Helping Nonprofits Communicate

message. solicit. impact.

Top 5 communication pieces to have ready at all times (and one extra for good measure)

photocred: Stigmare

Press Release Template

Sending out press releases without a purpose doesn’t help you increase awareness or secure funding.  There are opportunities you can identify or may naturally occur where you want to have a well-written press release to help convince your community, a corporate sponsor, or a local business to support your cause.  Having a great press release template is necessary.  You can adapt the quotes, stats and figures based on who and what you are announcing.  But, once you have the template and organization information in place it is minutes worth of time vs hours. Download our Elevator Pitch & Press Release Worksheet to get a jumpstart on your press release.  Also check out Betsy’s latest post: 5 Steps to Creating the Perfect Pitch to Media

Marketing One-Sheet

Having a one-sheet is imperative for any organization. It is a one-page document that gives anyone interested in your organization a quick overview.  You can attach it to any email, print it off for any event, or put it in your press kit for sponsorship opportunities.  If you have additional time make a one-sheet for each of your organizations programs. Things to include:

  •  Logo
  • Facts and Convincing statistics
  • Program information
  • Pictures
  • Testimonials or quick case study
  • Call to action
  • Contact information

Graphics

Visually stunning organization’s gain exponentially more traction then organization’s without any graphics or photos. Work to make sure you have videos, pictures, and appropriate graphics for each program, staff member, and ‘in-action’ moment. Organize all your graphics in one central location for your team.  Whether that is in base camp, a shared dropbox account or a secure login graphic account – make it easy to access and download for your entire team.

Canned PR responses

What are the questions most people ask you about your organization? Are there non-negotiables in the way your board members, volunteers or staff communicate to the masses?  If they needed to give a quote to a reporter would they have it readily available? If you were to create an FAQ what would that look like? Thinking through these questions, writing answers and having them available in a shared folder will streamline and unify your message to the media and/or community.

Website

Now that you have those pieces written you can repurpose the writing on your website. Here are some tips that will help you make it mobile-friendly  and 10 quick spot checks you can do any afternoon to make sure your website is where it needs to be. Here are some samples of well-utilized website spaces. 

Bonus: Passwords and Logins

Just like you leave a spare key outside of your home with a friend or hidden in a place known to multiple friends, you need to make sure all of the pieces mentioned above are accessible by your staff and selected volunteers/board members.  There may be a time where you are sick, out of cell phone range, or you have a huge response to a PR campaign that needs multiple members on the ground.  You will want your communication and PR as effective and streamlined as possible. Having a list of username and passwords to your different accounts is imperative.  This includes: website login, email login, Facebook, Twitter, email subscription service, dropbox or basecamp account, and the ability to have admin over any other method of communication or marketing.

We promise, if you make sure these five pieces are in place (and updated on a regular basis) your messaging will be clear, effective and you will be equipped to handle most communication crisises that come your way.

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