Communications & Marketing Best Practices for Nonprofits

The North Carolina Center for Nonprofits (one of the leading state nonprofit associations) has just published Principles and Practices for Nonprofit Excellence: A Self-Help Tool for Organizational Effectiveness. Several other state associations have similar guides for their members.

You’ll find several communications and marketing best practices included in the NC guide and most others:

— “Fundraising communications should include clear, accurate, and honest information about the organization, its activities, and the intended use of funds.” (from the Fundraising Section)

–“A nonprofit should regularly communicate with donors regarding its activities and should make such information available through multiple outlets.” (from the Fundraising Section)

–“E-mail accounts for staff and staff usage that comply with CAN-SPAM regulations for broadcast emails.” (from Information and Technology section)

–“A nonprofit should share the results of its evaluation with all interested stakeholders.” (from Evaluation of Results section)

–“Information provided to policymakers, the media, and the general public becomes a matter of public record. Therefore, a nonprofit should ensure that the information is timely and accurate and that the social and political context of the information is clear in order to avoid misunderstanding or manipulation of the message.” (from Civic Engagement and Public Policy section)

–“In serving the public trust, a nonprofit should produce an annual report that contains information regarding activities and financial and programmatic performance and results. The annual report should include:
-an explanation of the organization’s mission, activities, and results;
-an explanation of how individuals can access its programs and services;
-overall financial information, including income and expense statement, balance sheet, and functional expense allocation; and
-a list of board members, staff, and donors.” (from Transparency and Accountability section)
–“Nonprofits should have crisis communication plans that can be implemented expeditiously by staff and/or board members.” (from Transparency and Accountability section)



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