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Want your non-profit to succeed? Think strategically.

communicating-your-non-profitMany of us have been touched by something so powerful, we are moved to take action through fundraising and awareness. And, even though it’s built on personal passion, a non-profit is just like any other business–its success lies in thoughtful, strategic messaging.

Unlike a business plan, which requires hard data about funding and structure, a strategic messaging foundation can include any touch point that helps inform your communications.

Here’s a collection of questions to get you started. Think carefully about your answers: they form the foundation of the message you send out to the world. \

Strategic Messaging Worksheet for Non-Profits


Your Initiative: What your non-profit or fundraising effort is called

Your Benefit Community: The persons or entities who will benefit from your efforts

Your Contributor Community: The persons or entities will contribute to your cause through volunteering and/or donation


  1. Your Benefit Community: Who/what are you raising money for?
  2. Your Contributor Community: Who/what will want to contribute to your effort?

-Where are they?

-How to they talk to one another? (social media, seminars, waiting rooms, etc.)

  1. Why is this initiative important? List top 3 reasons; limit 25 words each




  1. What other organizations offer solutions for your Benefit Community? List each one and explain how your Initiative is different
  2. Who are the key players in this effort? List each stakeholder and explain why this Initiative is important to them.

  3. Describe the Initiative in detail. Specifically how will it help your Benefit Community?

  4. Why is your Initiative important to your Contributor Community?

  5. Who is in the Contributor Community? In what way is this Initiative important to them?

9. What recognizable names might have a connection to your Initiative and could be recruited to help reach your target audience?

Using the Strategic Messaging Worksheet to Plan Communications

Wherever your personal journey takes you, answering questions like these will help you have more success and ultimately make more money than working from passion alone. Find the shared interests of your Benefit and Contributor communities and structure your messages to communicate the importance of your mission–you will be speaking directly to their hearts.

Did you think of a few things to add to the list of questions? Please share. Strategic thinking is always a work in progress.

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cindi acker-hein

cindi acker-hein

writer + creative partner
I love my work: teaming up with awesome creatives. Word nerdery. Problem solving. Simplifying. Intelligenting. Learning. Seeking FTA, SOH, PR.Read more...


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