Editorial CalendarIt’s time for a Nonprofit Marketing Guide community project!

We get these questions all the time . . . What should my editorial calendar actually look like? Does it need to be online? Which software should we use?

And of course, there are a million ways to do it.  Which is not an especially useful answer.

So, let’s create some really useful answers together, shall we? Maybe 10 or even 20 useful answers?

Want to help? Please?

Here’s how this will work . . .

Step 1: Review the Sample Data

Below I am giving you fake content for an editorial calendar including frequency, communications channels, topics, and dates (the basic required stuff I’d like everyone to include).

I’m also giving you some optional information, like who is responsible and production status (production deadlines, in draft, waiting for approval, etc.) to add if you feel like it.

Step 2: Create an Editorial Calendar with the Sample Data

Take the sample data and build an editorial calendar in whatever format and/or software you prefer. Totally up to you. Love Asana or Trello? Go for it. Like your old-school Excel spreadsheet? Let’s see it. All about some markers and paper or sticky notes or a whiteboard? Take a picture for us!

The goal is to get as many different versions of this thing as possible, so all different formats are welcome!

Step 3: Save a Screenshot of Your Calendar

Capture a photograph or screen grab of your editorial calendar. Or capture multiple images if you need to open and close certain parts of it for us to see it in all of its glory. Or you can make a little video screencast tour. Again, totally up to you. Just make sure it’s obvious what software you are using (if it’s online) and that we can read the text within the calendar.

Step 4: Upload Your Screenshot

We are using Dropbox File Request to collect examples, but you do NOT need to be a Dropbox user to participate!

Just go to https://npmg.us/sharemycalendar.

You’ll be asked to upload your file and to provide your name and email, so I know who uploaded it. If you want to send me an email directly to provide some additional explanation, you can, but that’s optional too. If I can’t make something out in your graphic, I will contact you.

Deadline? Let’s say September 30 for now. That’s about two weeks from today.

Step 5: Pat Yourself on the Back for Me, and Stay Tuned!

Thank you for helping with this project! It’s going to be sooo helpful to so many people.

Once I get a few examples, I will start blogging them.  Based on what we ultimately get, we’ll figure out the best way to share them with everyone. Whatever that is, it will be free, and everyone who participates by uploading a sample will be appear in it with gold stars around their name. 🙂

Have Questions?

Please leave any questions in the comments. If you have a question, lots of other people have it too. And yes, I am making this up as I go. So watch the comments if you want to know the latest.

Here’s the Sample Data . . .

Here is everything below in a Word doc.

Here is everything below as a PDF.

Please create a monthly editorial calendar using February 2016 as your base month for consistency. 

If the organization name is important to you, please use the “Center for Wayward Squirrels.” Some of the content below is related to this fake organization we use in training programs.

Required Information to Show in Your Editorial Calendar

Email Newsletter goes out weekly on Tuesdays. Each edition has three articles.  The edition that goes on February 2 will feature these three articles:

·       What You Can Do about Cracked Acorn Syndrome

·       Success Story: Fred Graduates from Traffic Avoidance Camp

·       Save the Date for Spring Fling

No specific topics have been finalized for the other three issues in February.

A Direct Mail Appeal will be hitting mailboxes starting February 4. It’s an appeal for the scholarship fund to send squirrels to Traffic Avoidance Camp.

Email Appeals will be sent on the 9th, 15th, and 24th also on the scholarship fund appeal for camp. Paired with that fundraising appeal, we are also encouraging supporters to “Send an Encouraging Word to Campers” via Facebook and Twitter.

Additional Details to Show if You Want (Optional!)

Please feel free to add any of this additional information to your calendar . . .

Print Newsletter: A print newsletter will go out in mid-March. You could show planning for that edition in February.

Facebook:  Let’s say you post once a day, sometimes twice, sometimes on weekends.

Twitter:  Let’s say you tweet once a day, retweet once a day, on average, sometimes on weekends.

Responsibilities: How would you show who is responsible for what in your calendar? Let’s say you have a Communications Director, a Development Director and an Executive Director, but no junior staff.

Workflow and Internal Deadlines: How would you show when items are just an idea, in process of being created, ready for review, approved, and published? How would you show internal deadlines for those different stages?

Anything Else You Want to Add: What else do you include on your real editorial calendar? Feel free to add it to this one. For example, in our own calendar, we often makes notes about how to segment our email list for particular emails.

If you need additional details to make your calendar work, feel free to make them up!


Who’s in? I can’t wait to see your calendars!



Published On: September 15, 2015|Categories: Editorial and Content Calendars|