We look back at an unprecedented year to see what trends dominated the industry, the insights we drew, and the beliefs we hold on to for 2021
The programs with the most engagement all had two things in common -- They were on-demand and they were accessible to anyone.
For those at the advancement office -- the ability to quickly create and deliver small, focused, programs to cater to changing demands made the difference.
For constituents -- the programs that could be accessed anywhere, anytime — on any device, without the hassle of a password were the clear winners.
With the shift online, organizations with databases and measurement systems that talked to each other had a clear edge. For the office -- this meant having a holistic picture of how a constituent engages across different channels, and then being able to target them with specific, relevant programs that were useful. At a time when everything shifted online, staying relevant was vital.
The difference between the truly elite programs and the average ones was in how they set goals and went about measuring progress towards their outcomes. There is an age-old consensus that there is a dotted line between engagement and philanthropy. But today we’re at that stage where it’s no longer sufficient to leave it vague. It is necessary to quantify engagement, analyze what works, and iterate better programs.
With the rise in on-demand programs, constituents would connect with schools infrequently, usually when they needed something. This meant, we needed to provide the services that they need with minimum hassle when they did come to us -- or make it easy for them to find and access the resources they need.
We believe a system that can measure engagement without requiring signups is key to building good online communities. Platforms that hinge on a signup or a big launch will not sustain. We say this, having built such platforms ourselves in the past.
Knowing this now, we are building a system of lego blocks that you can piece together to craft a unique program that suits your community. Here’s a look at a few such pieces that you should see in 2021