I am deep into the data analysis for the 2020 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report, which we’ll release next week.

For the first time ever, we surveyed nonprofit communications staff on objectives for their work. We asked them to pick their top 3 of 12 choices. If you do the math, that means there are 220 possible combinations.

I’ll admit I was a bit stunned when I realized that the 625 survey participants had selected 159 of the 220 combinations — or 72% of the possible combinations! This clearly demonstrates the diversity found in communications teams in the sector – as well as the challenge in prioritizing objectives.

Because there were so many different combinations, it’s hard to say that any single combination dominates. While it’s relatively easy to say which communications goals, strategies, and tactics are most popular in our sector based on our previous reports, the objectives are truly all over the place.

However, a few combinations did stand out more than others:

For communications teams that work on fundraising goals, the two most frequent combinations of objectives are

  • Financial Gains; Expressions of Loyalty (e.g., donor retention or long-term engagement); and People Joining, Subscribing or Following
  • Financial Gains; Participation Levels; and People Joining, Subscribing or Following

For communications teams that don’t work on fundraising goals, the two most frequent combinations of objectives are

Participation Levels (e.g., numbers registering or taking action); People Joining, Subscribing or Following; and one of the following:

  • Increased Satisfaction among Participants or Supporters
  • Increased Demand or Desire (e.g. requests made for services)
  • Change in Knowledge about Issues

We’ll share much more next week in the full Trends Report. Stay tuned!

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