According to Kivi Leroux Miller‘s new 2011 Nonprofit Communications Trend Report, email marketing and websites are still the most important tools in a nonprofit’s communications strategy, followed by print (newsletters or direct mail), in-person events, Facebook and media relations/PR. So until you have the basics in place, social media probably shouldn’t be a top priority. Kivi recommends three strategies for nonprofit communicators in 2011:
- Be responsible for generating great content about your cause – don’t rely on others to do it for you.
- Help your supporters to clearly understand what your organization is about and what you are accomplishing. Sometimes the abundance of information makes it more difficult for constituents to ‘connect the dots.’
- Show passion for how your organization helps others and always be aware of what ‘brand’ you want to represent.
Yesterday I spoke about Selecting and Implementing a Donor or Membership Database at Congregations 2.0, a technology training workshop for churches, synagogues and mosques. For a small organization that is just getting started, in addition to collecting email addresses and having a website, I would add having the ability to collect donations online and having a good donor database, preferably using an online platform. Social media and blogging can come later.
For some additional ideas on how to create great content, look at this Report on Content Management Systems Powering Foundation Websites, Using a Content Strategy to Promote Your Organization, and this book Content Strategy for the Web, discussed at yesterday’s event.