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How to Create a Content Strategy for Your Nonprofit Website

Every organization, be it profit or nonprofit, that needs to communicate with external audience, have to do it according to a highly developed content strategy. Otherwise, there is a high risk to be misunderstood or ignored.  

So what is a content strategy? It is the high-level vision that guides future content development to achieve a specific objective. If you do not have a clear picture of what you want to tell, whom and how, you will deliver content that does not resonate with the audience and leads to confusion.

Content strategy is really a must when it comes to establishing your organization’s authority, engaging the audience and driving traffic to your website. Here are several tips to help you with its creation.  


Define your website’s purpose

Ask yourself, why do you run a website? What does it need to achieve? Of course, there are probably several directions, where you want to get results. However, you can distil the most important ones. For instance, you’d like your website to tell readers about your organization’s vision and mission, show its achievements and provide access to different trainings, where all who wish to participate could learn about your activities.  


Characterize your priority audiences

The more people know about your organization, the better. However, you cannot adapt your communication for everyone. In fact, you can make it as “faceless” as possible, but it will resonate with no one.

Imagine several people you’d like to address your words in the first place: their age, looks, profession, etc. You can even come up with names. This way you can figure out how you have to communicate with your priority audience – the audience you have created your website for.

These people can be government representatives, community leaders, students, members of other nonprofit organizations, heads of CSR departments and so on.


Decide on the tone of voice

You have to choose a proper communication style, so your audience could identify you as someone from their circle. Think about who you are in their eyes: a friend who likes to participate in volunteer events, or an expert they can ask about everything related to nonprofit activities.

And depending upon what alter ego you choose, your tone of voice can be more or less official, jargon-free, funny, respectful, informal, etc.   


Describe the expected outcomes

You definitely expect some sort of feedback from your audiences, since you have created a website. You want a polylogue, not a monologue, although readers cannot show the same activity on your website as you can. You want them to take some actions depending on your goals. Then describe your desired outcome in details for each audience. For example, it can be event registrations, donations, downloads of materials prepared by you, shares of your posts, establishing of new relationships. It helps to define how much content of a particular type you need.


Decide on the content sources

For a nonprofit organization, which helps people by engaging other people, it is not a big problem to find content suppliers. Although most of posts are usually written by website owners, internal journalists or content managers, a significant part of them may be created by volunteers, donors, and other people who directly or indirectly involved in your organization’s activities. You can also cooperate with PR managers of companies that sponsor your campaigns or external journalists. If you need to publish a research, you can consider different specialized companies. Not all of them offer quality services, but their reliability is quite easy to check with queries like is safe, or best online writing services, for example.


Come up with your priority topics

Write a list of topics for posts for several months ahead depending on what purpose, audience and tone of voice you have chosen for your content. You can organize them into several theme groups to make sure you have included all types of content in the right proportion. Here is what you can write about.  

About your organization

  • Tell how your nonprofit helps people.
  • Publish interesting and unusual stories you have experienced during your work in the organization.
  • Publish your organization’s “wish list.”
  • Explain how your nonprofit differs from other organizations.
  • Discuss your future plans and projects, ask for the community feedback.

About your volunteers

  • Tell about activities or events that your volunteers have participated in (Highlight their positive impact).
  • Publish a thank you letter for your volunteers.
  • Share a story about how your volunteers decided to help your organization.
  • Share a story of people who got help from your volunteers.
  • Calculate total volunteer hours throughout the year.
  • Post your thoughts about volunteer movement in your community.
  • Tell about your personal volunteering experience.
  • Share your plans about future volunteer activities.
  • Describe how a usual volunteer’s day looks like.
  • Share your thoughts about how volunteering changes people’s lives.

About your donors

  • Write about celebrity donations.
  • Publish a report about how donated money has been spent.
  • Share interviews with your donors.  
  • Analyze donors’ contributions.
  • Share the results of the sponsored campaign.
  • Write a thank you letter for your donors.
  • Share your thoughts about donation practice.
  • Write how to choose a nonprofit to make a donation to, how to identify reliable organization, check how it spends donated money, etc.
  • Describe how people can make a donation.
  • Ask your donors to write a post.

About events organized by your nonprofit

  • Describe your regular events.
  • Tell people how they can help with organizing events.
  • Write a thank you letter for attendees.
  • Tell about speakers you have invited to the upcoming event.
  • Share the feedback from attendees.

About news related to your nonprofit

  • Share relevant national news (new legislation, events organized by other nonprofits, community initiatives, etc.)
  • Share international news related to your cause.

The list can go on and on. The number of possible topics is really huge and is limited only by your imagination.

Do not forget to ask your audience for feedback on a regular basis. Your readers can give you many interesting content ideas if you ask them to.

Further information

Last but not least. Do not forget to use the example of businesses when developing your content strategy. They have creaed a great number of relevant articles and guides, which can be helpful for every organization, even for a nonprofit.  


Page last edited Apr 12, 2018 History

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