are 100% right every website owner must revert and make his/her website mobile friendly or in other words make it responsive, in one of my forum i receive 80% traffic from mobile users, imagine if i don’t make my forum mobile friendly

Posted by Collins  on  06/15  at  10:31 AM

That’s astounding how it’s going on, but I think the best is just coming. Thanks a lot for your observations !

Posted by Tom  on  06/19  at  01:45 PM

I think the hardest thing with the evolution of platforms is where to focus your time. This months popular app, social media tool is suddenly less important the next. Acknowledging the impact of mobile devices is vital - the 150 times a day stat is pretty amazing. But ultimately I believe any sound and successful idea it comes back to the basic - content is key.

Posted by Stuart Strickson  on  06/24  at  02:22 AM

It is amazing how infomation get to travel so fast and readily avialble at our finger tips.
Thepartof the world where I come form this is still yet to be experienced yet I am very positive of the benefits.My organization Rural Link PNG is still intis devloping stage will benefit greatly we go forward with the trend and tide.

What a change from the conventtional systems.Our world is surely moving fast so much so that it is now compressed and readily available on our hands or more precise in our palms.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/07  at  01:29 AM

Thank you for sharing, Caryn!

Rich content and social media are definitely on the rise. Perhaps adding to that is the emerging marketing trend of “content marketing”—using non-intrusive storytelling or rich content to ‘indirectly’ market products.

The idea is that consumers loathe having information shoved down their throat, so why not give them something entertaining/engaging that they’ll actually pay attention to, but has subtle influence on their purchasing decision. These are also the type of marketing tactics that will most likely get spread across social media. The popular “Dumb Ways to Die” viral video is a good example of such content marketing tactic.

Posted by Andrew Darwitan  on  09/20  at  10:21 AM

Great article Caryn! No one should ever underestimate the power of mobile marketing. Social media has been the top dog for businesses in building relationships with their consumers online. If a business fails to execute a proper mobile marketing strategy, then they will be left in the dust.

Posted by Rex Anderson  on  01/23  at  12:40 PM

I’ve never done website traffic generation for non-profits Caryn.

But I would imagine the mobile and social trends are huge opportunities.

Whenever I’ve donated in the past it’s been a matter of right time, right place, right mood.

The more content touches you can get with potential donors, the better.

For more ideas on how to increase traffic to your website or blog read this article:

Posted by Dan Hodgins  on  02/03  at  03:38 AM

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