A lot of nonprofits have call-to-actions to “Donate Now,” “Volunteer Now,” and “Contact Us,” which they need. Do you also have downloadable content you can offer? Potential donors need to be educated about the cause, your organization, and how they can help make a difference. Likewise, volunteers need to be educated about the cause, and will likely need more content and materials around preparing to be a volunteer, such as a guide to how they can be mentally and physically prepared. Here are four quick tips to help you create content for your nonprofit.
What Are Your Personas Passionate About?
People who are donating to or volunteering for a nonprofit are presumably passionate about the cause. Use infographics and statistics to show the impact on the cause you’re helping, and appeal to their emotions. Nonprofits I have worked with have had successful infographics that show how many people are affected by the issue and how their organization has made an impact over time. If you’re a nonprofit helping communities with children in poverty, provide statistics of how prevalent children in poverty are in those communities. What experiences are they having? For example, National Fatherhood Initiative uses an infographic to show the impact on father absence in America.
Nurture your contacts to spark their interest level over time. Don’t ask for the hand in marriage on the first date! You want to “woo” the person you are pursuing. How do you do that? You work at it over time. Provide relevant content for your different personas and show the impact, then ask for their donation.
Use Storytelling to Show the Impact of Your Nonprofit
What is the impact if someone makes a donation or volunteers for your nonprofit? Don’t just asked for a donation, where is the donation going? What is the money I’m donating being used for? For example, if you are raising money from donors, where are the donations going? Is there a community you will be helping? How will you be helping them? What is the impact? Tell the story to show the ultimate impact of a donation. Nonprofits who do great jobs storytelling will also provide updates throughout the process. Are you building homes? Show the before, during, and after of the build. This is going to connect your donors and volunteers with those who are being directly impacted by the missions. Charity: water does a wonderful job of storytelling, particularly through video, to show the impact of wells being funded by donors. Check out this video from their September campaign to see how they tell their story.
Tell a story through various channels - videos, blog posts, captivating images, your website, social media, etc. Storytelling connects the achievements of your organization and your constituents, and creates evangelists, repeat donors, and long-term loyalty. It will tie back to what your leads are passionate about and the cause they want to help.
What Do Your Personas Need to Know to Achieve Their Goals?
If you are a nonprofit asking for volunteers, and I am a prospective volunteer, what do I need to know or have in order to be prepared? For example, if I will be volunteering for a mission, you could provide me with a downloadable checklist. Or, if I am starting my own fundraising campaign, you can offer a guide to launching an effective campaign. For example, National Fatherhood Initiative has a great ebook on how to start your own Fatherhood Program.
If you are asking for my help, whether that it a donation, spreading the word for your nonprofit, or volunteering, provide me with content that will help me achieve that goal!
Where You Can Actually Find Stories
Okay, we have run through several ideas on how to create content for our personas. Now where do we actually get the content from?! Look at who you are working with on a daily basis. You have volunteers, staff, those who are impacted directly by your mission, an executive team and board members, donors, fundraisers, event participants, members, corporate partners, and sponsors, etc. You can ask for them to contribute to your blog. You can ask a group of volunteers to create a checklist that future volunteers will need. And, you can interview donors or those you have helped. There are various resources for you to lean on while creating relevant content for your personas.
Ultimately, when creating content for your nonprofit personas, consider what causes they are passionate about, what stories we can tell, what content they need to help them achieve their goals, and what resources we can pull from to create that content. With these four things in mind, you'll be more than ready to create content that will delight your personas.
Originally published Mar 11, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017