It’s another day in Content Wonderland, a place where you could get lost in a maze of words, gruelling to gain traction to your non-profit’s website.
But fear not my fellow non-profit-peers, you don’t have to work SO long and hard to meet your organisation’s content goals. Here’s a road-map to crafting and executing your ideal content plan!
Here’s why a non-profit content plan will be a game-changer
Many folks I get to meet in the non-profit world feel intimidated by the idea of mapping a content plan. It can be overwhelming when you don’t know where to start and fair enough, I TOTALLY get it. As professionals, we always find ourselves spinning many plates at the same time. So, how do we keep them going?
We create systems. Follow frameworks. And we plan ahead.
A content plan is an essential leg of your general content marketing strategy and lines up with your non-profit’s purpose.
It will contain your creative processes, frequency, type of content, and frameworks for publishing on online media.
If well-executed, it will become a training tool for your team and will help everyone stay on the same page. I always recommend creating a document everyone can refer to. Of course, you’ll likely modify it along the way, but at least you’ll have a road-map to traverse Content Wonderland.
How to create a non-profit content plan?
Your non-profit’s mission and purpose are from where your plan will stem. Every time you are about to push the publish button, ask yourself if that piece of content is truly aligned with your non-profit.
This doesn’t mean that you’d be posting ‘bad content.’ But for example, if your non-profit is deeply rooted in your neighbourhood, then it may be better to publish stories about the folks in your community, other than articles about the ‘state of the industry.’
For sure, you may want to do both, but understand, these will serve different purposes.
One will strengthen your community’s bonds. The other will build your authority on the face of applying for a grant. To finish this example, let’s say you can’t do both. Then you may choose to keep the featured stories. In the end, they will reflect the core of your mission, leading to successful grant applications at the same time.
Before you start churning content get clear…
What do you want to achieve with your content?
Who are you talking to?
Where is your audience hanging out, and how can you bond with them? Let’s say you want to attract teens to volunteer at a pet rescue shelter. So maybe be active on TikTok -where teens hang out nowadays- and post short and funny videos of your non-profit’s day by day.
What’s the tone and voice of your non-profit?
How much time and resources can you devote to content creation?
Don’t worry if this takes some time. It’s all part of the process!
Map out which online channels align better with your non-profit and its goals
If you don’t count with a big budget to tune into every single channel -not that I’d recommend it- then research which online channels work best for an organisation like yours.
Basically, you have ‘static’ content -which are the descriptive words on your website- and ‘dynamic’ content -blog posts, social media updates, videos, etc.
Your 12-month content creation plan will focus mainly on dynamic content, as this will keep things fresh. You can get as creative as you want as long as you are still aligned with the tone, voice, audience, and goals of your non-profit.
I love the work our friends from Missionary Sisters of Service are doing with their blog. Their articles show how connected and committed they are to including their audience. They talk about book launches, yearly activities, sisters updates, and more.
Map out the type of content you’ll post
By now, you are gaining clarity on your content goals, and you understand how to bond with your audience -here’s a confetti bomb for you!
So on which type of content are you going to focus?
When I talk about content, I refer to all types. Blog posts, photos, stories, YouTube videos, and email newsletters.
Nowadays, most websites have blogs, which are a great way to attract traffic, and become an authority on Google’s eyes.
Funny daily bits on Instagram, stats and graphs on LinkedIn, Facebook updates including your blogs posts.
If your organisation focuses on educating people, you could do educational videos with topics relevant to your project.
Every time you post a blog on your website you send it to your subscribers. Or you could send a monthly newsletter with community updates.
Map out frequency
If you are just getting into it, you may want to give yourself a bit of time to experiment and get real on the time things take.
Start by choosing a topic, write and post an article, send it to your email subscribers, and share it across your Social Media.
How long did the whole circle take? Take notes and create a process around this. How often would you be able to do the same thing?
Map out consistency
We, humans, are species of habit. I subscribed to a marketer’s email list because I liked her work. I received about 10 emails from her in the first 10 days and then…nothing. A year goes by and I receive another email saying…’ I’m sorry, life got busy.’
What did I do? I unsubscribed. Why? Because of the lack of consistency. If maybe she was sending one email every two months I’d still be on her email list because she would’ve shown consistency.
With this example, what I want to say is that you don’t have to be posting all the time. What you need is to create and commit to your calendar.
That shows respect for your audience.
If it’s not possible to stay on top of your ‘posting needs,’ keep working on streamlining your resources, time, and productivity.
Plan around events, grant applications and relevant topics
Are you organising a fundraising event in three months? Then plan to write articles leading up to the event.
Are you getting ready to apply for a grant? Again, create expert articles that showcase your expertise.
Are you looking for online donations? Then build trust. Post about a campaign you are running, what you do with the funds, and show images of the work you are doing.
Putting it all together in a 12-month content plan
You’ve got now all the tools to create your own content road-map, so just sit and write this down!
Create a document and answer all the questions I’ve touched on the article.
Mark the main events of the year on your calendar. Write down your content ideas around these.
Choose how frequently you’ll be posting and where.
Start with a one-month trial. Keep track of the time each task takes.
Once you’ve gone through the process, finish crafting your content plan.
Put everything on your calendar, and get to it!
Evaluate and assess how you are doing. Have you been able to stick to the plan? Is your traffic growing? Are people commenting on Social Media?
Wow, I know this is a lot to take on one go. If you need a guiding hand to Content Wonderland, consider joining our Strategiser Workshop, where we talk about this and much more. Contact us and secure your spot.