10 Ways to Enhance Your Nonprofit Communications Plan in the New Year

Guest article by Maria Satira, Owner, Maria Satira Media

4 minute read

A new year brings plenty of opportunity for nonprofits as they look at goal setting for the next 12 months. These may range from fundraising and programming objectives to volunteer or outreach targets. No matter the focus, external communications will play a role in how your organization will achieve those goals for the year ahead and for years to come.

I’m a former news anchor turned nonprofit marketing and communications professional who is passionate about helping organizations tell their stories using public relations and storytelling techniques. Here are my top 10 tips for nonprofits that want to enhance their communications strategy in 2024.

1. Update your website


Your website is often the first place that people will visit when they want to learn more about your organization. You should have an easy-to-navigate website that clearly states your mission, vision, and purpose. Make sure that information is current and includes facts about your impact over the past year. Be sure to include an option for online donations throughout the subpages and on the navigation bar too.

2. Write blogs

If you don’t already have one, include a blog section on your website. Blogs can be utilized for so many ways. A few ideas include explaining details about your program offerings, sharing impactful success stories, and providing organizational updates. I recommend posting at least one blog per month that includes imagery and runs between 600-1,000 words. It’s also helpful to create a plan for the entire year with one blog topic idea for each month. This will keep the planning organized while also allowing for some flexibility if adjustments need to be made.

3. Send an e-newsletter

E-newsletters can be a great resource for nonprofits to communicate directly with donors, provide community updates, recruit new volunteers, or generate more awareness. Keep your email list updated frequently and set a goal for how often you’d like to send out an e-newsletter. As far as content, e-newsletters are great opportunities to announce upcoming events, fundraisers, or programs, share your blogs, ask for donations toward a specific need, and provide updates on an ongoing project.

4. Audit your social media

Social media is essential for nonprofits – but it’s important to realize that you don’t need to be active on every platform. Think about your target audience and analyze where they’re spending their time on social media. In the new year, I also suggest that you review analytics of your accounts and look at what types of posts have performed well in the past. The key to success on social media is planning ahead so you stay organized. Using a content calendar allows you to take note of upcoming holidays, awareness days, and national days that are relevant for your sector.

5. Utilize exclusive donor content

Do you have a group of donors who you want to engage with on a regular basis? Perhaps these individuals are your higher-level donors and you want to provide them with exclusive content in a format that allows them to give feedback. If so, take a look at creating a private Facebook or LinkedIn group or Patreon or Podia channel that serves as a giving society or circle.

6. Update your media contact list

The start of a new year is a great time to look at your existing media contact list and update it. If you don’t have one, create one that’s filled with reporters and journalists in your local service area. Most news outlets have their reporters’ contact information on their websites, so take some time and create a detailed spreadsheet with names, titles, emails, phone numbers, and addresses.

7. Identify a realistic reporter


Find the individuals who I like to call “realistic” reporters. These are the journalists who are most likely to cover news from your nonprofit because they have a personal connection to your mission. By reading their biographies and looking at their social media, you might be able to catch a glimpse of their personal passions. If you find someone who fits the bill, send them an email to introduce yourself and your organization so you can make that personal outreach and connection.

8. Send a STRONG story pitch

When you have a newsworthy announcement this year, make sure to share it with your local media outlets. From my own personal experience as a local news anchor and reporter, emailing a detailed and impactful story pitch is the best way to get the attention of a busy newsroom. Press releases are great, but story pitches are better. To help, I created the STRONG Story Pitch method which is explained in detail in my book, An Introduction to Media Relations for Nonprofit Organizations. This story pitching framework is a step-by-step formula that nonprofits can use to get the earned media that they deserve.

9. Network in the community

Don’t underestimate the power of network marketing. Getting involved with professional groups like your local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau can open the door to endless opportunities. You’ll certainly raise awareness for your mission and you might also meet local businesses that want to partner with you to help raise money or provide much-needed resources.

10. Thank your donors

Donors and volunteers have choices when it comes to where they give their money and time. Come up with a unique way to not only say thank you but also let them know the impact of their donation. Perhaps you can invite them for a tour of your facility or host a donor appreciation event. Don’t forget the power of a social media or e-newsletter shout-out too – especially for corporate donors.

In an ever-changing digital media world, nonprofits have to stay relevant with their communications strategies while also looking at new and innovative ways to reach donors, volunteers, and communities. I sincerely thank you for the important work your organization does and I hope that these tips will help your organization enhance a current marketing plan or create a new one for 2024.



Maria Satira, Owner, Maria Satira MediaMaria Satira is an award-winning communications professional and author with experience in journalism, public relations, and nonprofit marketing. She spent nearly 10 years as a local news anchor and wrote the book, An Introduction to Media Relations for Nonprofit Organizations, to share insider newsroom knowledge with nonprofits. She founded Maria Satira Media to help nonprofits achieve their public relations and communications goals. Maria shares her expertise while speaking at conferences and forums nationwide and hosting trainings in nonprofit, economic development, and academic settings. 

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