Step-by-Step Content Calendar for Nonprofits to Secure Donors and Create a Movement

Hey changemaker! I am so excited about today’s podcast! I know I say that every week, but today is the 100th episode! Can you believe it? Before we even start today I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU for listening and hanging out with me on this journey! You are simply amazing!

I also am crazy excited to mention that the revised Grant Writing book, The Beginner’s Guide to Grant Writing: Tips, Tools, &Templates to Write Winning Grants is now out and since Black Friday has hit #1 in 8 categories on Amazon! What? Yep. Be sure to grab your e-copy at a mere $.99 or the paperback at only $4.99 before the sale is up! If you are listening this to before the end of Giving Tuesday on December 3rd you can also get a FREE copy as part of my giving back campaign. So grab a copy at $.99 or $4.99, leave a review on Amazon and I will send you a FREE e-book to pay it forward to any nonprofit or person you would like to bless! Just go to www.grantwritingandfunding.com/freebook to get this deal! Also the price of the book will GO up (it’s 90% off right now!) after Tuesday, but I will give 50% off until Friday! Eek. Then the price goes up for reals to the regular price! So once again jump on to www.grantwritingandfunding.com/freebook to buy a book, leave a review, and then pay a free book forward and to support me as an author! If anyone has ever said to you that they want to write grants, or you need a tool to uplevel that new intern, then send this Amazon bestselling book on!

Back to our 100th episode celebration! Today I am paying homage to you and this podcast! You are going to learn about creating content, why it is super important to show your credibility as a nonprofit or consultant, how to effectively tell your story as a nonprofit or creating depth as a consultant, and create a movement for people to be part of!  Of course, moreover the content will help build up donors, funders, clients, and/or customers.

Today I will give examples for both nonprofits and consultants and how you can get ahead without overwhelm before 2020 even kicks off.

I wanted to pay tribute to this 100th episode with an episode on sharing content and value. This is extremely important to both nonprofits and to freelancers because if we aren’t sharing we don’t build credibility, the story, or an experience or even a movement.

We heard from Dan Portnoy last week of Portnoy Media Group that sharing a story is vital for a nonprofit to have an effective fundraiser strategy or to attract long-term donors. This is also important for freelancers to actually share value then also sell, sell, sell.

Content. So this word is used a LOT these days. So is the word Value. But what does these words actually mean when used together?

The Word Factory gives a great definition of content: “Content is the presentation of information for a purpose to an audience through a channel in a form.”

 This is pretty cool as it is a way that I want you to think of content. I also want you to think of content as your story, your tribe, and your experience.

Let’s look at this from a nonprofit’s point of view. You have fantastic projects where you serve underserved youth in an inner city with free summer soccer camps, soccer practice during the year, and academic tutoring. But you don’t really do much with your Facebook or Instagram page. Once in a while you scramble together a newsletter to send out to your donors, but it’s sporadic at best. You submit annually to foundations for grants but one time you even missed a grant opportunity because the foundation asked for a presentation about your nonprofit and you couldn’t find any pictures or content to share with the board.

Yes, you DO plenty! Yes, 100 underserved youth went through your program last year and the youth shared about it on their social media, but pieces of video and pictures and testimonials are scattered and in old computers that don’t work any longer.

Now let’s look at this from a consultant’s point of view. You started up a nonprofit consultancy this year – yay You! – but you are still getting your bearings straight. You have a put together website and you post daily on LinkedIn about all the great services you have. That’s all well and good, but what are you sharing to build a community? Do you do more asking rather than giving?

So content can be sharing all the cool stuff you are doing through a system, all the amazing things you are learning or wanting to learn, and/or sharing information and resources that help solve people’s problems.

To kind of put this in perspective I am going to talk about this podcast. This podcast started out of a semi-dare. I actually had another podcast before this one – Creatives Exposed – where I had long, in-depth conversations with different types of creatives and shared those stories. It was pretty cool, but it didn’t relate to my business, it just related to my interests and my need to meet more creatives on Guam. So, it was awesome. But during a Master Mind meeting a friend – Michelle from Secret Owl Society who is a boss entrepreneur, said, “why don’t you start one for your business?” Having only produced about five podcasts of Creatives Exposed I rolled my eyes and said these are taking me forever to do! At the time we had a $100 monthly challenge where we had to do one thing to drive our business forward each month and if we didn’t meet the goal by the end of we owed $100. Now if you really want to move and shake, I recommend finding some amazing people and doing this! So she said, “make your podcast super short with specific tips each week on grants and funding.” So I took it on as my monthly challenge. Now, more than two years later I am SO glad I did. I wasn’t so sure about it, but I wasn’t about to lose that $100!

Why the podcast though? Well, I wanted a way to scale beyond Guam and to build a tribe. Now I talk to you Changemakers every single week and the coolest thing is you talk back to me by sending emails, signing up for coaching and memberships, or joining courses. It is SO cool!

On my podcast I share content with you every week. In the beginning I didn’t podcast every week, but before 2019 hit I knew I had to be more consistent as I had people tuning in every week. If I was sporadic with my episodes I knew I would lose the momentum I created.

In the past couple of months I have been doing a lot more interviews as I am interested about certain topics so curating experts that can share more in-depth on topics that maybe I can’t. Plus I love meeting and interviewing people as it is so much fun! I’ll still have a mix of solo show (like today) with specific tips to drive your nonprofit or consultancy forward and interviews with other experts in the field.

What this podcast has allowed me to do is to build up the grant writing & funding tribe, to see which podcasts are getting the most downloads so I have an idea of what service or product to create or provide, and to actually help other people in advancing their business or organization. I’ve also been able to meet people and have a platform where I can talk with them or share their views with all of you.

Of course, having this content also helps build up customers. That is important. For you, the content will help build up donors, funders, clients, and/or customers.

Ideas for Content

E-Content includes blogging, writing articles, videos, and podcasts.

Hard content includes brochures, power points, in-person meetups, etc.

It really can depend on what you do and who your audience is. If you work at that soccer nonprofit then you might realize that your audience is youth and since you have dynamic active projects, you may want to collect mini-videos of the different projects you, testimonials of the youth, and share soccer related information. Then think of the main medium. Video, youth, and YouTube go hand-in-hand, so you start a YouTube channel with the full videos. But then you think, how can I repurpose this content for my Instagram page? So you take clips of these videos and share on social media. At some point you may even consider putting together all your videos into a documentary. Believe me, your chances of getting a grant to fund the documentary will be competitive if you can show some of your clips and statistics on your view/likes/comments rather than having none! In any case, you may have a funding source come to you because they came across one of your videos. These might be fun things to send to potential funding sources rather than just a brochure. However, if you just are not digging the E-world, then creating a brochure could be just as impactful. You could include the same content but just in a different format.

Can you see the difference your nonprofit can make when having a system of content?

In any case first think of your audience and what content you have, then what medium makes sense for it.

If you are a nonprofit consultant, you may be serving primarily education nonprofits. So your content will be more directed towards education grants, education policies, and challenges that directors in the education sector face. Then you may consider sharing this on LinkedIn through various posts and articles.

Can you see the difference your nonprofit consultancy will have compared to another that only posts on LinkedIn about their workshops and sales? Not that there is anything wrong with selling, but it’s as Gary V said with Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. Give, Give, Give, Ask.

So we went over knowing your audience, figuring out your content, and finding your medium.

Now let’s go over the content calendar. “If content is king, consistency is queen.” Mattielogie

You need consistency for your content. Otherwise you are just spewing out awesome stuff a couple of times a year and disappearing for the rest of it. That isn’t great for your nonprofit as a common question asked when someone mentions your name is, “Oh yeah they were doing awesome stuff but I don’t see them anymore.” Ugh that’s not good. And believe me, you are going to be super excited about your content and a month in (or like my Creatives Exposed podcast after a mere 5 interviews) you haven’t created a system and get burned out with nothing left except the best intentions.

So whether you are committing to post three social media posts a week, monthly videos on YouTube, or (ahem) weekly podcasts you gotta figure out what the frequency will be. Scheduling it out in advance will save you tons of time.

Before the beginning of 2019 I sat down with my team and we sketched out the year. Yes, this has changed a bit, but we had themes for every quarter and then sketched in different topics to meet that theme. If you’re a long-time listener of this podcast you will get an ‘a-ha’ as I mention this as you may remember back to our ‘starting a nonprofit’ months or month of PR, etc. This is all intentional so that there can be planning, but also remember I don’t want super long podcasts! Yes, I do go longer when interviewing someone, but overall the podcast average out to about 20-25 minutes when I do solo ones. And really this is because I don’t want to overwhelm people. I like to give you one actionable item a week that you actually have time to develop and implement rather than just listen to. Therefore this is awesome for my calendar.

In the beginning I was sporadic and then I started to be consistent with once every other week. This seemed weird though as I didn’t feel like it was consistent enough, so I went to weekly. You DO NOT have to have a weekly podcast or weekly video. But, having something consistent is key.

Then schedule it out! We are at the perfect time of year, for you to schedule out your content now even if it is just basic themes or repeat the theme. For example, that soccer nonprofit might want to release a YouTube video every month with month one being clips from the game, month two is testimonials of the youth, and month three is behind-the-scenes of operating a nonprofit. Then, you do this same outline every quarter. But schedule out some ideas now!

That nonprofit consultant might post weekly on LinkedIn. In the first week they will write an article about an education nonprofit and how they are getting funding. In the second week they will create a post on education grants available. In the third week they will post in a nonprofit group about tips for education nonprofits when submitting grants, and in the fourth week they pitch a nonprofit education webinar through a LinkedIn Ad. So keep it real.

Okay, so let’s rinse and repeat.

Content is super important to show your credibility as a nonprofit or consultant, telling your story as a nonprofit or creating depth as a consultant, and creating a movement for people to be part of! That last one is for both nonprofits and consultants! Of course, moroever the content will help build up donors, funders, clients, and/or customers.

How create valuable content is to:

  1. Think of what type of content you want to create (remember we looked at e-content and hard content)
  2. Think of your audience and what type of content they would want to know about
  3. Think of what type of medium you can share you content (i.e. LinkedIn, YouTube, email, in person, etc.)
  4. Create a content calendar and figure out what the frequency will be of your content
  • Tag me on Instagram or LinkedIn @hollyrustick to share with me some content you create!
  • Having a hard time thinking of content. Follow other nonprofits or consultants on social media or in person and see what they do. I’m not saying to copy, but you may find some inspiration to get your ideas going!

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