Whether they seek to feed the homeless or stop global warming, creating content for nonprofit organizations is some of the most heartwarming and gratifying work a freelance writer can do.
While nonprofits occasionally hire legal writers, technology specialists, or other niche content creators, the majority of jobs in this field involve crafting persuasive pieces.
As a nonprofit, one of your key goals for content should be engaging supporters. You want them to know what your organization has been doing to fulfill its mission and help your constituents, and you need them to help you achieve more.
Developing a focused content strategy that encompasses your website, blog, social media, and email communication will tell your story to supporters and engage them to donate, volunteer, advocate, or take action in other ways.
So here’s a short guide to creating engaging content for your nonprofit!
Why Should You Create Nonprofit Content?
Running a nonprofit can take a lot of time and energy, so many organizations neglect the promotion side of things. However, investing in nonprofit content can yield some compelling and tangible benefits. Here are three primary reasons why your organization should be creating high-value content consistently:
Level Up the Donations
As you already know, fundraising is the core element of running any successful nonprofit. However, while in-person fundraisers can be great, they only work for the moment.
Nonprofit online content can help supercharge your fundraising efforts in a few different ways, such as:
Boosting Your Brand Recognition
Putting high-value content online will generate more traffic for your website. As long as you utilize proper SEO techniques, a single post can increase the number of visitors substantially. Over time, as you add more posts to your archive, you can spread awareness and build brand recognition and loyalty. Overall, the more people who know about your nonprofit, the more of them are likely to donate.
Making Your Donors Care More About Your Cause
When you create targeted, captivating online content, it’s easier to share your vision with your audience, including your donors. When people can understand more about what you’re trying to achieve with your organization, they’re more willing to donate. Plus, showing them a peek behind the scenes can give them valuable insight into where their money is going.
Helping Turn Awareness Into Action
Raising awareness is crucial for any nonprofit cause, but you also have to turn that awareness into fundraising. Targeted online content can motivate people and donors to be more proactive about how they can help fix the problem. Ideally, your content can both spread your message to a wider audience and compel them to act.
In today’s digital marketplace, content marketing is king. Brands and organizations that have a consistent and vibrant presence online can leverage their audiences in many different ways. So, focusing your attention on nonprofit content allows you to build that audience and capitalize on it quickly and reliably.
Best of all, these tactics don’t have to replace traditional fundraising methods. You can combine revenue streams to ensure your nonprofit has more funds to help more people.
Get More Social Media Engagement
A big part of building an audience online is utilizing social media platforms. Some of the biggest nonprofits in the world take advantage of social media and the reach it can yield. If you produce a content piece that goes viral, there’s no telling how successful your organization can be as a result.
Here are some ways that social media engagement (via nonprofit content) can help your organization:
Some problems are not getting the attention they deserve because they’re flying under the radar. With so many nonprofits competing for attention, it can be hard to cut through the noise. Fortunately, high-quality social media content can help your nonprofit get noticed and raise awareness of your cause. From there, it’s much easier to deliver a call to action.
A nonprofit is only as functional as its volunteers. If you’re struggling to recruit new people to your ranks, you can promote content that shows how great it is to volunteer for your organization. Plus, you can encourage current staff members to share their stories on social media via hashtags and mentions.
Show Your Authentic Side
Authenticity is vital for modern brands, whether they’re nonprofit or not. Social media content allows you to show people a peek behind the scenes. This way, you can illustrate what it takes to help those in need and how hard it can be to solve big problems. Social media is also an excellent place to start a dialogue and get input from your followers. Having these public conversations can build trust and make people more invested in your nonprofit.
Get More Media Attention
While social media can help you connect with your followers directly, you also need some traditional media coverage. News outlets can amplify your message and help legitimize your nonprofit, especially if you’re new to the scene.
Fortunately, high-quality nonprofit content enables you to connect with media outlets more directly. Overall, it’s much easier for an editor or journalist to read your blog posts and social media feeds than to jump straight into an interview. Having this content already published helps establish your brand and make it more compelling.
Plus, even if a media organization doesn’t do a full spread on your nonprofit, they can still share your posts or link to your site. The more outlets you work with, the higher your traffic, and the easier it is to raise money.
How to Write Content for Nonprofits
Knowing the value of nonprofit content is one thing – creating it from scratch is another. Fortunately, building a library of content doesn’t have to be challenging or expensive.
With the right writers and content creators, you can get a lot of traction from a handful of pieces. Here are some tips and tricks to make your content more captivating.
Balancing emotions and facts
Every nonprofit has emotional stories to tell and freelance writers can give those tales a voice.
The tide of storytelling, from problem to service and final results, can carry a reader towards taking action. But, for a story to be truly powerful, it must be supported by facts.
- How many people face the same situation?
- What does it cost to provide the service?
- How many people can be reached each year?
Focusing on the benefits
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone gave from their heart, simply because it was a good thing to do? It does not work that way. Volunteers, donors, and even readers want and need to benefit from their association with the organization, whether it’s through giving time or money, or just reading content.
To hold a reader’s attention and convince them to take action, flip the usual script. Rather than focusing solely on the organization’s mission and needs, give attention to what benefits they provide to supporters.
For donors, it might be a tax deduction, a sense of pride, or an advertisement for their own business. Volunteers are often looking to learn a new skill, add something to their resume, or meet new people.
Whatever the benefit is, showcasing it is a big part of guaranteeing support.
Showing the results
Donors, volunteers, and community supporters may come to the organization for their own reasons, but they often develop a powerful connection along the way.
Before long, the real benefit is the impact they are aiding. Showcasing results, in the form of both personal stories and statistics, is an effective way to thank supporters by reminding them that these results would not be possible without them.
Beyond showing gratitude, displaying results within content gives legitimacy to the work of the organization and encourages current supporters to continue their efforts while also demonstrating why new supporters should join the cause.
5 Techniques to Create Heart-Touching Nonprofit Content
By now, you should have some ideas for content you want to produce for your nonprofit. Whether they’re blog posts, videos, infographics, or something else, you also need the “secret sauce.”
For nonprofits, the challenge isn’t sharing your message – it’s making people care about it. So, whatever kind of content you produce, you need to make sure it hits all the right emotional notes.
Here are five ways to make that happen.
Have your program participants, volunteers, board members, employees and others who have benefited from your organization share their stories about how what you do helped them.
These stories can go viral, so be selective in who you ask. Find someone who not only has a good story but is articulate and engaging when they tell it. Depending on their comfort and charisma on camera, you can decide whether a video or a written piece would best get their message across without distraction.
If you opt for a video, you don’t need expensive equipment, however, you do want to make a high-quality piece that is free of background noise, movement and other imperfections.
Letting your storyteller share in their own voice is key – whether it’s a video or a guest blog post, a letter to the editor, or a message for an email campaign. An interview can help guide them in the right direction and keep them focused on your goal. However you decide to do it, having them explain in their words why your organization is great will drive home the point of how you help improve lives and communities.
2. Share External Research
New research comes out every day, and chances are, a lot of it relates to your organization’s mission. Whether you help people, animals, or the environment, you can find trusted data and statistics that support the work that you do.
Check out research think tanks like the Urban Institute or Brookings Institute or action groups in your field, like the Natural Resources Defense Council. Begin following reputable organizations, either by subscribing to their newsletter or watching what they post on social media.
When new research catches your eye, think about how the data validates your organization’s work and how your organization can combat the problem.
Analyze the findings and put them in context for your organization and mission. Share your ideas in a blog post, social media, or an op-ed to position your executives as thought leaders in the field.
3. Illustrate Impact
Your organization likely has mountains of data about the work you’re doing, but are you using it? Illustrate the impact of your work through lists and infographics to break down topics like how donations or volunteers help fulfill your mission or how you are imparting change.
Try to find data that combat misconceptions about your organization or provide insight into how your day-to-day activities fulfill your mission.
If your organization helps people learn to read, illustrate the number of total hours participants worked with teachers or coaches or the number of participants who have gone on to earn their GED or get a job.
Pick a few key statistics so that your copy does not become overrun with numbers. A good rule of thumb is to stick with one number or statistic per sentence, and always give context about what the statistic means overall and how it impacts your mission.
4. Give a Sneak Peek
Have you been working on a new initiative or pilot program?
Share the good news about your work through a sneak peek. Whether you write a blog post or email campaign or pitch the idea to local news outlets, spread this exciting news so people are enticed to stay tuned and see what’s to come.
Executives and employees are ideal for this type of content. If they will be speaking to journalists, coach them on how to talk about your organization so that the mission stays in focus.
Practice having them describe how the program or initiative meets the needs of your community and what supporters can do to take it to the next level.
Thanks to technology, advocacy can gain traction like never before with email campaigns and social media. Creating templates will help ensure that people are sharing your message in the way that you would like.
Provide the social media handles for legislators you are targeting or create unique hashtags so people can easily share, comment and retweet in a way that gets noticed.
You can also choose one of countless online advocacy tools to streamline the process. Make it easy for supporters to contact legislators with CQ Roll Call or Votility, or create a petition on Change.org or iPetitions.
By strategically developing content that engages your supporters, you can help them help you increase your reach and achieve more.
Now that you have the knowledge and insight to make high-quality nonprofit content, you’re likely itching to produce your first piece. However, if you’re busy running your organization, you may not have the time or energy to write and share posts.
Fortunately, WriterAccess can help. This expansive platform can connect you with high-quality writers from around the globe. Our writers have extensive knowledge and experience in a wide array of industries, and they’re eager to help!
You can get started with a free two-week trial and see how WriterAccess can supercharge your content marketing strategy.