In England during the 19th and early 20th centuries, drawing rooms were popular among members of the royal court. These were lavish rooms that existed for the lone purpose of entertaining guests, but were among the most important areas of the home. There, people could show what they were all about while socializing, conversing about matters of the day, and – perhaps most importantly – doing business with one another.
As times changed, so did architectural trends. The drawing room has mostly fallen out of favor since the mid-1900s, but in the brave new mobile age, today's digital presence – website, social media, mobile and tablet-friendly apps – is just as important as those drawing rooms were in the last century. Your online presence, particularly your website, can function as a place to visit, socialize, or learn – but it's also a place to conduct business.
It's almost a given that a web and mobile presence is an integral part of any company, especially since online giving is increasing even as traditional ways of donating are significantly dropping. But when it's done right, a strong digital presence can be more than simply a virtual billboard to asking for donations, or even letting donors and clients what you're all about.
For-profit businesses can probably get away with very little interactive digital presence, so long as they have already-existing strong brands and a strategy to drive potential customers toward them, but a good nonprofit marketing strategy should aim to do more than that: It can facilitate and inform, but a good online showing can also educate and empower – with an eye to trust and responsiveness.
Here are four nonprofits that are doing digital presence right.