Your first job as a nonprofit communicator, and your most important one, is to know who you are talking to, or writing for, at all times. Then you match what you say to the interests, needs, and values of those people.
What you tell a board member about a project will be different than what you tell the foundation project officer funding it. What you tell your individual donors will be different from what you tell your clients (or whatever you call the people you serve).
It’s not about hiding anything from anyone; it’s about tailoring the way you talk and write about your work so that it best matches the ears and eyes on the receiving end. That’s the only way that your communications will have the impact you are hoping for.
So what do your supporters want to read, and what bores them to tears? Only you and others who know your list of supporters can answer that question fully.
But we’ll give you a head start. Several different donor surveys point to this kind of content being most wanted:
- Results. Tell them what you are doing with their money and what difference it makes.
- Success stories. Stories that show the difference you are making in specific people’s lives.
- Action alerts. Tell them what they can do to help.
- Gratitude. Make them feel thanked, included, and loved.
- How-tos. Show them how they can make change in their own lives.
- Funny, inspiring, or otherwise noteworthy items. Something so good they can’t resist passing on to friends.