Animation is all the rage in Digital these days and new technology is making animation more accessible and affordable for nonprofit organizations. But is it just a fad or is there real value into jumping into the world of blinking gifs and autoplay videos?

While too much animation becomes visually overwhelming and chaotic pretty quickly, especially those blinking gifs, we think strategically utilized animation, can add a dynamic dimension to any digital platform.

When you mention “animation” to someone, their first thought is probably of their favorite Pixar movie. In digital design, animation covers a wide array of motions and designs, ranging from artistic and eye-catching to practical and subtle.

Here are some things to think about:

  • Don’t include animation just because you can
    Consider how animation fits into your marketing and communications strategy. It should enhance your constituents’ user experience and invite engagement through interactive elements and storytelling. So, it’s important to identify those opportunities and then determine which types of animation would make the most functional sense. Even relatively simple animation can add life to normally static elements such as donation forms or charts. A great example of how animation can lead to compelling engagement is the use by the Humane Society of the United States of a simple countdown clock during its Day of Giving. Combined with a simple but powerful call to action (“Help Pets in Need”), the clock creates a sense of urgency in donors, letting people know there’s only so much time left to contribute to that event.

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  • Animation isn’t just for your website (or the desktop)
    Think about how you can integrate animation across devices, including mobile technology. How will an animation look on your smartphone? You can also utilize small, simple animations in email for a memorable and personal touch for a campaign.
  • Before taking action, research the available technologies
    Check out Movable Ink, [are there other relevant examples that should be included?] to learn more about how you can integrate animation into your marketing efforts.
  • Test, Test, Test
    Once you get a plan in place, test the animation with your constituents’ most popular devices and browsers for any issues. You want to make sure the file size won’t adversely affect the load time of a browser or email. And also test the animation for audience impact — does it get the response or conversions you expected?

Even the simplest animations can engage constituents when used effectively so start looking today for ways to add a touch of visual delight to your organization’s digital marketing efforts. And no blinking gifs allowed.