Listen Up: Voice Search is the Future for Nonprofits

October 11, 2019  |  Richard Gabrintina

In Dec. 2018, NPR and Edison Research’s Smart Audio Report revealed that Americans own 118.5 million smart speakers. People are talking more and typing less as virtual assistants, like Alexa or Google Assistant, are becoming common household items. Many smart speaker owners have said they own their device because it makes it easier to do things, such as asking questions without having to type and conducting online shopping and ordering.

As consumer behavior patterns evolve, the ways in which nonprofits engage with donors must as well. As voice search continues to gain prominence in the lives of everyday Americans, nonprofits should also pay attention to the ways in which optimizing their programs for this technology can help them reach their audiences more effectively.

Using voice is convenient

Let’s admit it—we all love convenience. It’s why we order delivery using mobile apps, we love streaming services like Netflix or Spotify, and we have Amazon Prime subscriptions. In their report, “The Quest for Convenience,” Nielsen found that 27% of consumers wish there were more products that make their lifestyle easier. This should be of interest to nonprofits because convenience is a clear factor in donors’ decisions to give to nonprofits. Simply using pre-filled fields in online forms has been demonstrated to lead to 9.3 times higher conversion rates. Using voice-command technology eliminates even more barriers for potential donors by reducing the number of steps required to make a donation.

infographic on the quest for convenience
Infographic from Nielsen report, The Quest for Convenience

More people are searching with their voice

Today, more and more of us are talking to our devices. We ask our smart speaker or our smart phone questions with our voices, rather than typing them out, inquiring about things like the weather, news updates, and more. By 2020, it’s estimated that 50% of all online searches will be conducted by voice.

It’s the future

Although voice-command is still an emerging technology, it is becoming increasingly common each year. More people are using smart speakers to increase the convenience of their day to day lives. Nonprofits should keep voice-command technology on their radar as a potential way to better engage their donors and to adapt to constantly evolving modes of connection. 

To learn how your nonprofit can become voice search ready and maximize the fundraising potential of smart speakers, read our full report: The Nonprofit’s Guide to Voice Command Fundraising.