COVID-19 Changed Digital Fundraising

The pandemic caused a seismic shift in the digital landscape.

Suddenly, and without time for most nonprofits to adapt, the entire discipline of marketing and communications was gutted. Nearly every non-digital form of marketing became, at least for the moment, obsolete. (Imagine paying for a billboard or bus stop ad when the entire world is locked down at home.) Quarantine forced everyone online. We work online, we shop online, we read our news online—and now, we even celebrate weddings online. In the wake of COVID-19, the world has truly gone digital.

What does this mean for nonprofits?
Online fundraising events have replaced your annual gala. Social media and search engine ads have replaced local gatherings as the premiere way to attract new supporters. The need for shareable video content has become paramount. The list goes on. And on top of that, you’re now facing more competition than ever before.
Everyone is online, and every business and organization is pouring their marketing budget into digital engagement. You’re never going to outspend nonprofits with billion-dollar endowments and massive marketing teams. But you can outperform them.
Nonprofits Have Difficulty Communicating
You’re doing amazing work every day. We’ve worked with dozens of nonprofits pouring their hearts into making the world a better place. From homeless ministry in San Francisco to free medicine and surgeries in Ghana, we’ve partnered with some of the world’s most inspiring nonprofits. And they all have one thing in common…
Nonprofits do great work, but they have no idea how to talk about it.
Nonprofits almost always struggle to tell their story in a clear and compelling way. It either veers toward insider jargon full of acronyms and programmatic minutia or to hopelessly abstract “services and supports” that tell the world nothing. The result is loss of interest, dwindling engagement, and a lapsed donor list spiraling out of control.
Your work inspires people and draws them in—when they see it up close—but your communication loses them. And you never reach anyone outside of your small sphere of influence.



For example, there are many nonprofit websites and landing pages that simply can’t explain what DAF’s or Charitable Gift Annuities are to normal people. Here’s language you donors can understand:

Donor-Advised Fund (DAF)
A donor-advised fund is a special account with money set aside for charity. When a donor makes a contribution to this fund, they usually get an immediate tax break. Then, they can grant gifts to the charities they love at a later date. This is an especially popular giving option for people who want to pass down a tradition of philanthropy to their children and grandchildren.


Charitable Gift Annuity
A charitable gift annuity provides a lifelong stream of income for the donor, while also providing a gift to the nonprofit they love. Usually the donor makes a donation of cash or property and takes a partial tax break immediately. Then, the receiving charity pays out a fixed amount to the donor each year. When the donor passes away, the charity keeps the gift. It’s a win-win-win, good for the donor, good for the charity, and good for the whole world that benefits from your life-changing work.


Persuasion starts with using language that your target audiences can actually relate to.
Successful digital communication—the kind that wins minds and hearts and donations—is about a lot more than having a website or a Facebook page. It’s not enough to be a passive entity in the digital world. Let’s be honest, most people aren’t seeking you out. Instead you need to find them.

The reason Node Motion exists is to help you find the people who want to support your work. They already love what you do, they just don’t know you yet. That’s the key to smart digital engagement—finding the people who are already passionate about everything you stand for and giving them something to act on. 

Bad News
It’s not easy. In fact, it’s getting harder. From radical changes in Facebook’s advertising policies in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal to iOS 14’s crackdown on apps that track user data, the world of digital communications is getting more difficult to navigate.
Good News
There’s a wealth of information that helps us find the right people. They’re already talking about the same issues as you. They’re already giving money to similar causes. They’re sprinkling evidence of their love for your mission all over the internet. We just need to follow the trail.
Trust is the Foundation of Effective Communication & Online Fundraising
Building trust takes time, and trust is the basic currency of attention.
The more you trust someone, the more attention you are willing to invest in them. This is the key to digital engagement, where the competition for attention is overwhelming. In the digital realm, every opportunity to connect with someone is threatened by a million other voices competing for their attention. The only way to break through the chaos of the internet is through trust.
But here’s a secret no one else will tell you: You need to first gain trust with the algorithms that govern the internet.
Obviously you need to establish trust with your audience in order to inspire action and loyalty. Have you ever thought about whether your organization is trusted by Google, Facebook, or Twitter?

Did you know you need to establish trust with the content-curating algorithms of these platforms in order to get your message in front of the audiences most likely to love your work, volunteer their time, and make a generous gift to your cause?

Those are highly sought-after audiences worth millions of dollars. The algorithms running the internet aren’t connecting them with anyone except those who have earned the highest degree of trust. But how exactly do you earn that trust? There’s no plug-and-play answer here, but we have a tried and tested heuristic.


We do it differently.
We bring scientific rigor and bleeding-edge technology to the art of shaping public perception. We decode the unique hopes, dreams, fears, motivations, and language of your audience and inspire them to action.
We Can Help You Communicate Effectively.

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Our Full List of Services for Nonprofits
Our core service is finding, engaging, and inspiring the people who love your mission.
We help you connect with people online. In technical terms, you can call it “lead generation” or “prospect acquisition.” In order to maximize our results, there are a few things we need. Depending on the talent you’ve hired and the resources you’ve already dedicated to digital communications, you may already have everything we need—such as a compelling landing page, video testimonies, and inspiring call scripts. If not, we’re happy to build out a turnkey ecosystem for you and hand you control when you’re ready. Here are a few of the services we can provide.

Lead Generation & Donor Cultivation

Donor Audience Lists for Web & Social Media

Call Center Calls & Scripts

Email Campaigns

Video Production

In addition to these general services, we specialize in a few niche areas of donor development: Donor Advised Funds (DAFs), Legacy Gifts & Estate Planning and Beneficiary Designation Gifts. We can find these valuable and difficult-to-find partners for you through our hyper-targeted digital engagement.
We get it. You want to know “how much does it cost?”
Every project is unique and every budget is different, but we strive to be as upfront as possible with the costs of our work. We are passionate about nonprofit work. Every time we partner with a nonprofit, we are inspired by their mission, their dedication, and their passion.
We bring that same excitement to our work with them. It’s a joy for us to partner with organizations we love, and we believe that foundation is crucial to forging the strongest working relationships. When we’re united by passion for our work, we’ll all achieve more together.
Generally, the cost of our nonprofit work is split 65% work and 35% ad spend. Our minimum contract size is usually around $10,000/month. However, depending on the project, we can also donate our time.
We specialize in translating complicated ideas into language that resonates with audiences online. We made our way in this industry working on complex government and corporate projects. Now we’re bringing that experience and expertise to nonprofits doing great work to make the world better. Here’s what we’ve been able to do so far with our nonprofit clients:


Increase in web-based revenue


Avg. Increase in Conversions from Social Media


Revenue Generated from Digital, for Our Clients


Avg. Increase in Fundraising Using Social Media

For a quote tailor-made to your specific situation, please reach out to us for a free consultation.

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SBA Small, Disadvantaged, Minority-Owned Business // NAICS: 541613, 519130, 541910, 541618, 541820, 561422