The Top Eight Goals To Consider for Your Nonprofit Communications Team


posted by
Chris Giarratana
Digital Strategy Consultant

A nonprofit organization communication team must be skilled communicators to achieve the broader goals and objectives of the nonprofit organization. Communication teams at nonprofits convey information to the public sector, private sector, the media, communities, organization’s staff, and other responders.

The primary goal of nonprofit communication teams is to raise awareness of the work of the nonprofit organization so that you can secure volunteers and funding to continue your mission. 

Your communication teams serve to empower communities, governments, donors, and the public at large with information regarding the impact and influence of the organization’s work. This is necessary to ensure government authorization, active community engagement, and positive feedback form the media and society.

Communication teams at nonprofits are responsible for developing proposals and requests for funding for donors. This process occurs in collaboration with the management team to present a clear and concise plan of an organization's achievements and plans. Nonprofits rely on donor funding for their operations. Donors require concise plans and objectives for funding projects.

1. Brand Management

Communication teams build brand awareness through tailored advertising, social media engagement, and local groups on the ground. Brand awareness is key to raising awareness of goals and work that nonprofit organization does in local communities. There are several free marketing tools for small business that your nonprofit can use to manage your brand without having to break the bank. 

Brand management can enhance community engagement, and improve donor-funding requests by a nonprofit organization. Local communities and society also tend to be brand aware. People engage more in attractive brands as compared to unattractive brands.

Four Online Fundraising Pitfalls—And How to Avoid Them

posted by
David Clain
Camelot Campaigns

More and more nonprofits are shifting their fundraising focus online—and for good reason. Online fundraising platforms are making it easier than ever for donors to contribute when and how they want to, and they eliminate some of the costs of direct mail solicitations and in-person events.

Data published last year in the Chronicle of Philanthropy shows this trend clearly: online donations to nonprofits increased 14% in 2012 relative to 2011, while overall donations increased by only 1.5% in the same period.


But this trend has been uneven. The American Lung Association, for example, received nearly a third of its private donations through the internet in 2012—but the median large organization raised only 2.1% of its donations online in that period. 

The lesson? Online fundraising is important—and growing more important every year—but nonprofits can't just open a spigot and watch online contributions pour in. Successful online fundraisers avoid the common mistakes that plague so many others. Here are four fundraising pitfalls we see too often, and how can you can avoid them.

One amazing strategy for marketing your nonprofit

posted by
Cynthia Huynh
Crawford & O'Brien

It’s easy to spend time making flyers and posters to advertise your organization. Word of mouth is one of the greatest ways to get people talking about it. But have you considered doing another great deed to getting your business out there? People take notice in organizations that continue to offer their services to help out those in need.


With Dentistry from the Heart (DTFH), for example, dentists open up their practices to those who cannot afford proper health care all over North America. DFTH provides people in low-income communities with free dental care. Dr. Mario Pary of Smile Dental Center in Shreveport Louisiana participates in this event every year. Not only is this great a way to give back his community, but it shows people that he cares.


Doing nonprofit services to the community attracts audience through the press. If people are seeing that you’re doing good things, they’ll write about you. If they aren’t writing about you, then you should write about you. What? Tell people about what you have done. People want to hear that you have been doing good things to help your community. They don’t know it yet, but that’s what they want to here. If someone were comparing dentists, for example, they would most likely choose Dr. Pary over someone that doesn’t offer community service. Why? Because that’s what people like to hear. It’s good to know that a dentist is using his services to help those in in need. It shows that he cares about people, that he has great values, and that when he works with your teeth, you're going to be treated with care.

Helping Nonprofits Helps You

posted by
David Good
Crawford & O'Brien

The dog-eat-dog mentality that is present in today’s business world has every company searching for a unique competitive advantage. What makes you stick out? What do you do better than your competition? And most importantly, why should a customer choose your company over the entirety of substitutes available?

Too often businesses focus on too narrow of a spectrum when trying to answer these questions. The solutions are almost always ideas which attempt to provide their specific product or service more efficiently, or at a higher level of quality. These are not wrong answers, if a company can implement a strategy to gain this sort of competitive advantage then they absolutely should. However, other varieties of competitive advantages do exist. A company that is involved with a nonprofit organization, or is active within a charity gains a huge advantage over a company that does not. This activity has several beneficial effects towards a business. It builds reputation within a community, adds credibility to all business endeavors, and gains respect from each individual customer who experiences these philanthropic events.

One businessman that has utilized this strategy to his advantage is Dr. Darren Flowers located in Anthem, Arizona. He has developed a special for new patients, where he donates the proceeds to a charity of the month, most recently the Red Cross. The low price of $19.99 for new customers would alone bring in a respectable amount of new business, and the addition of a charitable donation drives even more customers through the door.

Eight marketing tools to effectively communicate your nonprofit’s message

posted by
Asher Elran,
Dynamic Search

What most people do not realize is that nonprofit organizations experience similar complications and obstacles that a businesses face. Whether it is a small group or a large nonprofit corporation, the struggle to get the marketing message out there for the public to respond to is a battle that is fought every step of the way. If you are involved in this ongoing struggle with your nonprofit organization, we have eight tools that can help your organization get its marketing message across loud and clear.

1. Decompress the marketing budget with WordPress

In addition to the everyday headaches of marketing your message to the public, nonprofits often also struggle with a much lower marketing allowance than the for-profit competition. Nonprofit organizations can use WordPress, an easy to use application, for blogging and websites, making telling your riveting story and engaging your supporter’s interest easier and with far less expense.

Research Friday: Branding in the nonprofit sector

posted by
Alex Flores
Teach For America

Welcome to Research Friday! As part of a continuing series, we invite a nonprofit scholar, student, or professional to highlight current research reports or studies and discuss how they can inform and improve day-to-day nonprofit practice.

Brands like Coca-Cola and Nike have one thing in common: they are known and recognized worldwide. These corporate-born brands have become some of the most iconic images in the world.1 But brand value is just as important in the nonprofit sector as it is in the for-profit sector.

5 Ways to Achieve Greater Impact & Effectively Communicate Your Mission

posted by
Nicole D. Almond, MNpS,
Manager of Marketing,
and Stakeholder Relations
ASU Lodestar Center

Do you know the first steps in telling your organization's story? Do you have a strong sense of effective marketing campaigns to propel your organization to the next level? Do you feel your stakeholders and constituents truly know what your mission and goals are? Are your donors truly vested in the mission of your organization? If you answered "no" to any of the above questions, then this blog is for you.

First off, today's post will be a first in a series of get-to-know the Lodestar Center staff. As the Manager of Marketing, Communications, and Stakeholder Relations, I work to advance the Center's mission to ensure that our portfolio of research, education, technical assistance, and convenings are known by our stakeholders. I have been fortunate to work at a few nonprofit organizations, and there is always a critical need to effectively tell the story. Ready to dive into how to convey messages using specific marketing channels, and ultimately, how to measure the results of your work? Keep reading...

Use Your E-mail Signature.

A fast and super easy way to market your organization's mission and upcoming events/programs is to make the most of your e-mail signature. Quite simply, email signatures can be a no-cost, high-return marketing tool for your organization. Think about this: if your organization has 25 employees, each of whom sends 15 emails per a day to people outside of the organization, for approximately 250 business days, that's 93,750 placed "ads" annually, all at no cost.

Jungle of Trolls: Coping with Social Media Disasters, Controversies, and Blunders

posted by
Kayla L. McKinney,
Project Specialist
ASU Lodestar Center

A few weeks ago, we at the Center had a fiasco on our hands. What happened, you ask? We entered the wild, savage jungle of Internet Commentary.

Here at the Center, we're a calm bunch. We're extremely respectful of one another, and we get along like fuzzy critters in a Disney movie. Nothing particularly controversial happens, except when someone eats the last Reese's cup in the candy jar.

Pictured: Travis "Sweet Tooth" Butterfield

So, in June, when one of our blog posts sparked a heated discussion in the comments section, we were all caught off guard. The blogger, Katie Hawkes, had written this post encouraging our audience to be optimistic about volunteering. We've had a couple bloggers explore similar sentiments, too, including my fellow Lodestar staff member Laura E. Tan and Public Allies Arizona alumna Angela Soliz.

But not everyone agreed with Katie.

As the first negative comments rolled in, one of my coworkers told me he was concerned and believed we should delete them. I imagine he reacted like the majority of people would, probably even you. You want to defend your friends and coworkers (or, you know, at least the ones you like...). The best way to do that would be to make the problem disappear, right?

Getting the Most out of Facebook for Your Nonprofit Organization

posted by
Maria Rainier
Freelance Writer & Blogger
First in Education

Social media is a powerful marketing tool for businesses of all types, and it is especially useful for nonprofit organizations, which typically struggle more to reach a large audience on a tighter budget. Facebook is a leader in social media, with approximately 500 million users across various demographics. It's an especially valuable tool for nonprofits, since it's free and offers a large, accessible audience.

By using Facebook, nonprofits can connect with other organizations and reach supporters. They can raise money, recruit volunteers, or spread awareness about their cause. However, simply signing up for an account and posting some information about the organization is not enough to make Facebook an effective marketing tool. Here are a few tips for getting the most out of Facebook:

Create a Page, Not a Group