Communications are such an important part of your non-profit’s work. Whether you want to promote a new program, expand your audience, or raise more money, communications will help you get there.
In order for communications to be effective, it’s essential to have clear communications goals. These goals give your organization direction, help you focus your time and resources, and pursue tactics that will actually help you reach those goals.
Even in a fundraising program where you may be primarily focused on donor communications, having strategic communications goals is beneficial.
In the following video, I’m sharing how your non-profit can create strategic communications goals. I’ll give you a framework for how I help non-profits identify results they want from their communications and then turn them into goals.
WHY ESTABLISHING STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS GOALS?
Working as a communication consultant for nonprofit organizations, allows me to help my clients to build and prepare a strategic communications plan. Some of the benefits of creating a strategic communications plan are the following ones:
- It makes your program work
- Helps your fundraising campaign work smoothly
- Brings broader awareness of your organization
- Helps you get what you want out of communications for your organization
Having a communications plan allows you to have a big
picture view of why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Remember that it is also necessary to establish your strategic communications goals before coming up with a plan. Read the following article I wrote on “Why setting nonprofit communications goals & objectives” and discover the strong reasons behind this.
I have broken down 3 steps for you to follow along and create strategic communications goals for your nonprofit:
- 1Brainstorm a list of possible results that you would like to get from your communications
- 2Select up to 3 top results that adjust to your organization’s capacity and resources
- 3Take these results and turn them into strategic goals
TIP #1. BRAINSTORM A LIST OF POSSIBLE RESULTS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO GET FROM YOUR COMMUNICATIONS
There are endless results that you might want to get from your communications.
- More media coverage
- Broader community awareness
- Build up a communication platform so they can funnel more people on their fundraising program
Dream big and run a list of possible results that would benefit your nonprofit organization. I suggest you also ask the opinion of other members of your team and make a collective brainstorming.
TIP #2. SELECT UP TO 3 TOP RESULTS THAT ADJUST TO YOUR ORGANIZATION’S CAPACITY AND RESOURCES
Narrow down the brainstorm that you just made in the previous step for possible results and try to pick either 1 or up to 3 top goals that are better attainable and more realistic for your organization, so that you don’t get demotivated in the process.
You can base your selection on certain resources that you already have and that can make your goals more achievable such as:
I would also suggest thinking about other strategic goals that are going to be more impactful for the organization, such as marketing goals or fundraising goals.
Think about goals that tie into those fields and that can leverage communications into other aspects of the organization’s work.
TIP #3. TAKE THESE RESULTS AND TURN THEM INTO STRATEGIC GOALS
I always suggest that these goals are S.M.A.R.T: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Resourced, and Timely. In this link, you can find 5 examples of SMART objectives for nonprofits.
For instance, let’s say that you want your local community to be more aware of your organization as a result of earned media (articles, radio, TV, etc.).
Your Goal: We want to increase community awareness of our cause through monthly or maybe bimonthly earned media communication coverage that showcases our expertise and our organization’s mission.
LET’S GET TO WORK ON YOUR COMMUNICATIONS GOALS
Setting up goals helps your organization to establish a guide for any of your nonprofit organization efforts. To set up strategic communications goals will bring even more effective results to your organization’s needs.
These strategic goals need to be S.M.A.R.T. and you have to consider all the resources that you already have available.
Once you have set up your strategic communications goals and have developed your plan to reach them, do a strategic follow up.
Here are couple of articles that I have made on Communications plan:
- 5 elements of a donor communications plan to build loyalty
- 5 simple steps to planning year-end communications
- How to create your 90-day nonprofit communications plan
What you will find in this free and easy tool:
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