All of these topics can be scaled up or down to match the time available. The more time available, the more exercises that participants can do. They can also be broken down into big-picture, motivating keynotes, followed by more in-depth and participatory workshops.
Communications Planning and Content Marketing
Sketch Out Your Communications Plan for the Coming Year – In One Afternoon
(This is the general editorial planning workshop for nonprofits.)
Your nonprofit can’t succeed if you only talk to yourself. You have to communicate with others and get them involved in your work. But if you are like most nonprofits, you are making your communications plan up as you go. And like most nonprofits, you probably feel like your communications, marketing, and fundraising are both overwhelming and underperforming. You can change that.
During this workshop, you’ll tame that unruly communications to-do list into a doable calendar that makes sense and produces results. You’ll apply the best practices in nonprofit communications planning and content marketing to your organization’s schedule for the coming year, and leave the workshop with the outline of a communications plan and editorial calendar for the rest of the year and beyond.
Community Engagement: Creating an Editorial Calendar That Connects to Hearts and Minds
(This editorial planning workshop focuses more on community engagement and content marketing specifically.)
Nonprofit communications is so often driven by fundraising appeals, event marketing and other “help us now” messaging. But without content that truly engages your supporters’ hearts and minds, and that taps into their values and their own wants and needs, you risk boring them, alienating them, and losing them altogether. During this workshop, you’ll learn how to structure an editorial calendar full of community engagement that attracts, inspires, excites, and serves your supporters, strengthening their bonds with your nonprofit.
Communications for Fundraising: Creating Your Donor Communications Plan
(This editorial planning workshop focuses more on fundraising and donor communications specifically.)
What do you say to donors and other supporters of your cause in between asking them for money? During this workshop, you'll develop an editorial calendar for a donor communications plan that comes full circle: asking for support, thanking supporters, offering additional ways to get engaged, and reporting results before asking again.
Integrating Giving Days with Your Online Fundraising
There’s “Give Local America” in the spring and "Giving Tuesday” in the fall. Community foundations or other organizers in your area may also be hosting special giving days in your region.
How can you take advantage of special fundraising and PR opportunities like these? During this workshop, we’ll explore how to integrate giving days in your ongoing fundraising campaigns.
- How to get into “campaign mode” and to pick the right projects and the right “asks” for your nonprofit
- What to communicate in the six weeks leading up to a giving day, and in the six weeks after a giving day
- How to blend giving day communications into your existing schedule (e.g. how to make Giving Tuesday work with your year-end appeals).
Turning a Giving Day into Year-Round Support: Creating a 12-Month Community Engagement Plan
Ready to capitalize on your participation in your local Giving Day and gain year-round support for your nonprofit? During this webinar, you’ll learn how to create an editorial calendar and communications plan that builds toward the Giving Day, maximizes the day itself, and continues to build rapport with your supporters, new and old, through the year-end and into the next year. You’ll learn:
- how to better understand your donors, and why they really support you
- how to make your messaging to them even more relevant and compelling
- how to keep the conversation going so you can retain and grow their support long term
How to Be Great Ambassadors for Your Cause: Getting Your Staff and Board Working Together as an Effective Marketing Team
Perfect for board members and staff to attend together!
You want to be a good advocate and ambassador for your nonprofit. But what does that really mean? What do you actually say to people? What should board members do, and what’s best done by staff?
During this interactive workshop, you’ll figure out the best ways for staff and board members to work together to spread the word about your nonprofit. We will step off the proverbial elevator (you can leave your elevator speech at home) and learn how to talk about your organization in the real world, in ways that instantly connect with others.
You’ll leave the workshop knowing how to start those conversations and what to do next as a team to keep people interested and engaged in your work.
Creating Your Own Plan to Measure Your Success
Is your nonprofit marketing strategy working? Are you doing a good job? How do you know?
During this workshop, we’ll go in-depth to develop your own customized plan for measuring your marketing success as both an organization and a marketing professional. Using a series of worksheets, you’ll hone in on what’s most important to measure, and develop a plan to measure it. We’ll sort through your options, looking at both qualitative and quantitative ways you can evaluate your marketing.
You’ll leave the workshop with a measurement plan you can go back to office and discuss with the people who review your performance and the performance of your marketing strategy.
Nonprofit Writing and Communications Tactics
Creating Better, Faster, More Effective Communications: Tips for Nonprofit Marketers and Fundraisers
One of the biggest challenges for nonprofit marketers and fundraisers is producing all of the content you need to do your job well. Everywhere you look on your to-do list is something new that you need to write, whether for direct mail or email, newsletters, your website, social media, press releases, advertising, proposals . . . it goes on and on, and never stops! And the truth is, IT NEVER WILL.
But the good news is that there are many ways to write more quickly, and to still produce highly effective copy. Kivi Leroux Miller, a prolific producer of high-quality content, will show you how. Not every tip will work for you, but many of them will, if you build them into your workflow and create some new habits.
Here are a few of topics we’ll review . . .
- What to do before you start to write so the words flow fast when you sit down at the keyboard
- How to banish writer’s block permanently, so it never slows you down again
- Tried and true article formats for nonprofit content
- How to quickly share results and successes without sounding like you are bragging
- How to get the most mileage out of your best stuff through repurposing
- How to curate and republish content originally created by others
- Where to invest your writing time, and where “good enough” really is good enough
- How to more quickly edit your own writing, and the writing of others
Getting More Mileage Out of Your Best Stories and Articles
(This can be customized for certain kinds of nonprofits if everyone in the room works in the same general field.)
Take a look at nonprofit newsletters and social media and you’ll see a handful (or two) of common types of stories and articles. You are writing them, but are you getting the most you can out of that content?
During this interactive workshop, you’ll be given several sample articles and stories and a challenge to remix and recycle that content in many different ways – without sounding like you are repeating yourself. We’ll provide some ideas to get you started, and some prompts to help your creativity soar.
We’ll then compile the best work in the room, so you’ll leave with a strong menu of options to help you communicate more effectively with less work.
A New Approach to Nonprofit Newsletters: Stop Interrupting Your Supporters and Start Attracting Them
You work so hard on your newsletter, and you really want people to read it! But most nonprofit newsletters are (let’s be honest . . .) boring and self-centered. Instead of hoping and praying people read your newsletter, what if you created something your supporters looked forward to getting? What if they couldn’t wait for your next edition? During this session, we’ll get you closer to that kind of newsletter.
Annual Reports that People Will Actually Read and Remember
Your donors want to see some results before they'll give again. And you know that producing an annual report is a nonprofit management best practice. But that doesn't mean you have to write and design a 20+ page tome. In fact, many donors say they'd prefer something much shorter, clearer, and more direct.
During the training, we'll cover the basics of good nonprofit annual reports, including what to emphasize and what to leave out. We'll go over the critical differences between activities and accomplishments and cover the most frequently asked questions about common annual report sections like the letter from the director, the financial section, and donor lists - and whether you need them at all in your report.
But best of all, we'll talk about how to share your accomplishments in ways your supporters both understand and appreciate in short written formats that are easy to create and share both offline and online, including two and four-page print reports, oversized postcards, and online-only annual reports, including mini-sites. We'll also review annual report videos and infographics.
Social Media: Your Content Marketing Playground
Content marketing is about producing relevant communications that naturally and easily attract supporters to your cause, rather that constantly interrupting them with what you think is important. But how do you know what will work? We’ll look at how social media is the perfect playground for nonprofits to experiment and discover what’s most relevant and compelling to your supporters, and how what you learn via social media can influence your content strategy in email, direct mail, and other communications channels.
Telling Stories that Build Support and Raise Money
The single, most powerful marketing and fundraising tool your nonprofit has is both free and already in your possession -- you just may not realize it. It's telling a good story about the people involved in your organization -- the people you serve, and your volunteers and supporters.
Good stories are so powerful because they are emotional, and emotions, not facts and figures, drive giving. Stories are also easier to remember than facts, making it easy for supporters to tell their friends about your work. That's how your organization grows. All nonprofits have great stories, but exactly how do you go about telling them? What do you emphasize and what do you leave out?
During this workshop, you'll see how stories can be the backbone of your marketing and fundraising strategy, both offline and online. Through a series of exercises and practice sessions, we’ll remove some of the mystery from the storytelling process as you learn how to tell four different kinds of stories. You'll see how you can use stories (and reuse them) in email, on your website, in social media, in fundraising letters, at events, and more.
Sample Agenda for Full Day Training
9:00 – 9:45 am Putting the Power of Stories to Work for You
9:45 – 10:30 am Telling Your Stories Using the “Challenge” Plot
10:30 – 11:15 am Telling Your Stories Using the “Creativity” Plot
11:15 – Noon Telling Your Stories Using the “Connection” Plot
Noon – 1:00 pm Lunch
1:00 – 2:00 pm Telling Stories about Special People: The Personal Profile
2:00 – 3:00 pm Tips for Digital Storytelling
3:00 – 4:00 pm How to Use (and Reuse) Stories throughout Your Marketing and Fundraising