Conquering Your Communication Challenges – Creating Engaging Content

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been writing about how to conquer some of your communication challenges.  Another challenge many nonprofit organizations face is coming up with engaging content on a regular basis.

Do you find yourself saying any of the following?

We’re having trouble getting organized
Your biggest ally here is an editorial calendar.  How to Create an Editorial Calendar You can do one for the year, but also break it down into smaller components. This doesn’t need to take a lot of time, and it’s a huge time-saver overall. Each month figure out what you will include in your newsletter. Every week decide how you are going to connect with your supporters. Spend 15-20 minutes a day looking for content you can share on social media

Your editorial calendar will include time-sensitive content, such as events or that April is national volunteer month, as well as evergreen content – stories you can use at any time.  

We don’t know what to write about
Your content should focus on how you are making a difference for the people/community you serve.  You have good stories to tell.  Work with your program staff to create a story bank to use for your annual appeal, website, newsletter, etc.  You can also include profiles of clients, donors, board members, volunteers, and staff.   

Don’t forget to thank your donors in your newsletter and other updates.  Avoid stories that are more focused on your organization, such as obtaining new computers for your staff, unless you can tie that back to your mission.

Here is more information on creating stories.

Use measurement and analytics to see what types of content hit home with your supporters.  Most likely it will be success stories that emphasize how they are helping you make a difference.

We don’t a lot of time to do this
I covered time constraints in my last post, and this is a challenge for many organizations. 

Nonprofits do need to communicate often with their supporters.  Try to reach out once a week.  If that’s impossible, aim for every other week.  It’s not as daunting as you may think. Planning and strategy always helps.

Some consistency is good for your newsletter.  Use a template that you can fill in each month. Maybe you will always include a success story or a profile. Also, keep in mind that your newsletter only needs a few articles.

Your supporters are busy and will appreciate short messages. In addition to your monthly newsletter, you can reach out with a brief update, advocacy alert, or one-question survey.  Another way to connect is to share the outcome of your advocacy alert or the results from your survey.

Use the same content in different channels.  For example include links to your newsletter, as well as updates, advocacy alerts, and surveys on Facebook and Twitter.

Another good way to engage is to post a photo of your program in action on social media.  A great photo can tell a story in an instant. 
I hope this helps you conquer the some of the challenges of creating engaging content.  How do you handle this challenge?
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