The GuideStar Blog retired September 9, 2019. We invite you to visit its replacement, the Candid Blog. You’re also welcome to browse or search the GuideStar Blog archives. Onward!

GuideStar Blog

Boost Your Fundraising by Centering Your Audience in Your Content and Engagement Strategy

At the center of every major advertising campaign you’ve seen or have been impacted by over the last half-century has been audience archetypes or personas. An audience archetype strategy is ubiquitous across the business marketing and tech worlds, but almost nonexistent in nonprofit messaging and marketing strategy. Your target audience should be at the center of your content and engagement strategy, and creating audience archetypes is how you get there.


The ROI of Research: 4 Questions Nonprofits Need to Answer (And Why Research Is Worth It)

Typically, engagements with my clients in the nonprofit sector follow a similar pattern. I recommend some sort of formative research at the beginning in order to inform the messages, strategies, and tactics we’ll use to help them reach their goals. Then I’ll suggest evaluative research during and after the campaign to measure our results. Invariably, clients seize on the evaluation metrics; they want to know that the time and money they spend on strategic communications is actually giving them a return on their investment. But too often, clients pass on conducting message testing, in-depth-interviews with stakeholders, polling, and focus groups up front, thinking that research is too expensive and unnecessary because they already know their audiences and how to reach them.


3 Things You Should Not Do When Writing About Your Nonprofit

The importance of storytelling is undeniable. For a brand that wants more exposure, using storytelling in marketing is a must. But how can nonprofits benefit from storytelling, and does it work any differently for them?


Four Questions Mission-Driven Communicators Need to Ask

Good communicators know how to craft a message that resonates with a target audience. It sounds simple on the surface, but truly effective communicators need to do many things before they can make an impact. They need to make sure their messaging is clear and concise. They need to understand what audience they are really trying to reach, and then listen to that group in order to understand its needs. And beyond simply creating a message, they need to determine the most effective ways to make sure that message reaches their targeted audience.


Working With What You Got: Resources for Nonprofits to Leverage Communications Efforts

In a world that can seem more focused on who you know and how much money you have, it can be daunting for a nonprofit organization to share its mission and message with the public. Nonprofits face a number of challenges every day, whether it is limited amount of funds or a small staff. However, there are creative ways to leverage current resources to maximize your communications and PR efforts.