Take stock of your communications

Are you ready to tell your story?

If your nonprofit has not taken a look recently at your communications strategy, you should.

Communicating effectively is fundamental to everything your nonprofit does, including delivering programs; running your organization day by day; raising money; hiring and developing staff; recruiting, training and engaging board members and volunteers; enlisting partners and other supporters; and working with the news media.

So invest the time and effort to take a hard look how you communicate.

Start by spelling out your goals as an organization, the audiences you need to engage to achieve those goals, and the communications materials and vehicles you need to reach those audiences.

Then ask yourself some questions:

* What is your brand?

* What is the basic story you tell about yourselves, including the need you address, the people you serve, and the difference you make in their lives?

* Can you tell your story in one page? Can you tell it in 30 seconds? In a short phrase?

* Are your board and staff prepared to tell your story?

* Do you have an editorial calendar for the year listing the communications, marketing and fundraising materials you will need, and when you need them?

* Do you have a plan spelling out roles and responsibilities for assigning, writing, reviewing, producing and distributing those materials?

* Do you have a plan for working with the news media and handling crises?

Telling a story about your organization that is clear, concise and compelling is essential if you expect to survive and thrive.

Creating a plan to tell that story should be among your highest priorities.

Want help?

Philanthropy North Carolina is a consulting practice that provides writing and strategic communications support for nonprofits, foundations, colleges and universities, and others working for social good.

To find out more about hiring Philanthropy North Carolina to work with your organization to improve your communications, contact Todd Cohen at 919.272.2051 or toddcohen49@gmail.com.

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