Many nonprofits spent 2020 dedicating their efforts to staying afloat. They were focused on improving their finances, some implementing new processes recommended by nonprofit audit services. During this time, most nonprofits didn’t spare many resources or much energy on public relations. But as 2021 begins, you might go beyond tax and financial planning and start brainstorming ways to promote your organization, mission, and programming this year.
Here are five ways you can promote your nonprofit:
1. Choose the best outlet. Reach out to outlets that are most likely to use your press releases, such as local television stations that cover community news. Local stations are great publicity boosters for smaller, localized nonprofits, and local branches of large nonprofits. Take time out of your schedule to get to know producers, editors, and publication and broadcast schedules. This research can lead you to the most suitable outlets for your press releases.
2. Stay close to home. Approaching an issue of national importance from a local angle will increase your nonprofit’s appeal to the media. For example, a Bay Area nonprofit that combats ocean littering could cover the Bay Area coastline. Whenever possible, offer an expert source from your organization to talk about the local impact. By positioning your organization as an authority, you can grab the public’s attention.
3. Report regularly. Release news often rather than just occasionally, which will boost your nonprofit’s presence to the public eye. Press releases are especially useful news materials, as they can be published whenever you add a key staff member, reach an operational milestone, receive a new grant, or kick-off a fundraising campaign. Social media platforms are great for publicizing news quickly.
4. Tell a good story. Human beings are naturally attracted to stories, and are more likely to remember stories than disconnected facts. Work with your communications team to create a story that features real constituents and focuses on universal experiences, such as struggling to find a new job or pay the bills.
5. Time it right. Timing can be everything for a good story. You might increase your odds of coverage by submitting requests to outlets at the start of new publication cycles. You could also host an event or put out a press release on a typically slow news day. Be sure to connect your programs to current events. During 2020, many nonprofits pivoted their programs to address pandemic-related needs. Publicize your pandemic-related pivots to keep current supporters on board and attract new support.
Keep looking forward
As nonprofits spend 2021 adjusting their operations, they need to place new emphasis on public relations. It’s not enough to cater to your current supporters. You need to attract new supporters to stay afloat and keep your nonprofit in the public eye.
At Ernst Wintter & Associates LLP, our California nonprofit audit services can help you decide how to best utilize your organization’s financial resources. If you have any questions about California nonprofit services, one of our CPAs would be happy to speak with you at (925) 933-2626 or through our contact form.