When establishing your nonprofit, one of the first things you should do is develop a communications plan. Your nonprofit’s communications plan will be key in helping spread your message, engage your target audience, and achieve your fundraising goals. This article will provide tips on how to develop a great communications plan. A template for your communications plan is included.
What Is a Communications Plan?
A nonprofit communications plan is an essential document for any nonprofit organization. It outlines the strategies and tactics that will be used to communicate with stakeholders; including donors, clients, and the general public. Without a communications plan in place, it can be difficult to ensure that everyone is on the same page with regard to messaging and goals. A well-developed communications plan will help to make sure that your nonprofit is able to effectively achieve its mission.
What Does a Communications Plan Include?
Every communications plan is different, but there are some essential elements that should be included in all plans. These elements include:
– The goals of the communications plan: What do you hope to achieve with your communications efforts?
– The target audience: Who do you want to reach with your message?
– Key messages: What are the key points that you want to communicate to your target audience?
– Tactics: How will you deliver your message? Will you use press releases, social media, email marketing, or a combination of tactics?
– A timeline: When will you implement each tactic?
– A budget: How much money do you have to allocate to your communications efforts?
Tips For Creating a Great Communications Plan
Now that you understand what a communications plan is and what it should include, it’s time to start developing your own nonprofit communications plan. Use the following tips to create a great communications plan for your nonprofit:
Define Your Message
Before you can start developing your communications plan, you need to first define your message. What are the key points that you want to communicate to your target audience? Make sure that your message is clear and concise, and that it aligns with your nonprofit’s mission statement.
Determine Communication Goals
What do you hope to achieve with your communications efforts? Do you want to increase awareness of your nonprofit, engage your target audience, or raise funds? Once you’ve determined your goals, you can start to develop tactics that will help you to achieve them.
Define Your Target Audience
Who do you want to reach with your message? Your target audience should be clearly defined so that you can develop tactics that will resonate with them. For example, if you’re trying to reach young adults, using social media may be a more effective tactic than sending out direct mail.
Utilize Social Media
Social media is a powerful communications tool that can help you to reach a wide audience and connect with potential supporters. It is essential to include a well-crafted social media strategy for nonprofit organizations in your communications plan. By strategically using social media platforms, you can effectively share your organization’s mission, impact, and upcoming events with your followers and engage them in meaningful ways. Additionally, considering using paid advertising on social media can further extend your reach and attract an even larger audience to support your cause.
Build A Mailing/Emailing List
Another great way to reach your target audience is by building a mailing list or emailing list. You can use this list to send out periodic updates about your nonprofit, as well as information about upcoming events or fundraising campaigns.
Develop a Budget
You’ll need to allocate some money to your communications effort in order to implement your plan. Make sure to develop a realistic budget that takes into account all of the tactics that you want to use.
Create a Timeline
Your communications plan should include a timeline that outlines when each tactic will be implemented. This will help to ensure that your nonprofit stays on track and is able to effectively achieve its goals.
How to Intertwine Your Communications Plan with Your Marketing Plan
The communications plan for your nonprofit should be closely intertwined with your marketing plan. After all, both plans are designed to help you achieve your organizational goals. Here are some tips for integrating your communications and marketing efforts:
– Make sure that your branding is consistent across all channels. This means using the same logo, colors, and messaging in all of your communication.
– Develop a clear call-to-action for your target audience. Whether you’re trying to increase awareness, engage your audience, or raise funds, make sure that your call-to-action is clear.
– Use data from your marketing efforts to inform your communication strategy. For example, if you’ve found that a certain type of content performs well on social media, make sure to include more of that content in your communications plan.
– Evaluate your results regularly. Make sure to measure the success of your communications and marketing efforts so that you can make adjustments as needed.
A Template Communications Plan to Get You Started
Now that you understand how to develop a nonprofit communications plan, you can start putting one together for your own organization. Use the following template to get started:
What are the goals of your communication efforts? Be sure to include specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) objectives.
Who do you want to reach with your message? Define your target audience so that you can develop tactics that will resonate with them.
What are the key points that you want to communicate to your target audience? Make sure that your messages are clear and concise, and that they align with your nonprofit’s mission.
What tactics will you use to reach your target audience? Include a mix of online and offline tactics, such as social media, email marketing, direct mail, and events.
How much money will you need to implement your communications plan? Make sure to develop a realistic budget that takes into account all of the tactics that you want to use.
When will each tactic be implemented? Create a timeline that outlines the steps of your communications plan.
How will you measure the success of your communications efforts? Make sure to include specific metrics that you can use to track progress and make adjustments as needed.
A communications plan is a vital tool for any nonprofit organization. It can help you to reach your target audience, achieve your goals, and measure your success. Use the tips and template in this article to create a great communications plan for your nonprofit.