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Content Marketing for Nonprofits

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  • Eye-opening look at how nonprofit marketing and fundraising is changing, and the perils of not quickly adapting
  • Up-to-date guidance on communicating in a fast-paced, multichannel world
  • How to make big-picture strategic decisions about your content, followed by pragmatic and doable tactics on everything from editorial calendars to repurposing content
  • Real-world examples from 100+ nonprofits of all sizes and missions
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Description

Nonprofits are communicating more often and in more ways than ever before . . .but is anyone paying attention?

In her follow-up to The Nonprofit Marketing Guide: High-Impact, Low-Cost Ways to Build Support for Your Good Cause, Kivi Leroux Miller shows you how to design and implement a content marketing strategy that will attract people to your cause, rather than begging for their attention or interrupting them with your communications. Youll learn how to plan, create, share, and manage relevant and valuable content that inspires and motivates people to support your nonprofit in many different ways.

Inside:

  • Eye-opening look at how nonprofit marketing and fundraising is changing, and the perils of not quickly adapting
  • Up-to-date guidance on communicating in a fast-paced, multichannel world
  • How to make big-picture strategic decisions about your content, followed by pragmatic and doable tactics on everything from editorial calendars to repurposing content
  • Real-world examples from 100+ nonprofits of all sizes and missions 

This book is your must-have guide to communicating so that you keep the supporters you already have, attract new ones, and together, change the world for the better.

Table Of Contents

Foreword xxi

Preface xxv

What Is Content Marketing? xxv

It’s a Long Trek xxvi

Stop, Think, and Discuss xxvii

Acknowledgments xxix

About the Author xxxi

Part One Finding a New Path: The Power of Content Marketing 1

1 Hearing the Call of the Wild: The Case for Changing Your Communications Approach 3

The End of the Target Audience 4

Participants, Supporters, and Infl uencers: Your PSIs 6

Seismic Shifts Affecting Your Marketing Strategy 7

Media Shifts: More Channels, More Choices, More Power to Decide 7

Demographic Shifts: The Four Generations of Your PSIs 13

How Each Generation Views Philanthropy 14

How Media and Demographic Shifts Affect Communications Choices 17

Why You Need to Respond to These Shifts 19

The Inner Angel–Inner Bookkeeper Problem 20

Why It Matters: Your PSIs Decide Relevance, Not You 21

2 Understanding This Trek: How Content Marketing Is Different 23

The Theory of Change for Nonprofit Content Marketing 24

How to Stop Interrupting and Start Attracting 25

How Inbound and Outbound Communications Work Together 28

Communications at VolunteerMatch before and after Content Marketing 28

Nonprofit Communications with and without a Content Strategy 30

Focusing Less on Channels and More on Reactions 32

Example: Remaking a Newsletter Using Content Marketing 33

The Power of Becoming a Favorite Nonprofit 35

Finding Your Nonprofi t’s Marketing Maturity Level 36

Why It Matters: Favorite Organizations Win 43

3 Planting Your Flag at the Destination: Setting Content Marketing Goals and Measuring Progress 45

Why Are You Communicating in the First Place? 46

Starting Your Goals Discussion: The Relative Importance of Short-Term Fundraising 48

Fundraising Communicators versus Community or Brand-Building Communicators 58

Aligning Your Goals with What Defi nes Success 59

Measuring Content Marketing Progress: Are We There Yet? 62

Measuring Exposure versus Engagement 63

Five Ways to Measure Marketing 64

Setting SMART Objectives 68

Why It Matters: Goals Get You Moving 71

Part Two Who Will Go with You: Redefining Your Marketing Relationships 73

4 Making Friends on the Trail: What Supporters, Participants, and Influencers Want from You 75

Why People Give, Volunteer, and Advocate 76

What Supporters Want from You 80

What Volunteers Want from You 82

What Advocates Want from You 85

What Influencers Want from You 87

Reaching Overlooked Program Participants 91

How Your Needs and Theirs Come Together 92

Leaving Content Cairns for People at Different Stages 96

Why It Matters: They Are Your Partners, Not Your Audience 100

5 Deciding on Your Trail Name: The Voice and Style You Want to Be Known For 101

Picking Your Content Personality or Voice 102

Customizing Your Voice with Tone and Style 109

Taking on Big, Serious Issues in a Funny Voice 111

Bringing Out Your Personality in Social Media 112

No Matter Your Personality, Add the Three G’s 113

Why It Matters: You Need Them to Recognize You 115

6 Carrying the Load: How to Staff Your Content Marketing Strategy 117

The Role of the Nonprofi t Communications Director 118

Helping Staff Understand the Basics 120

Creating a Culture Where Everyone Is a Marketer 122

Facilitating a Board Retreat on Marketing 125

An Easy Way Others Can Help: Storytelling Stringers 127

Supporting Your Team with a Marketing Bank 128

Creative Briefs and Job Requests 133

Dealing with Resistance 136

Why It Matters: You Can’t Do It as Well Alone 137

Part Three Envision the Journey: Preparing Your Content Marketing Plan 139

7 Mapping It Out: Sketching Out Your Big Picture Communications Timeline 141

Identifying Big Events and Milestones 142

Identifying Your Primary Calls to Action 143

Identifying Your Major Story Arcs 146

The Big Picture Communications Timeline for Lillian’s List 154

Why It Matters: You Have to Get Your Story Straight 157

8 What You’ll Talk About: Deciding on the Core Topics You Want to Be Known For 159

Developing Your List of Core Topics or Themes 160

Three Kinds of Content: Evergreens, Perennials, and Annual Color 161

Reliable Evergreens: Content with Staying Power 162

Perennial Favorites: Long-Term Content You Actively Tend 168

Annual Color: Short-Term, Splashy Content 171

Combining Your Priorities with Their Interests 171

Putting Some Cheese Sauce on That Broccoli 173

Why It Matters: Good Conversation Requires Substance 174

9 Building Your Itinerary: Designing Your Editorial Calendar and Adding Your Original Content to It 177

You, the Media Mogul 178

Why You Need an Editorial Calendar 179

Finding the Right Tracking Process 181

Organizing Your Editorial Calendar 183

Using Spreadsheets and Calendars Together 184

Planning Ahead: How Far Out Should You Look? 188

Letting Your Editorial Calendar Evolve 189

Planning a Reasonable Amount of Content 190

Selecting Communications Channels: The Big Six 193

Finding the Right Frequency of Communications 196

Producing Good Content Takes Time, So Choose Wisely 197

Still Not Sure? Start Here 199

How Much to Map, How Much to Merge 199

Using Editorial Meetings for Final Calendar Decisions 200

Why It Matters: You Need a Dynamic Plan 202

10 Conserving Energy on the Trail: Repurposing Your Original Content 203

Making One-Third of Your Content Repurposed 204

It’s Not Cheating; It’s Media Mogul Genius 204

Determining What’s Ripe for Repurposing 206

Five Favorite Ways to Repurpose Content 207

Seventeen More Ways to Repurpose Your Content 213

Repurposing Challenge: Getting More Mileage from an Awards Program 215

Using Technology to Reheat and Remix 217

Why It Matters: Repurposing Saves Lots of Time 217

11 Handling Surprises along the Way: How to Merge in What You Can’t Plan 219

Preparing for Serendipity and Surprises 220

Little Bets: Getting Creative and Other Experiments 220

Letting a Little Bet Grow into a Way of Life 224

Newsjacking: Taking Advantage of the Headlines 224

How the Firelight Foundation Newsjacked the Facebook IPO 228

Crisis Communications: Responding to Bad News 229

Why It Matters: You Really Can Predict the Unpredictable 232

Part Four Set Out on Your Trek: Implementing Your Content Marketing Strategy 233

12 Living in the Moment: Create Relevant Content for Here and Now 235

The Six R’s: How to Be Relevant 236

Bringing the Six R’s Together 248

Why It Matters: We Pay Attention Only to What’s Relevant 251

13 Your Swiss Army Knife: Reliable Nonprofit Content That Always Works 253

Eleven Favorite Types of Articles 253

Focusing on Results 257

Giving Your Supporters a Role in the Story 260

Telling a Posthole Story 261

Dressing Up Your Dogs 262

Writing the Headline First 264

Why It Matters: Don’t Struggle, Do What Works 266

14 Foraging and Filtering: Curating Content Created by Others 267

Reasons to Shine a Light on the Good Work of Others 268

Finding Content to Curate 270

Sharing Curated Content 273

Always Give Credit—You’re a Curator, Not a Thief! 274

Using Conversation as the Content, Both Created and Curated 275

Curating User-Generated Content 275

Lessons on Curating User-Generated Content 278

Why It Matters: They Are Smarter Than You Are 279

15 The Best Trail Mix Recipe Ever: Adding Metaphors and Humor to Your Communications 281

Why Nonprofi ts Need Metaphors 282

Coming Up with the Right Metaphor for Your Organization 284

Twenty-Five Metaphors for Your Nonprofit 286

Twelve Worn-Out Metaphors Your Nonprofit Should Avoid 289

Using Humor in Nonprofi t Communications 290

Why Funny Works 292

Connecting with Humor 293

Why It Matters: Creativity Pays Off with Greater Engagement 295

16 High Tech on the Trail: How Technology Helps You Implement Your Content Marketing Strategy 297

The Right Technology Is Part of Your Staffing Strategy 297

Some of My Favorite Tech Tools 302

Why It Matters: They Expect a Good Experience 303

Part Five The Right Provisions for the Journey: What You Need to Know about the Channels You Choose 305

17 Websites 307

What’s Different about This Communications Channel 307

Seven Ways to Make Your Content Work Here 308

Seven Mistakes to Avoid 309

Five Great Examples to Learn From 310

18 Blogs 313

What’s Different about This Communications Channel 313

Seven Ways to Make Your Content Work Here 313

Seven Mistakes to Avoid 315

Five Great Examples to Learn From 316

19 Email 317

What’s Different about This Communications Channel 317

Seven Ways to Make Your Content Work Here 317

Seven Mistakes to Avoid 319

Five Great Examples to Learn From 320

20 Print Newsletters 323

What’s Different about This Communications Channel 323

Seven Ways to Make Your Content Work Here 323

Seven Mistakes to Avoid 324

Five Great Examples to Learn From 326

21 Facebook 329

What’s Different about This Communications Channel 329

Seven Ways to Make Your Content Work Here 330

Seven Mistakes to Avoid 330

Five Great Examples to Learn From 331

22 Twitter 333

What’s Different about This Communications Channel 333

Seven Ways to Make Your Content Work Here 333

Seven Mistakes to Avoid 335

Five Great Examples to Learn From 336

23 Google+ 337

What’s Different about This Communications Channel 337

Seven Ways to Make Your Content Work Here 338

Seven Mistakes to Avoid 339

Five Great Examples to Learn From 339

24 Video 341

What’s Different about This Communications Channel 341

Seven Ways to Make Your Content Work Here 342

Seven Mistakes to Avoid 343

Five Great Examples to Learn From 344

25 Images 345

What’s Different about This Communications Channel 345

Seven Ways to Make Your Content Work Here 345

Seven Mistakes to Avoid 346

Five Great Examples to Learn From 347

26 Pinterest 351

What’s Different about This Communications Channel 351

Seven Ways to Make Your Content Work Here 352

Seven Mistakes to Avoid 353

Five Great Examples to Learn From 354

27 Mobile Devices 357

What’s Different about This Communications Channel 357

Seven Ways to Make Your Content Work Here 357

Seven Mistakes to Avoid 359

Five Great Examples to Learn From 360

Conclusion: Don’t Go If You Won’t Have Fun 363

Nonprofits Included in This Book 365

References 369

Index 377

About the Author

Kivi Leroux Miller is the founder of Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com and the author of The Nonprofit Marketing Guide: High-Impact, Low-Cost Ways to Build Support for Your Good Cause from Jossey-Bass. Through training, coaching, and consulting, Kivi helps nonprofits develop and execute smart, savvy marketing and communications strategies.

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