A review of online, search, and social media activity over 2020-2021 uncovers a subtle but significant shift in sentiment with implications for the way Not-For-Profits communicate and fundraise.

For many Not-For-Profits (NFPs), the past year has been a rollercoaster full of challenge and change with both positive and negative impacts. The human response to these twists and turns is most evident (and arguably most trackable) on social media, growing and morphing in every minute and through every moment. As the world scrabbles towards hopefully calmer waters, the human impact of this period and the implications for NFPs must be assessed.

In this free report, Adroit explores the chatter, trends, and topics on social media throughout 2020. We highlight some of the most impactful campaigns and issues, and we assess what this means for NFPs and how you can adapt your future campaign plans and strategies in response. We note that the research is in English and therefore UK/Western-centric.

To conduct this research, we have used a mix of research techniques, including Audience Intelligence, Social Listening, Online Monitoring and Search Listening. In addition, we have harnessed third party social media and search data as data sources.

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e-donation concept.close-up of man hands make an online donate via mobile phone

With the sheer volume, depth, and breadth of data available, it is necessary to use advanced data-mining technology and research techniques. We have developed many capabilities in these areas over many years of working with NFPs. Typically, our work seeks to identify and exploit fundraising and awareness campaigns opportunities, but it has many potential applications.

As a first analysis step, we used machine learning to build up a rich lexicon of keywords and phrases built around core topics such as “donations”, “giving”, and “fundraising”. This helps to identify the appropriate activity for analysis. Then, navigating our way through the peaks and troughs of social chatter, we can identify the opportunities and threats that exist. We can also assess the strengths and weaknesses of the NFP response.

While this report picks up on specific organisations, we try to examine the overall social trends and chatter associated with a broad range of NFPs, NGOs, and charities. We appreciate we may not have covered every topic or organisation, but we hope you find our observations helpful. 😊!

The Digital Team at Adroit

Chloe White
Digital Marketing Assistant Chloe
Nathan Shilton
Digital Director Nathan
Raven Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing Manager Raven Wheatley-Hawkins

“Stop the world; we want to get off.”

Unsurprisingly, the most prominent story of 2020 is the pandemic that has shaken the world and changed the way individuals and businesses operate. Amongst Tik Tok trends, the race towards a vaccine, eco pressures and civil unrest featured highly. There was little room for anything else in the headlines besides global panic and frustration.

Last year, Google (2020) announced the top searches globally: ‘Coronavirus’, ‘Election Results’, ‘Kobe Bryant’, ‘Zoom’ and ‘IPL’. Businesses came up against social issues and a global pandemic, which meant an inevitable struggle for the economy and society. Digital usage has exploded, and it has become increasingly difficult to get a message out amongst the online noise.

What's trending in 2020 nonprof paper

Indeed, one of the pandemic impacts was the reduction of face to face and other direct contact fundraising channels with increases in digital spending. As a result, adroit launched a Global digital benchmarking platform in 2020, which showed the impact of different digital investment strategies across channels.

We have explored the changes within the non-profit sector, since the pandemic introduced a scramble for Digital skills in order to keep businesses ahead of their competitors.

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