Content Marketing for Good: How Three Nonprofits Engage Online - Insights

Content Marketing for Good: How Three Nonprofits Engage Online

by Kylie Jane Wakefield

4 minute read

Running a nonprofit organization is no easy task. The leaders of nonprofits must constantly be on the lookout for new supporters and donors, but they are often faced with the challenge of having to do doing a lot with very little. If they are struggling, there are direct and real consequences: their recipients face hardship as well.

Thanks to online content marketing and social media, nonprofits are becoming more accessible to a greater audience. Even local organizations without global recognition can create digital content to reach a broader audience. From targeted blogs to emotional videos, nonprofits are utilizing any and all of the content marketing staples to reach prospective and current volunteers as well as donors. Through these efforts, they’re able to secure more funds and sustain their mission.

Let’s take a look at three nonprofits and the excellent work they’re doing in the content marketing space, along with ideas for how marketers can run their own similar, successful campaigns.

Helen Keller International

In 1915, Helen Keller, along with businessman George Kessler, started Helen Keller International (HKI), which aims to thwart blindness and combat malnutrition in 22 different countries. Today, their message is being spread via platforms like YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, and Facebook. The organization also focuses heavily on written content.

According to Heather Mangrum, director of communications at HKI, a lot of their website traffic can be credited to the Huffington Post. The President and CEO of HKI, Katy Spahn, blogs on there under the organization’s own page. Spahn has written about women and economic empowerment, the impact of poor vision, and malnutrition problems around the world.

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HKI has a blog, “Seed to Sight,” which is run by Mangrum and a colleague. They profile people affected by their work, and show what they’re doing in places like New York City, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Vietnam. Field interns serving in these regions write many of the posts as well.

Online, the content is geared towards 35 to 55 year-olds, while direct mail and printed materials are produced for the older supporters. Through all of the content, Mangrum says that the organization is hoping to get people interested in HKI’s operation: “We’re looking for the donations and for people who want to engage.”

Key Takeaway: Audiences want to see behind the scenes action and transparency. Show what your team is working on and give your fans an inside look at your business’ happenings. It’ll make them feel included and like they’re part of your legacy.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is dedicated to helping children with dangerous diseases receive the medical attention they need. The organization has a large following on both Facebook and Twitter, using the power of images to promote their work.

On their Facebook page, which has 1.5 million likes, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital posts a photo a day of either a child in need or volunteers dedicating their time to the cause. They divulge the names of the children and their back-stories, and show the volunteers running, biking, or playing music for the patients. The posts typically receive thousands of likes, comments, and shares. The St. Jude Twitter page is ripe with similar content, as well as frequent retweets from supporters.

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By tugging at heartstrings and striking an emotional chord with their content, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has built a strong following on various platforms. In real life, that translates to donations, as well as an increased awareness of what they’re trying to accomplish.

Key Takeaway: Figure out what makes your audience tick. What will persuade them to press that call to action button or purchase from you? Content that evokes an emotion, whether it’s sympathy, sadness, happiness, or anger, can take your audience from followers to donors.

God’s Love We Deliver

New York City based organization God’s Love We Deliver is devoted to providing 4,600 meals every weekday to people who are too sick to prepare food for themselves.

According to Emmett Findley, manager of communications, the community they’re producing content for is made up of volunteers, clients, supporters, and people looking for information on health and nutrition.

On their site, the organization offers recipes, facts about various illnesses and food allergies, articles on food safety, and client menus. There are posts about farmer’s markets, living healthy, and how to eat when faced with sickness. Their newsletter, “Nutrition Bites,” highlights tips for cooking and eating and supplies seasonal recipes.

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Findley says that through online content, the organization has been able to give the public a view of what they’re doing on a day-to-day basis and get people interested in their cause. “People make a direct response to it,” says Findley. “They say I want to get involved, what do I do?”

Key Takeaway: Don’t just focus on a narrow content campaign. Think about how you can create value for your audience with content, even if it doesn’t directly relate to your business’ niche. Reliable content like health tips and recipes will keep them coming back for more!

And while you’re here – give these great organizations a like or two. For all their hard work, they certainly deserve it!


By Kylie Jane Wakefield, NewsCred Contributor