Tools and Tips for Creating Engaging Content for Your Nonprofit

Carol Luong is a guest contributor for Nonprofit Hub. She is the Founder of GreatPositive, a fundraising platform that focuses on making it easier and more affordable for small nonprofits to raise more donations online. GreatPositive takes a stance against taking a cut from donations and offers a peer-to-peer fundraising platform that empowers nonprofit staff and supporters with the tools to create unique and personal campaigns.

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The stats don’t lie.

Content allows you to tell stories, keep your audience engaged and allows you to highlight your thought leadership in the space. Let’s talk about some tools to help you get started and create effective content.

Create Visual Content

Create visual marketing and social media content to draw traffic to your website by leveraging Canva’s free tools; it’s a great platform that helps you create images for your website, newsletters, social media posts and more. The best part about it is that you don’t need to be a designer to use Canva—they make it easy for everyone.

  • Canva offers templates that are sized optimally for different content pieces so that you don’t have to worry about keeping up.
  • They also provide text and image suggestions in case you get stuck on coming up with your own designs. For more variety, it only costs $1 per template.

Expand Your Audience

Reach a wider audience through blogging. I’ve listed some popular free blogging tools below, but I would recommend using a combination of these blogs because it helps you reach a wider audience. Simply repost your blog on different platforms and reference that the original came from your website’s blog page.

  • WordPressIf you already have a WordPress site, creating a WordPress blog makes the most logical sense. It’s free and included in the many available WordPress themes out there.
  • MediumMedium is discoverable by other Medium users, especially within your Facebook or Twitter network. They also have a great interface that allows people to highlight specific sections and make a comment or share via social media. It’s a clean and beautiful platform.
  • LinkedInLinkedIn’s publishing tool is powerful; especially if you’ve built a robust network of connections. Every time you publish a blog, all of your connections are notified and if they engage with it, their other connections will also be exposed to your blog. With over 396 million members, it’s not a platform to ignore.
  • TumblrTumblr is popular among the younger audience and works well with shorter posts that are more image heavy. Users can easily like and share your content to the Tumblr population, which is estimated at 300 million users.

Share Others’ Content

Don’t share content that is only about you. Aggregate content that might be relevant to your audience by using tools such as Feedly or Flipboard, and then schedule the articles to be shared on your social networks using scheduling tools, such as Buffer or Hootsuite.

  • FeedlyAllows you to subscribe to feeds from different news sources and offers team-collaboration tools.
  • FlipboardAllows you to choose topics you care about and presents you with relevant news, blogs, articles and social media posts.
  • BufferThe free plan allows you to manage Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. They also take the cake on scheduling posts, including images and video, but they lack social listening.
  • HootsuiteThe free plan allows you to manage up to 3 social profiles, where you can schedule posts in advance, get basic reporting and monitor conversations around keywords and hashtags.

Use Editing Tools

Use these helpful blog editing tools to write more compelling content.

  • Hemingway AppA free tool that dissects your content and highlights content that may be too long or complex. It also highlights words that could be replaced with shorter words or stronger verbs.
  • Headline AnalyzerA free tool that analyzes your headline and provides you with a score, as compared to other titles within the same category or industry you are targeting.

Create Engaging Presentations

Create engaging presentations and post them on Slideshare. In an effort to not reinvent the wheel, check out this great blog to learn more, “How to Use Slideshare to Attract 450k Views of Your Content.”

With the help of all these tools, you can create a myriad of content, showcasing your knowledge and expertise, doing event recaps, highlighting donation and volunteer impact, summarizing research and reports and involving guest bloggers from your board, volunteers and staff. For further reading, a popular rule of thumb within the nonprofit sector involves the “Three A’s”—Appreciation, Advocacy and Appeals.

Plus, always remember to repurpose your content. One blog piece can turn into 10 different ways to reach your audience by extracting little tidbits and highlighting them across your different social platforms.