3 ways NFPs can adapt online to the new economic climate

By Hugo Johnson-Driscoll

Shawn Kanungo is an innovation expert and motivational speaker who has featured in The Globe and MailThe Guardian, CBC, and Forbes, where a writer dubbed him the "best virtual keynote speaker I've ever seen."

In the lead-up to Kanungo's keynote presentation at the 2022 AICPA & CIMA Not-for-Profit Industry Conference, I asked him what accounting and finance professionals within the not-for-profit (NFP) industry can expect.

His one pro tip?

NFPs need to leverage shifts in technology to their advantage.

Telling compelling narratives will attract funders and talent, particularly online.

Creating magic online

For NFPs, finding unique ways to reach people and use online cloud resources, platforms, and social media channels isn't only necessary — it's essential.

Kanungo posits two questions to leaders in the NFP industry:

What are ways to create more magic? And how can you make things more meaningful and memorable with stakeholders, customers, and employees?

The answer: Tell a tremendous story — online.

"When companies leverage new ways of storytelling, they connect with people in a magical and meaningful way. And by connecting with people, NFPs can expand influence and increase serendipitous opportunities," Kanungo said.

Here are three ways you can tell great stories online:

1. The creator economy

With countless followers and millions of dollars, established social media influencers can radically enhance funding streams, Kanungo explained. "There are ways of connecting with people [who] you haven't connected to before. So, building unique partnerships and alliances with established influencers will significantly boost your cause in ways traditional avenues no longer can."

Online social media influencers are big business — according to Statista, it's a global market worth an estimated $13.8 billion. Pairing your company story and history with an individual constantly on the lookout for positive, altruistic causes that align with their values and brand can radically transform your NFP's existing narrative.

2. TikTok — minus the dancing

Another trend? TikTok.

It's the ubiquitous social media platform for teenagers wishing to discover inspiring narratives and successful role models, many of whom belong to a generation less interested in financial gain but one anchored in ethics.

"Generation Z are among the world's most conscientious consumers. Reaching them through TikTok is a no-brainer," Kanungo said.

3. Freelancer platforms

Freelancer sites, such as Fiverr and Upwork, and crowdsourcing websites are brilliant ways to tell your story to millions of people. If you need 20 blog posts about the history of your company and only have one staff writer, why not use outsourcing to gain the talents of expert storytellers?

Join the best and the brightest in the not-for-profit field for insights, resources, and networking opportunities that will give you the power to pursue your mission with confidence at the 2022 AICPA & CIMA Not-for-Profit Industry Conference, June 13–15, at the Gaylord National, National Harbor, Md., and live online.

Hugo Johnson-Driscoll is a content writer at the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, representing AICPA & CIMA. To comment on this article, contact Courtney Vien at Courtney.Vien@aicpa-cima.com.

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