The Association of Computing Machinery Logo, published to "Helping Communication: A Preliminary Research Report on Non-Profit Content Strategy"

My newest article, Helping Communication: What Non-Profits Need from Content Strategists, is currently availablein the proceedings of the 35th ACM International Conference on Design of Communication. In the article, I report preliminary findings from a research project to help a variety of non-profits in North Carolina improve the way they interact with audiences online.

Why Should We Care About Non-Profit Content Strategy?

Non-profits must reach a variety of community audiences to sustain their organizations, and these audiences include potential volunteers, donors, and clients. At the same time, research on non-profit content strategy indicates that many organizations suffer from a lack of training in how to develop, curate, and distribute compelling content online. These organizations help support our society in myriad ways, but cannot function without reaching core audiences. Content strategists have an opportunity and an obligation to help non-profits improve their content strategies so that they can continue to improve the lives of our fellow citizens.

What I Found

Twenty staff and volunteers from thirteen different non-profit organizations were recruited from a pool of thirty-six total organizations to discuss their use of digital media for communication and promotion and their unmet needs for content strategy. Preliminary results indicate that though one hundred percent of participants utilized digital channels such as organizational websites, e-mail newsletters, and social media, eighty-five percent reported that they were unprepared to utilize these channels effectively. The most common reported reason for this knowledge gap was lack of training. As participants largely had backgrounds in social services such as healthcare, social work, and community organizing, they had little to no formal training in effective digital communication. Ultimately, I provide heuristics gleaned from the initial findings of this study and my ten years of working with non-profits to help improve their web presence and content strategy.

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Cite The Article (APA)

Getto, G. (2017). Helping communication: What non-profits need from content strategists. Proceedings of the 35th ACM International Conference on Design of Communication, No. 8, 1-9.