Communications for NonprofitsJan162017

Categories: Marketing

Communicating and gaining attention can be a bit harder for nonprofit organizations than it is for regular businesses. The reason is pretty simple: money. Generally, the marketing budget for nonprofit organizations is significantly lower than that of higher up brand names and businesses. This presents a conundrum for nonprofits, because in order to generate more attention you need to dedicate a decent amount of your budget, which will in turn increase your budget overall. But how do you do this when your customer base isn’t gaining anything out of giving your organization money?

The first and foremost thing you have to do is create a voice or a tone for your organization. Determine how you will approach your audience and what your key statement is. Depending on the primary focus of your nonprofit, you will determine if your tone needs to be serious and direct or more relaxed and laidback. Each category will generate a different tone, and you need to determine which tone you will use.

Once you have determined your voice, everything in your organization that has anything to do with marketing or communication has to have that specific tone. If it doesn’t, then your organization will seem lackluster and disjointed, which will result in catastrophic failure. Anyone who communicates on behalf of your brand needs to speak with your brand’s voice and message. Here are a few ways you can deliver that message and inspire your donors.

  1. Storytelling
    Hands down, storytelling has to be your number one method of communication. No matter which category of nonprofit you fall into, you will need to develop and show the importance of your message. You need to evoke emotions which will help you gain an audience that will take action on behalf of your nonprofit. A compelling story is what will lead to followers, 57% of whom will take further actions, starting from donations.
  2. Marketing
    In the business world, marketing represents selling products or services. For the nonprofit world, marketing means gaining more supporters, increasing event attendees and popularity, increasing newsletter subscribers, and other activities that will lead to success. However, you have to keep in mind that without a bulletproof storytelling technique, marketing will fail. Think of storytelling as the concrete base for everything else you do as a nonprofit.
  3. Fundraising
    While having a passive donation button on your blog where you have written your story is great and will generate some donations, fundraising is unique in the sense that its designed to inspire your followers and supporters to donate money for your cause. Content designed specifically for a fundraising campaign will generate far more donations than your passive button. Keep in mind that you have to stick to your storytelling and incorporate it in your fundraising campaign.
  4. Engagement
    This is one of the more vital aspects of successful nonprofits. Using social media to spread the word about your cause is excellent and thanking people for sharing and re-tweeting your posts is also good, but these actions don’t generate concrete connections on their own. A thank you on a social media platform is no different than a thank you for someone holding a door for you. You need to generate solid connections. Engage in conversations about your topic and answer questions. Be one of your supporters, show them that you care. Genuine care will go much further than passive politeness.
  5. Curation
    As a nonprofit we know you will be short of assets and hiring a professional content creator or media manager might be tough, but we still suggest doing so. You might not be able to employ someone to post for your nonprofit in house, but having someone create quality content by hiring an agency is often much more affordable.

With some creativity and a few cleverly organized words, you can be successful with your nonprofit message. Remember to focus on your message and your story, everything else will fall into place in no time.