This week I started an intensive month-long coaching program for freelance writers who want to serve nonprofit clients. I limited the program to just 10 freelance writers, because I wanted the whole group to be able to interact and for me to be able to answer questions directly and fully.

Several communications directors at small nonprofits, when learning of this program, said

“Hey, Kivi, what about us? Where’s our intensive coaching program on how to be better writers for our organizations?”

That’s a great question!

I’d be happy to create a program like that for you, but I need to know exactly what YOU want out of it. Help me get the mix right.

Here is what Susan, one of those communications directors, said she’d like to see in a program like this:

Communication Strategy: how best to prioritize all elements of our communications strategy, including marketing presence, media relations, and social media.

Writing: how to most effectively communicate our messages to our target audience in a compelling, concise and consistent manner.

Social Media: determine the most effective strategy to leverage social media to increase visibility and reach (Facebook Fan, Twitter, LinkedIn, others?)

Media Relations: how to develop relationships with key media contacts and provide relevant information on a timely basis; how to balance outreach to traditional print/broadcast media with outreach to the online influencer community.

So Susan is looking for a good mix of the strategic and the tactical. How about you?

Creating a tight peer network for the participants would be one of my goals for the program, which I think means that I should define some of the characteristics of the people who will be allowed to participate in any given “class.”  Who would you want to be in a class like this with? Is 10 people the right size? What do think about these limits (or strong suggestions)?

  • Nonprofits of a certain size (determined by overall budget or communications budget or by number of staff dedicated to communications)
  • Years of experience as a communications director
  • Current state of marketing program (e.g. just getting into email marketing or social media, versus more mature online programs)

Some people have also talked about preferring to network with people who do the same general types of work they do, e.g. groups that provide direct social or health services to people, versus groups that are more education or research oriented. Does that matter to you?

Finally, how many weeks would you want to commit to something like this? The freelancer program I’m doing is four weeks, with a live webinar once a week, and new content posted every business day for consumption and discussion. Participants must complete at least one challenge assignment per week (they can pick from three a week). We also have a private email discussion list.

Please let me know what you think on any or all of these questions by leaving a comment or emailing me directly at If you are getting this blog post via email, you can reply to that email as well. Same goes if you are reading on Facebook.

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