contentmarketingRecently I came across a report from Blackbaud, the Content Marketing Institute and Fusion Spark Media. You can find the study about content marketing in the nonprofit sector here. It’s an excellent presentation and something executive leaders should be reading, not just marketing and fundraising staff.

Content marketing is the value your organization provides to its donors and supporters. The content you share is relevant to your users. In addition, it is something you provide consistently. It helps inform and educate your followers. In return, content marketing helps you gain new supporters. From that you measure your performance in engaging them.

Going back to the Blackbaud report, here are some interesting statistics regarding nonprofits and content marketing:

  • 86 percent of the most effective marketers have someone who is responsible for its strategy. That’s very important. Someone has to have the responsibility and accountability for developing the content marketing strategy, overseeing it and reviewing performance.
  • 92 percent of nonprofits use content marketing. This number I was pleased to see. I know many nonprofits struggle to make an investment of time and resources into their marketing efforts. So, it’s great to know that the vast majority of organizations are doing content marketing and not operating in a silo.
  • 25 percent of those who do content marketing have a strategy of those, 52 percent consider their strategy “highly effective”. This number helps us know that there’s still work to do on the planning. You need a road map. And on that road map, you need to have milestones that allow you to evaluate success. I’m sure those with a strategy are probably much more successful in content marketing than those who use a scatter shot approach.

You’ll also find the top 8 metrics for measuring content marketing success by nonprofits. This is in order of importance:

  1. Increased fundraising revenue.
  2. Increased web traffic.
  3. Social media sharing.
  4. Increased number of those served.
  5. Increased loyalty from supporters.
  6. Increased volunteering.
  7. Qualitative feedback from supporters.
  8. Subscriber growth.

It wasn’t surprising to see fundraising revenue as the top metric for measuring effectiveness of overall content marketing. The reality is that you need money to do great programs. And, as in for-profts, nonprofit dollars help make the wheels go round.

Note that the fourth measurement is to see an increase in the number of those served. After all, nonprofits are on a mission to better society. It’s important that everything a nonprofit or social enterprise does leads to increased impact.

Finally, in reading the full report, I came across one question that I found to be particularly helpful. Blackbaud asked those surveyed, “What one tip would you share with a nonprofit who lacks time and budget to do content marketing well?”

My favorite response was the following one: “For nonprofits without many resources for #contentmarketing, focus on delivering consistent content by owning just one channel. Be the go-to resource!”

That’s exactly what nonprofits should be doing. They should be seeking to dominate, as I described in a recent article, which you can find here. In digital and content marketing, there is an incredible amount of “noise.” The only way to break through that is to focus your attention and be the loudest voice that comes through to people.


Author of “Not Your Father’s Charity: The Rise and Fail of Charities And What You Can Do To Be Ready”.


© 2015 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved.