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This report is compiled from the answers of over 1,100 nonprofit professionals who took our 2018 Nonprofit Communications Trends Survey in November, 2017.
They answered these and other questions.
- How effective do nonprofit communicators feel on specific goals like community engagement, brand and reputation management, and supporting major donor fundraising?
- How much content does a typical communications team produce, and how often do they use different communications channels?
- How do communications pros rate their skills, including copywriting, graphic design, planning, and analytics?
- How satisfied are communications pros with their workloads and jobs overall?
- How much training are they getting and who’s paying for it?
We also asked several personal and organization demographic questions to look for any interesting differences in the sector.
Highlights from the 2018 Trends Report
- Average ranking for nonprofit communications effectiveness was 3.3 out of 5 stars (between somewhat and very effective).
- The most effective nonprofit communicators were more skilled at big picture thinking, editorial planning, and repurposing content.
- Half of nonprofits are using editorial calendars and editorial meetings. About 2/3rds are using content repurposing.
- When we look at the most effective nonprofits, about 2/3rds are using editorial best practices like editorial calendars and meetings and repurposing their content, while only 1/3 of less effective nonprofits are.
- Nonprofits who have a combined communications and development staff did not feel as skilled at best practices such as big picture thinking, editorial planning and repurposing content.
- Top nonprofit communications goals for nonprofits in 2018 are engaging community, managing brand and reputation, raising issue awareness.
- Nonprofit communicators feel most effective when supporting event fundraising, managing brand and reputation, and recruiting program participants.
- On average, nonprofits post to Facebook and Twitter 7 times a week and Instagram twice a week.
- On average, nonprofits send 2 print newsletters, 3 print appeals, and 8 press releases in a year.
- On average, nonprofits send 3 email newsletters and 2 email appeals a month.
- On average nonprofits create 13 graphics, 11 articles of various lengths, and 1 video every month.
- Confidence in job skills among communications staff at nonprofits continues to increase with it up a point from last year’s report.
- Nonprofit communicators feel most proficient at creating relevant and engaging messaging and copywriting.
- 30% of nonprofits receive very little and 10% of nonprofit communicators do not receive any training for their job.
- 32% of nonprofit communicators said they have paid out of pocket for their job training.
- 45% of nonprofit communicators said their workload was too heavy with 17% saying it was much too heavy.
- 68% of nonprofit communicators are satisfied or very satisfied with their current position.