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Marketing + Communications

Effective marketing and communications is central to the success of an organization’s mission, goals and activities. Internal communication is essential to motivate, inform, and counsel employees and volunteers and to set the stage for excellent external communications. External communication is necessary to attract and retain constituents and to raise public consciousness, understanding, response to, and funding of the organization.
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 Staff Recommended
5 Google Analytics Stats You Should be Tracking
An article highlighting key google analytics statistics to track in order to assess website performance.
Annual Reports
An annual report can be a valuable tool for communicating with stakeholders and showcasing outcomes. In recent years many nonprofits have been experimenting with alternatives to traditional printed annual reports. The following resources provide more information about the purpose of annual reports, sample annual reports, and tips for developing the most compelling resource for your organization.
Avoiding the Spam Filter: Email Marketing Best Practices
Sumac Nonprofit Software
Make sure your organization's messages are getting seen by following these best practices for email marketing.
Basics in Organizational Internal Communications
Free Management Library
A compilation of resources to help oraganizations develop strong internal communications policies and procedures, including those between supervisors and employees.
Beth’s Blog
Beth Kanter
This highly regarded blog focuses on how nonprofits can use social media.
Board Members as Ambassador
Article/Blog, Video/Tutorial
One very important role that board members can play is as mission ambassadors, generating awareness of and excitement for your organization's work, accomplishments, and goals.
Communicating directly about racism, discrimination, and xenophobia
Your audiences may be expecting your organization to weigh-in on matters of racism, discrimination, and xenophobia. Many nonprofits are influencing the way diversity, inclusion, and rights are understood and negotiated. Should you be one of them? This piece offers four suggestions to help your organization communicate where it stands.
Communications Assessment
Spitfire developed the SmartScan as a free online tool to help nonprofits assess where they are poised to be communication powerhouses and where they have room to improve. Users answer a series of questions about their organization’s current practices and receive a tailored report detailing where they can focus attention to improve their communication.
Conflict Resolution
Article/Blog, Video/Tutorial
While steps may be taken to prevent conflict, many relationships and organizations will encounter conflict at some stage. When handled well, conflict can be not only resolved, but channeled into creative, positive outcomes. The following resources will you help you prevent, resolve and transform conflict.
Creating a Language Guide for Your Communications
Article/Blog, Sample/Template
Is your nonprofit working on how it can be more inclusive? At your nonprofit, it is important to make your participants and clients feel welcome. One of the simplest ways to do this is in the words you say and use in your content, and how you address your community. Language guides can be a helpful tool to clarify your approach and train your team. This article provides suggestions and sample language guides.
Defining Your Audience
To effectively communicate, it helps to understand as much as possible about who you are talking to - what they care about, where they go for information, etc. The following resources can help your organization define your audiences so you can better craft and target your communications.
Elevator Speech: 4 Easy Steps to Promoting Your Organization
This tool provides a simple format to help everyone in your organization create their own elevator speech to promote your organization.
External Communications Standards
Food Alliance
A sample of a policy outlining standards for public messaging.
Finding and Managing Consultants and Vendors
The following resources will help you find and manage consultants and vendors, whether for a defined project, or ongoing support. If you need a referral for support on fundraising, strategic planning, legal issues, accounting issues, meeting facilitation, technology, or any other outside support, start here. (Many of the consultants and vendors in the MANP Business Finder offer nonprofit rates.)
Grievance Procedures and Internal Dispute Resolution
Nonprofit Risk Management Center
Practical tips for handling grievances and resolving disputes.
How to Find Your Campaign’s Pathways of Influence
An interesting five step guide to finding ways to maximize your campaign's influence through your relationships and connections.
How to make your communications team a catalyst for diversity, equity, and inclusion
Tina Chong, Vice President of Communications at City Year, and Colleen Flynn, former Senior Director of External Affairs at City Year Boston and now Marketing Manager at Aspen Leadership Group, share their experience in advancing DEI and how other communications teams can get started.
Infographics and Data Visualization
In a world where people are constantly bombarded with information, it is increasingly important to design visuals that tell a story that data or words couldn’t have conveyed on their own. The following resources provide guidance on how to make clear and informative "infographics."
Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog
Nonprofit Marketing Guide
Excellent blog with tips, ideas and advice in nonprofit communications, publications, marketing, PR and social media. Kivi also offers a free e-newsletter and fee webinars.
Lisa Simpson for Nonprofits: What Science Can Teach You About Fundraising, Marketing and Making Social Change
Network for Good, SeaChange Strategies
A thought-provoking and accessible publication to help you increase the impact of your fundraising and marketing efforts.
Nonprofit Publications That Get Results
Numa Communications
This guide outlines a six step process for creating effective marketing materials regardless of your budget size.
Find articles with concrete tips on a wide range of communications topics.
Learn how and when to deploy the op-ed as a strategy to get your voice heard over the din. These resources includes advice and strategies from experienced journalists and writers who know how to write and place opinion pieces in national and local outlets.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
These articles and guides provide an overview of the key terms and strategies involved in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and tips for how to make sure your website content shows up in search results.
Social Media
Article/Blog, Guide/Tool, Sample/Template
A robust social media presence can help nonprofits share their message to a broad audience, but all the different channels can be overwhelming. Developing a thoughtful and thorough social media policy will help organizations manage and make the most of the medium. Your organization should also create policies for employees to cover expectations of what is an appropriate and respectful use of social media. These resources will help your organization define goals and audiences, select appropriate tools, and create social media strategies.
A consulting firm that provides support to nonprofits in the area of social media and offers free tutorials, publications and tools on a variety of social media topics on their website.
Storytelling for Nonprofits
Article/Blog, Guide/Tool, Research/Report, Video/Tutorial
Nonprofits are continually challenged to be effective storytellers to capture the attention of donors, volunteers and policymakers. The following articles and guides can help nonprofits build a storytelling culture and the capacity to craft and communicate compelling stories that raise awareness of their missions and support fundraising efforts.
Ten Steps to Stronger Nonprofit Communications
Social Edge
Key strategies for ensuring your organizational communications are effective.
Website Redesign
Creating or redesigning a website is a major project worthy of thorough planning. These guides will help you understand your audience and their needs, identify what your organization is trying to communicate, and evaluate how well your current site meets these goals. If you decide that a new website is the right next step, these resources provide a framework for the process, from vendor selection through design, development, testing and launch.
Writing with an antiracist lens
Antiracism is the act of advancing antiracist policies and ideas that lead to racial equity in society and writing can be a small piece of a broader antiracist practice. Whether or not the content of your piece is explicitly about race or racism, you can practice bringing an anitracist lens to your writing.
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