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The Ultimate Content Creation Guide for Nonprofits

Updated: Jan 31, 2021

All nonprofits can benefit a great deal by upgrading their content strategies in 2020. Nonprofit content is all about defining and promoting the organization’s mission, message and, general brand elements. When people feel ‘safe’ and ‘clear’ on your mission as a nonprofit they will rally around whichever cause you are supporting.

Content marketing is possibly the best way to achieve the best results.

There is a big shift from traditional methods like TV ads, telemarketing, and fund-raisers to content marketing. Not only is it less expensive to create, but it also has the potential to reach a much larger group using digital marketing strategies. Content also is less forceful than other methods. For example, as a user, you read a well put together article for a cause. No one is there is gilt-trip’ you or pressure you. You feel relaxed and clear-headed and it is much easier to donate online.

According to Mr Bench Marks the following graph shows the amount spent from a no profit to acquire a single donor.

The Profits BenchMark Report for Non-Profits 2019 includes some excellent data and statistics you need to understand before moving forward with content creation for nonprofits. The great news is that social platforms are fundraising initiatives by integrating mechanisms on the platforms to allow users to donate with a simple click.

For example, now Facebook has the mechanism in place to allow you to raise funds on your birthday for a cause of your choice. This particular feature has gained a lot of traction. According to 101Fundrasing Organization Facebook fundraisers have grown 400%. Let’s take a look at content strategies to help your nonprofit organization raise more funding through content.

Tips for Website Optimization

Most, if not all, nonprofits have a website these days. This is a golden opportunity to work with content to raise awareness, promote the cause, and raise additional funding. Being that websites are online entities, it is smart to consult with The Content Creation Guide for eCommerce Businesses for the basics before you get started.

2020 Content for Nonprofits Tip #1

On the organization’s website make sure to implement a way to acquire emails of all website visitors. Building an email list is a strong key to growing your number of leads (prospective donors). These people have visited your website before, so they have some interest in your nonprofit activities. They are your best shot in increasing your donations. Make sure that you have a strategy in place to continue the conversation with them. For example, monthly newsletters, newsletter and a blog should do the job!

For your emails create content that is consistent in format for a professional look.

In all your emails including a call-to-action (CTA) is imperative.

Consider the following high converting CTAs for your emails:

  1. Volunteer Now

  2. Donate

  3. Donate Now

  4. Learn How You Can Help

  5. Be the Difference

  6. Make a Difference

  7. Make the World Better

  8. Support This Cause

  9. Save [insert the subject]. For example ‘Save a Child’ or ‘Save The Rainforest’

  10. Sponsor [insert the subject]

2020 Content for Nonprofits Tip #2

Your website’s blog is your main key to do a lot of work in raising awareness and activating your readers into becoming active donors.

Although a blog is a highly creative place where you can explore in your own unique ways, the following blog writing tips will be very useful in the process.

  1. Engage your audience with stories, video, images, infographics, and interviews. Anything that helps showcase the urgency of your mission is critical to activate readers to donors. Ensure that at the end of each article the reader learned something new. Offer value and education and the reader will be more inclined to donate.

  2. Stay relevant and use statistics and updates to increase your authority in the nonprofit world. You can include various statistics from authority entities and statistics of how your nonprofit organization is performing.

  3. Help the reader understand that their donation can make a difference. You can do that by breaking down the process and having a transparent method of showing how many more donations will help you reach your goal.

  4. Open your blog up for user-generated content (UGC). Not only is UGC an incredible trend in 2020, it is very effective. For example, if your nonprofit is about raising funds for people with a particular medical condition, encourage people who have first-hand experience to share their stories. Nothing engages the reader faster than a real story.

  5. Post regularly and make your nonprofit a place for inspiration! Inspirational stories are your shot at going viral!

2020 Content for Nonprofits Tip #3

Put together a monthly newsletter. This is where you are going to need the email list we mention in tip#1. A monthly newsletter is an excellent opportunity (or an excuse) to remind your visitors and donors about your cause. You can use your newsletter to inform them about any upcoming events, donation campaigns, and highlight past successes. It is important to take time to acknowledge past achievements. Your readers want to be part of something that is truly making a change in the world. Unless you show them your success, they won’t know.

At the same time give credit where it is due. Nonprofits rely almost entirely on donations, therefore acknowledging the importance of your donors and their contributions is necessary. To achieve better results through your newsletters consider the following 2020 content tips:

  1. Maintain a consistent clean design, this includes fonts, sizes, and templates

  2. Always keep your mission as part of the signature or as part of the introduction

  3. Think about your subject line

  4. Keep it concise

  5. Highlight success stories and link to your blog for the full story

Other 2020 Content Tips for Nonprofits

  1. On your website, you need to have a clear mission and a vision. Your visitors need your grand plans and what the ultimate goals are.

  2. Work on your ‘About Us’ section and share your story. Share the reasons this nonprofit was created, be transparent and honest.

  3. Although nonprofits should expand their efforts to all audiences, there is a particular audience you need to focus on first. For example, if you are raising funds for a medical condition you need to connect with patients and their families first. They will be your first supporters. This means you need to write your content with them in mind.

  4. Identify an emergency issue for the cause and work to fundraise for that first. For example, a nonprofit that works for saving the rainforest had two amazing opportunities this year to bring in many more donors and volunteers due to the recent tragedies in the Amazon and Australian fires.

  5. On your blog do not forget to add the social media sharing plugins

  6. Work with influencers to create content that reaches bigger audiences. Most companies and influencers will donate some of their time and expertise to work with nonprofits

Useful Questions to Answer Before Developing Content for a Nonprofit

  1. What is the vision?

  2. What is the mission?

  3. Who is the main audience?

Important Note

It is smart to keep in mind that you might have to satisfy two different audiences. The donors and the members. Members are the people you are helping through your donations, and donors are the good samaritans. Sometimes donors are members. This means you might have to segregate your email list for two different newsletters and campaigns, etc. What are the main reasons your donors continue to support your cause?

Are there certain characteristics to these donors?

What do they prefer to read about?

Final Thoughts

Creating content for a nonprofit follows the same technical dos and don’ts all content strategies need to follow.

However, in terms of the content itself, it is easier to get stories from people and inspire readers to act. The work of the writer becomes exponentially easier if they are developing content for a cause they also support. Are you writing for a nonprofit organization?

Are there any tips and tricks you can share? Remember sharing is caring!


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