Make your communications a priority

Communicating is central to the work of charities, yet too often they fail to communicate strategically or effectively, to create a communications plan that guides and informs their daily work, or to make communications integral to the way they address challenges and seize opportunities.

The CEOs and boards of charities tend to focus on operations, programs and fundraising, and treat communications as a separate, marginal function.

That’s a big mistake. A charity’s success depends on communications that are effective and strategic.

The success of your relationships with your donors and funders, your volunteers, your partners and your clients depends on the stories you tell about your charity, the way you tell those stories, the audiences you need to engage with those stories to achieve your goals, and the communications vehicles or channels you use to reach those audiences.

Yet many nonprofits do not invest the time and effort needed to integrate communications into the way they think, plan and work.

They may not believe communications matter. They may not feel confident about their communication skills. They may treat communications as a minor function compared to the programmatic and fundraising work they do. They simply may not want to have to deal with communications because telling stories effectively and strategically is hard work.

Whatever the reason, charities should make their communications a priority and invest the time and attention required to create and deliver the messages that will show the people they count on why they should support and get involved with their organization.

The good news is it’s never too late to start doing a better job telling stories about about the good work you do and why it matters.

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

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