Every non-profit needs to have a proper communications plan in order to engage with their donors and supporters. A communication plan that gives further information on the non-profit organization, their motivation, the campaigns they’re launching, their cause, who are their beneficiaries, among others.
Having a communications plan allows you to have a big picture view of why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Before starting to develop a non-profit communications plan, it is relevant and necessary to initially set clearly what are the non-profit communication goals & objectives. In this post, I will explain to you why it is important to set your non-profit communications goals & objectives.
WHAT ARE COMMUNICATIONS GOALS & OBJECTIVES
Your non-profit communications goals could vary depending on what it is that the organization is looking to communicate and who are their target subjects.
Your goals could be:
- Brand Support
- Community Engagement
- Program Recruitment
A common suggestion is to set SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Resourced, and Timely.
In this link, you can find 5 examples of SMART objectives for nonprofits.
I find that organizations who set effective communications goals generally use the same goals they’ve set in their strategic plan. After all, your organization’s strategic plan is the ultimate directive for work across all departments.
Here are some examples of communications goals I’ve worked on over the years:
- Positioning an organization as an industry and issue area expert to be a significant advocacy/policy influencer
- Recruiting new program participants to expand impact
- Building and engaging community to support an advocacy position
WHY SETTING NON-PROFIT COMMUNICATIONS GOALS & OBJECTIVES
Being strategic with your content and more broadly your communication is a GOOD thing! It means that you have aligned the micro actions with the bigger picture, and that is more likely to help you reach your goals.
Many organizations I work with on communications planning set communications goals for raising awareness for their cause or issue area. This is one of my least favorite communications goals because most organizations don’t set good metrics for measuring this.
That brings me to a communications planning tip -- whatever goal you set, it must be measurable.
I find that the broad goal itself may not be measurable on its own, but that’s where objectives come in.
For instance, if we were working with the goal of positioning an organization as an industry and issue area experts, here’s a few measurable objectives we could set.
Being invited to speak at 3 community events related to the issue area
Receiving 5 in-bound requests from the media for interviews
Getting consistent feedback from our community about our organization through an end of year survey
Increasing your mailing list size by 20%
Getting invited to speak at 3 community events
By setting non-profit communications goals and objectives, we can start to see how what we do on a monthly basis can support the bigger picture. That’s what strong alignment looks like!
Regarding the timing set for your plan, it is up to your organization. If you find it difficult to plan for a full year in advance, then start with a 90-Day plan and try to prolong your non-profit organization's communications plan from time to time. Then, don’t forget to measure your results.
We recently launched a free resource called the Monthly Content Planner Kit to help non-profit communications professionals streamline their content planning process to get more organized, more consistent, and more strategic.
What you will find in this free and easy tool created by us at The Storytelling Non-Profit:
Create content that helps your non-profit reach its biggest communications goals
Manage all of your communications channels from weekly dashboards
Set and reach monthly content marketing goals
Measure your success and integrate key insights into future month’s content
I’d love to hear about what communications goals you’re currently working towards. Leave a comment below to share your top communications goal.