Nonprofit communications strategy: a step by step guide


A comprehensive nonprofit communications strategy is crucial to building your identity, gaining a loyal following, increasing revenue, and driving growth. This article offers a step by step guide on how to create a communication strategy that could see your nonprofit thrive. The steps are:

  • Identify Objectives
    The objectives in any strategy provide the why- why are you developing the plan? For non-profit communications, the goals often center around three elements- educate others about what you do, cultivate others’ interest in what you do, and persuade others to volunteer, contribute, or support what you do. Consider what you are trying to achieve with your strategy and create a plan for each objective.
  • Determine Target Audience
    If you are aiming at communicating effectively, you must know who you are communicating to. This is referred to as the target audience, identifying the demographics of your audience that you intend on reaching. Engaging and retaining supporters, donors or followers begins with understanding who they are, what moves them, and how to effectively communicate with them. Target personas can help to differentiate your target audience, equipped with elements such as age, gender, geographic location, financial status, and personal beliefs.
  • Create your Brand Identity
    Your communication should be tailored to fit different target audiences while remaining consistent. This is achieved by having consistent elements in every message such as name, logo, tagline, and visual elements such as fonts, colors, and imagery.
  • Curate your Messaging

    Messaging in a communication strategy is directly informed by the objectives and the target audience. Your messaging is the point or idea you are trying to convey to your audience to meet the objectives developed at the onset. When developing your messaging, endeavor to keep it simple, consistent, and easy to understand.
  • Develop Content
    Content is an integral part of the strategy. This includes videos, blog articles, social media posts, interviews, and infographics. Your target audience, the message, and the goal of your communication inform your choice of content.
  • Identify Channels

    The channels are the distribution outlets. It is essential to identify the channels that will enable your non-profit to effectively reach its target audience. For instance, social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter provide unending touchpoints for audience engagement.
    Your nonprofit communications strategy should not be set in stone. Regularly revisit the steps to identify whether your plan matches your goals and intended outcomes.