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Why Non-Profits Need to Invest More Time in PR

Featured Best Practice on NGO

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With 'donor fatigue' in rich nations and increased confidence from developing countries, more and more people are talking about local NGOs standing on their own two feet, and becoming more financially sustainable. For most NGOs working in a development context, meeting the needs of its [read more]

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Non-profits, like all other businesses and organizations, need to invest in public relations (PR) for several reasons. Though, PR can be challenging for non-profits to pursue because they spend most of their funding on mission-driven work.

However, PR can support your goals in the long run by increasing awareness of your organization, raising funds, and much more. Here’s more on why it’s crucial to invest in PR and effective strategies you can use to get into it.

1. Helps Non-profits Reach New Donors, Partners, and Constituents

It’s no secret that non-profit organizations rely on donations to keep their doors open. Yet, many organizations struggle to find new donors, partners and constituents — and that’s where PR comes into play.

Non-profits have an important job — they’re working toward social change and need support to do it. Public Relations can spread your mission and drive action on your issues by increasing awareness of what you do, who you serve and why it matters.

By working with journalists who cover the topics you care about and using your network to get coverage, you’ll reach more people than ever before. In turn, this will help grow the number of supporters who know about your work and want to be part of it!

2. Creates Positive Press for Your Organization

PR can be a great way to create positive press for your non-profit because it reaches people in ways that aren’t just about money. While PR can gain awareness for your organization and its mission — it also gets your message across in a way that makes people want to support you. That’s because the goal of PR is to get others talking — to create buzz, excitement and interest around what you do.

PR is notorious for increasing visibility through the public and media outlets — spreading your mission far and wide. By utilizing PR to create positive press, you encourage potential donors to get involved with your cause for years to come.

3. Improves Your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Non-profits often struggle to get their message out there and garner attention for their cause. That’s because they have limited resources and money, so they must be strategic about where they spend time and energy.

Investing in PR can boost your SEO, which is one of the most important things a website needs to rank well on Google.

SEO is indeed an essential part of your digital marketing strategy, but PR is also important because it drives traffic to your site. In turn, this allows potential donors and supporters to find you.

4. Establishes Your Credibility

Another major reason non-profits must invest more time in PR is because it enhances their credibility and reputation. People are less likely to donate money or time to an organization they don’t trust, and there’s no better way to build that than through press coverage. You can use PR to demonstrate the impact of your work, including:

  • Stories about new initiatives you’ve rolled out.
  • Information about how much money you’ve raised.
  • How many lives you’ve impacted with your efforts.

Therefore, non-profits need to learn how to tell their stories, so they’re compelling and then share them with the media. The best way for non-profits to learn about good storytelling is by studying what makes a good story — what makes people want to read it? Then, practice the skill until it becomes second nature.

5. Builds Relationships with Influencers

Non-profits are often looking for ways to grow their community, and one of the best ways to do that is by building relationships with influencers.

Influencers can be people in your community who are influential on social media or other channels like podcasts and blogs. They’re typically people with a large following but are also interested in your actions.

By investing in PR, you enable your non-profit to build relationships with influencers because they’re likely to receive information about your organization and its mission. As a result, they will feel more connected with what you’re doing — and when someone is interested in your mission, it’s much easier for them to become invested in your cause!

How Non-Profits Can Boost Their Investments in PR

Non-profits can look for ways to maximize their budget with PR while making the most return on their investment. Here are some top tips for increasing your investments in PR without breaking the bank.

Think of PR as a Long Game

Most non-profits are used to thinking in terms of months, but in PR and marketing, it’s important to think in terms of years or even decades. You want to build a reputation so that when people think of your organization, they think of the good you’re doing for the world — not just what you did last week or month.

Build Relationships and Trust

Non-profits can rely on PR by establishing relationships with journalists. Then, they can use that to build trust with their audience, but it’s important to understand who their audience is and what they care about first. That way, they can find out what they expect from the organization and exceed those expectations.

Establish Your Brand Voice

Creating a brand voice is what gives all your content meaning — and it’s also what makes people want to read more about you. Your brand voice must be consistent throughout your content, so readers know their reading from your organization.

Target Your Audience through the Right Channels

Consider using the right channels for your target audience so that you can reach them. For instance, if you target parents, focus on parenting websites and magazines. If you’re targeting young professionals, look at business news outlets and blogs.

Spread Your Mission by Investing in PR

Non-profits are a vital part of our society, and they deserve the time and effort they need to make sure their missions are heard and understood by the people who need them most.

Public relations is a powerful tool that can help with this — but it’s not a magic bullet. Non-profits must invest in public relations carefully and strategically so their message travels as far as possible.

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Public foundations are nonprofit organizations and grantmaking public charities that gain their funds from a variety of sources, which may include foundations, individuals, corporations, or public entities. This financial model presents a 5 year operating scenario of a Public (Charity) [read more]

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About Eleanor Hecks

Eleanor Hecks is the editor-in-chief of Designerly Magazine. She’s also a web design consultant with a focus on customer experience and UI. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and pups, Bear and Lucy. Connect with her about marketing, design and/or tea on LinkedIn.

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