Not for Profit Public Relations
It may be “not for profit” but it’s definitely all about PR results. Here are some of the best non-profit public relations tips, tools and resources to get your non-profit marketing programs rolling fast. Other PR resources you may like: Do-It-Yourself PR, Media Relations/Publicity and Media Training. The PR Coach’s blog This Just In… will also keep you current twice a week.
Sites with a W are PR Coach “winners.” Note, some resources are PDFs and may require patience while opening.
3 Most Effective Non-Profit Marketing Tools
Learn more about the three most effective marketing tools: writing, speaking, and word of mouth.
3 Questions to Ask When Evaluating Your NonProfit Website
Smart nonprofit PR tips.
3 Reasons Why You Should Stay in Your First Nonprofit Job for at Least a Year
Here’s a really thoughtful look at the value of nonprofit PR jobs.
3 Small Cause Campaigns That Won Big with Social Media
Smart nonprofit campaigns pay back.
4 Real Challenges to Crowdsourcing for Social Good
Find good ideas for crowdsourcing for nonprofits.
5 Nonprofit PR Lessons I learned from Reality TV
Amusing post with some useful lessons from Steve Cebalt.
8 Recession-Proof Tips for Communications
Focus, simplify, reach out and collaborate to enhance communications during tough times.
9 Tips on Writing Copy for Worthy Causes
Here’s how make your copy more effective for fund-raising.
Look into Marcia Yudkin’s Deep Publicity Course. A valuable resource for new and experienced media relations pros and publicists.
10 Elevator Pitch Tips for Nonprofits
10 PR tips to communicate quickly, effectively.
10 Essential Social Media SlideShare Presentations for Nonprofits
Rosita Cortez shares 10 useful social media presentations. W
10 Pages Every Charity Website Should Have
These tips are important for your nonprofit website. W
10 Tips for Writing Your Story
These simple before/after guidelines will pay dividends in coverage.
11 Benefits of Blogging for Your Nonprofit
Practical blog tips from John Haydon.
12+ Great Ways to Share Your Non-Profit’s Knowledge Online
Tips to gain you exposure and authority.
13 Tips for Pitching Your Story
Learn the art of pitching your story to the media.
21 Ways NonProfits Can Leverage Social Media
21 top social media tips to help nonprofits succeed. W
22 Ways a Blog Can Rock Your Nonprofit’s Social Media Campaign
22 excellent ways to benefit from blogging from the always-on-target John Haydon. W
50 (More) Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits
Excellent nonprofit PR resource.
A Room with a Viewpoint
How to create an online press center that reporters return to again and again.
Advocacy Tools: Tips
Here’s a valuable list of advocacy tools including: how to expand your influence; communicating with the White House; what Congressional staff hate to hear; media tip sheets. Great resource from Families USA. W
Advocacy Video: Producing Change
Superb Benton Foundation report provides 15 stories illustrating use of advocacy videos by broadcasters, individuals and NFPs to win direct results in social cause campaigns. W
Are We There Yet? A Communications Evaluation Guide
Do you know if your nonprofit communications are working? Have you ever asked? Learn how to be more effective by evaluating your programs in this publication from The Communications Network. Excellent worksheet included. W
Art of Storybanking
Learn the valuable art of storybanking and make it an important element in your communications strategy. W
Art of the Press Release
Chloe Veltman offers 13 practical tips on news releases to guide artists in getting more publicity.
Get Marcia Yudkin’s terrific news release writing self-study course. Highly recommended! Marcia’s Makeovers: 24 Press Releases Transformed from So-So to Sizzling
Basic Press Outreach for Mission-Based Organizations
With time, commitment and minimal budget, not for profit media relations can pay dividends. Useful tips for NFPs from Coyote Communications.
Best practices for promoting your fundraiser online
Tips for promoting your fundraising event online.
Beth’s Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media
If you want to learn non-profit blogging tips and success stories read Beth Kanter’s excellent blog. W
Better Nonprofit Websites to Increase Online Donations
While non-profits raised 10% of funds online in 2008, better usability and websites could make results much higher.
Building Communications Capacity: Experts Offer Lessons Learned in Practice
Learn the critical top 10 communications capacity-building “hotspots” and 12 lessons in this excellent report by Karen Grimm of the Communication Leadership Institute. W
Cause and Effects Marketing
Cone Communications/Roper study of executive attitudes found causes gaining ground as instruments of relationship management.
Cave Man Listening: A Guide to Low-Tech “Listening” for Small Non-Profits
Betsy Stone offers some very useful, practical tips on monitoring for small organizations.
Many, many resources for non-profit public relations.
Communicating 3.0 for Nonprofits: Succeeding in Your Messaging and Maximizing Your Methods
Know your story. Know your audience. Know your tools and their limits. Know your opportunities. And monitor results. Simple?
Learn how to launch a powerful, effective online PR program using guerrilla tactics from Marcia Yudkin’s report Powerful, Painless Online Publicity.
This free toolkit is a complete and practical guide to nonprofit communications. W
Communications Audits: How Effectively Are You Communicating?
Susan Scott show how to plan and thoroughly carry out a communications audit. W
Communications Effectiveness Index
The index identifies the key qualities of effective practices and characteristics of organizations employing these best practices.
Communications Effectiveness Index – Self-Assessment Tool
Use this tool to compare your effectiveness to those in the index. W
Community Media Workshop – PR Tips
Chicago-based CMW works to get media to tell stories about the “other” Chicago where problems need solutions. Excellent media tools and tips for nonprofits. W
Community Relations With and Without Technology
Solid list of tips and resources to help NFPs navigate technology and communication.
Compiling a Media List
A simple guide to putting together your own media list.
Designing a Communications Plan to Enhance Your Fundraising Campaign
Learn how to create an awareness of your organization?s value to the community and the financial need that necessitates the campaign.
Developing a Communications Strategy
Step-by-step guide to producing a comms strategy for your organization. Includes exercises and downloads.
Discovering the Activation Point
Activation Point is a free, comprehensive, research-based guide to help nonprofits learn how to plan to persuade and follow best practices in communications and persuasion to translate both into action. W
Do you make this mistake in your PR materials?
Writing tip: Write as long as needed.
Do Your Communications Suffer From “Jargon Breath”?
Here’s just the mouthwash you need to get rid communications jargon breath.
Does Your Nonprofit Organization Have Measurement Malaise?
Here are some smart measurement tips for nonprofits.
Eight ideas to promote your association’s website
Improve your organization’s website and increase traffic.
Eight types of social media fundraising campaigns
Explore eight popular styles of social media campaigns.
Eleven Facebook pages best practices for nonprofits
Here’s how to get your Facebook pages popping.
Even MORE on Twitter for Nonprofits
More Twitter thoughts from Marc Pitman.
Executing a Successful Awareness Day
Here’s how to create and carry out an awareness day event.
Facebook status updates: 5 content Ideas for nonprofits
Here’s what to say on your Facebook pages.
Findings from the 2011 Survey of Foundation Communications Professionals
This superb report highlights the ways foundations communication is changing. Much of that is driven by the fact that how society overall communicates is changing with social media tools a part of their daily lives. W
Five advanced Facebook best practices for nonprofits
Get ready to take your FB campaigns to the next level.
Foundation CEOs Testing Social Media Waters, Survey Finds
Research shows only one-third of nonprofit CEOs are trying out social media.
Four Reasons Your Executive Director Should be on Twitter
Twitter offers excellent opportunities for nonprofit organizations.
Free Complete Toolkit for Boards
All the resources to run a board from bylaws, charters and articles to job descriptions, sample minutes and much more.
Free eGuide: Cause Marketing Through Social Media
Excellent nonprofit PR resource. W
Free Management Library
Complete library resource links for non-profits and for-profits alike in more than 75 categories from advertising and promotion to volunteers.
Andy Goodman’s free monthly newsletter is all about communications best practices and resources for public interest groups, foundations, and progressive businesses that want to reach more people more effectively. Excellent archive too. W
Fundraising at the Speed of Twitter
Nicole Wallace weighs in on Twitter fundraising.
Get Activist Toolkit
Amnesty International has an Activist Toolkit containing useful promotion tips.
Nancy Schwartz’s blog is always a good source of ideas, tactics and tips for nonprofit communicators. W
Getting in Print
Health Foundation of Cincinnati study looked at how newspapers cover health-related foundations and their impact on media strategies. Includes case studies and solutions worth reading. W
Getting Your Board Involved in Communications
Seven ways to get your board to communicate your message.
Giving a Media Interview
Here’s a nice set of media interview tips.
Good Marketing Campaigns in 7 Steps
Learn the seven universal principles of good marketing campaigns.
Grading the Top 100 Charity Brands on Social Media Web Promotion
Exceptional report worth studying. W
Grooming the Messenger
A Georgetown U center teaches students to help charities communicate during a two-semester “cause consulting” track.
Search IRS data from more than 700,000 US non-profit organizations to find local experts in a field, donors to foundations and a host of other detailed information of interest to not-for-profit searchers.
Heads up: your social media supporters are mobile
Nonprofits need an online presence and strategies to reach key audiences via mobile phones.
Hey you, get out of your social media comfort zone…yes you!
Stuck in a social media rut? Time for a fresh look at new channels.
How 5 NonProfits are Innovating with Mobile
Five interesting nonprofit mobile marketing case studies.
How Active Is Your Nonprofit Leader on Social Media?
Are nonprofit leaders missing the social media boat?
How Nonprofits Can Get the Most Out of Flickr
Here’s some ways to use Flickr effectively in your communications.
How Non Profits Can Use Social Media – Facebook Edition
Two great primers on Facebook in one for non profits and business alike from Jeff Bullas. Superb! W
How to Get a Wikipedia Page for Your Nonprofit
A Wikipedia page for your nonprofit can be a strategic advantage. Here’s how.
How to make your nonprofit video go viral
Content is important, but it’s only part of the equation if you’re trying to go viral.
How to Raise Funds for Your Nonprofit Using Social Media
Helpful suggestions for nonprofit fund-raising.
How to Stay Cool in a Crisis
Public relations consultant Adam Woolf advises on how to keep your non-profit organization under control when crisis erupts.
How to Write a Human Interest Story
Brief, effective tip on writing an effective human interest story.
How Volunteer Communicators Help the Red Cross
Excellent ideas for nonprofit PR.
Social news for all things non-profit.
Is Your Good Work Going Unnoticed? Seven Mistakes Foundations and Nonprofits Make (And How to Fix Them)
Seven mistakes and simple ways to fix them from former reporter and consultant Susan Parker. W
Knight News Release Workshop
Using this interactive tool, learn how to get better news coverage by writing more effective news releases. Superb resource. W
Lee Aase: Social Media at The Mayo Clinic [Video 9:36]
MyRaganTV interviews Lee Aase about how the famed clinic uses social media.
Lobbying tips from the experts
Know the basics on how it gets done and how to be effective.
Making the Move from Corporate PR to Charities
Case of Helen Loxton who moved to Imperial Cancer Research Fund from managing celebrities.
Managing the Media: A Guide for Activists
Planning a peace demonstration or blockade? Learn how to manage media and the story from Carol Fenelly and Community for Creative Non-violence in this very complete guide. W
Marketing Your Message: Using Radio PSAs Effectively
Radio’s portability and ability to cater to specific program tastes may be two underlying factors for its success. Bill Goodwill suggests ways to produce winning radio PSAs.
Media Access: Tricks of the Trade
Activists, consumer groups and critics often condemn PR as corporate media manipulation but they benefit from PR strategies to get attention for their issues and views. Check out Media Access Toolkit: guides, tips and resources on all aspects of publicity, from writing a press release to holding a demonstration. W
Media Relations for Nonprofits: Position Yourself as an Expert in Your Field
Seven ways to be an essential resource for media and benefit from the media coverage writes Mary Schnack in CW.
Look for the excellent online guides to nonprofit PR, media relations, marketing and communication strategies. W
Deborah Zanke blogs about nonprofit and social services PR.
More Twitter for Nonprofits
Marc Pitman adds to his support for Twitter when appropriate.
Network for Good
Network for Good has lots of helpful online communications tools and resources for nonprofit communicators.
Newbies Guide to Twitter
Chris Brogan’s newbie guide still works.
Nonprofit Disruption: Evolving Models of Engagement and Support
Excellent read on advocacy and fundraising.
Nonprofit Marketing: 101 Getting Started
An exceptional resource of more than 200 nonprofit marketing and PR tips from Network for Good! W W
Non-Profit Toolkit – PR Newswire
PR Newswire provides a toolbox filled with tips, info and suggestions for successful news creation and distribution.
Nonprofit Lobbying Guide
Out of print but free online, the lobbying guide is still a classic tool for NFPs. W
Nonprofits and Social Media: It Ain’t Optional
Valuable social media insight for nonprofits. W
Nonprofits Should Drop the Jargon
Mean what you say and simply say what you mean writes Phil Arkow.
Notes for Nonprofits
Lots of not for profit communication tips from Lindsey Patten’s blog.
Online Giving Meets Social Networking
New nonprofit directions in fund-raising.
Online Marketing Options for Nonprofits
Where do you go first to find your best marketing opportunities? Kivi Leroux Miller helps you navigate.
PR Advice for Charities
PR tips and pitfalls from specialists in not-for-profit sector including humor, preparation and creativity.
PR News Non-Profit Awards Special Issue
2008 award winners are shared by PR Week. An essential read for ideas. W
PR Tips for Nonprofit Professionals
Five practical tips from Vanessa Wakeman.
Philanthropy News Digest
News, job corner, RFPs and resources all here at weekly newsletter site.
Pitching Nonprofit Stories to the Media
Make it timely, newsworthy and relevant says Joanne Fritz.
Promoting Your Not-for-Profit through Public Relations
These nonprofit media relations tips will get you started.
Proposal Writing Short Course
Learn about the process of planning and of research on, outreach to, and cultivation of potential foundation and corporate donors.
Public Engagement and the Internet: The Message and the Medium
Get the message right and the medium, especially the internet, will carry it well writes Pattie LaCroix.
Public Relations 2.0
Rachel Meranus offers a starter kit of social media tips.
Public Relations 101: How-To Tips for School Administrators
Looking to improve communications between school and home? Want to get media to pay more attention to the good things going on in your school? Know how to handle a crisis? Tips for school administrators looking to put their best foot forward.
Public Relations Strategic Plan Worksheet
Simple, useful template for an NFP strategic PR plan for organizations seeking funding.
Public Service Advertising Research Center
Everything from research to case studies, media profiles, bibliographies and articles. Excellent resource. W
Sharing Your National Service Story: Communicating With the Media
Here’s a basic but complete handbook to help you work effectively with the media. Includes nonprofit PR tips and helpful templates. Produced by the Corporation for National Community Service. W
Shy Social Networking for Nonprofit Social Media
Useful nonprofit PR social media basics.
Six unique online fundraising techniques for your nonprofit – Blogs
Important reasons a nonprofit should have a blog.
Six unique online fundraising techniques for your nonprofit – Social Networking
A look at how social networking can help meet your online fundraising targets.
Smart Chart 3.0: An Even More Effective Tool to Help Nonprofits Make Smart Communications Choices
Produced by Spitfire Strategies, this an awesome communications planning tool for any organization. The online version requires a simple free registration. W
Social Media 4 Nonprofits
Rosita Cortez provides some very helpful resources for nonprofits. W
Social Media for Nonprofits
Excellent slide presentation by Wild Apricot, highlighting social media best practices and opportunities.
Social Media Secrets for Non-Profits: Tracking Your Success
Is your social media campaign working? How do you know?
SPIN Project: Resources
The Communication Leadership Institute’s SPIN Project has excellent communication resources for nonprofits including practical tutorials. W
SPIN Project: Strategic Communications Plan Generator
Use this helpful tool to generate a simple strategic comm plan.
Sponsorship Sales Fact Sheet
Sample one-page fact sheet that gives potential event sponsors a simple, easy-to-read event sponsorship checklist from Fund$Raiser.
Spreading the word: 8 ways to get media attention for your nonprofit’s positive news
In the news, if it bleeds, it leads. Here’s how to grab attention for good news when media focus on the pessimistic? W
Storybank: Using Personal Stories as an Effective Way to Get Your Message Out
Personal stories are a key news value. Banking your stories can help you get publicity.
Storybanking: A Bank That Always Builds Interest
Building your storybank now will ensure it’s there when you need it. Here are some best practices.
Storybanking: Tell Us How
Families USA illustrates its online storybanking approach.
Study Reveals: 13 Best Practices of Social Media Implemented by Top 200 US Charities
Jeff Bullas highlights valuable NFP social media best practices. W
Stunt philanthropy: Walking the talk, and why it’s working
Celebrities and public figures are doing more than just writing checks.
Tech-Savvy Communications: A Toolkit for Nonprofits
A practical, interactive guide to enable you to add technology-savvy solutions for more effective communications. Includes exercises, message framework, tactics and resources all provided by NPower Seattle. W W
Ten Commandments of Cause-Related Marketing
Here’s how to create a great partnership with business.
Ten Things a Nonprofit Should Do Before Setting Up Social Media
Ten tips. Count ‘em. From Lindsey Patten.
Terrible Telephone Interviews Made Easy
Seven valuable tips on what to do when a reporter calls by Andy Goodman in his Free-range Thinking newsletter.
The Case for Print PSAs
Research shows print PSAs can be very effective. Here’s how to formulate a strategic and cost-effective print PSA plan. W
The Chronicle of Philanthropy
Weekly newsletter covers non-profit developments and also provides searchable database, research, facts and figures, and numerous NFP links.
The Communications Network
TCN works to strengthen the voice of philanthropy by providing resources to enhance critical not for profit communications. The Ideas You Can Use page is useful. W
The Nine Basic Truths of Fundraising
Brief and to-the-point from Tony Poderis.
The Nonprofit Times
Hard hitting useful information and special reports on the business of managing and marketing your nonprofit organization. Free if you qualify and issued twice a month.
The Power of Public Relations in Schools
Sample school Northwest Regional Education Laboratory PR plan is well designed and serves as a solid model for public relations planning.
The Power of Public Relations: A Basic Guide to Getting Noticed
The Texas Commission on the Arts provides a very practical, step-by-step, do-it-yourself guide to PR and media relations. Best is the appendix of samples news releases, media alerts and more. W
Three Ways Any Nonprofit Can Get More from Social Media
John Haydon shows how to improve your social media results.
Tips for Building Not for Profit Organizations through Strategic Public Relations
Basic but useful nonprofit PR tips
Tips for Entering Your Charity into the Social Media Environment
Social media is changing the communications landscape and nonprofits can get some important tips here on how to enter the game.
Tips for Getting a Charity’s Views into a Newspaper’s Editorial Pages
Article shows how some NFPs are successfully gaining media coverage.
Tips for more effective radio public service ad campaigns
Eight practical tips to producing winning radio PSAs from Bill Goodwill.
Tools for Advocates: ImPRESSive Media Tip Sheets
See this exceptional set of media tips from Families USA. Includes media interview tips; storybanking; getting into national media; creating media lists; finding the hook; and more. W W
Tools For Nonprofit Leaders: The Communication Plan
Here’s how to design and carry out a communication plan.
Tools For Nonprofit Leaders: The Strategic Plan
A strategic plan is a critical starting point and a valuable asset for nonprofits.
Top Five Reasons Why Women Flock to Nonprofit Jobs
Nonprofits have advantages including flexibility and opportunity.
Top 10 website mistakes charities make
Your website must be current, easy-to-navigate, and relevant.
Top 10 Tips for Local Media Relations
These tips will help get your organization in the news.
Twenty-one hot topics for your nonprofit’s blog
Great list of possible topics for your nonprofit blog.
Twitter as Charitable Giving Spreader: A Brief History and Meta-Analysis of Fundraising with Twitter
Beth Kanter shares a number of Twitter best practices and fundraising successes.
Twitter for Nonprofits
If you’re looking for a starting point on Twitter, read Marc Pitman’s post. Well done.
Twitter 101 for Nonprofits
Substantial Twitter how-to presentation from Frank Barry W
Twitter for Nonprofits: Waste of Time, or Potentially Useful?
Good question. Good answers from Beth Kanter.
Twitter Jump Start
If you’re looking for a credible intro to Twitter, John Haydon has it. It’s excellent! W
Under the radar: Great social good websites you may not have heard of — yet
Claire Kerr shares useful resources that sometimes fly under most people’s radars.
Wait, Wait, Wait…Start at the Beginning. What’s Twitter? Why Tweet?
A nice post by Susie Bowie about starting with Twitter and several good resources for more info.
We Don’t Need More Information
Don’t numb them with information. Tell a story for maximum impact.
What an awareness day can do for you
Despite the proliferation of awareness days, they are an essential way to communicate.
When Bad Press Happens to Good People: Tips for Survival and Recovery
Here’s how to respond proactively to bad news and how to plan in advance to avoid it.
Why narrative and your brand are inseparable
How storytelling can bring your brand to life.
Why Nonprofit Communicators Need Social Media
Insightful Ragan.com article looks at four NFP efforts using social media.
Why Stories Matter
Storytelling is a powerful communication tool. Whoever tells the best stories usually wins, so here’s how.
Wild Apricot Blog
Issues, trends, communication tips and how to get more from web technology.
Word of mouth marketing
Word of mouth marketing is essential in every marketing program. Here’s how to do it.
WTF? Four-letter words you CAN say at a nonprofit
Using unexpected or attention-getting words can be effective or it can backfire.
Photo credit: Alabama Association of Nonprofits