Communications Resources

Storytelling for non-profits

| Ruen Govinder | Hashtag Nonprofit | Communications
Storytelling, used well, is the single most powerful tool available to nonprofits You know you love reading a good book, watching a great movie or listening to an engaging story. But why? And how does it relate to telling stories for your nonprofit? Our brains love stories It’s true! Research shows that character-driven stories cause the brain to make oxytocin. This hormone is sometimes called the “love hormone” or the “bliss hormone” because of how it makes us feel when our brains re...

Understanding Storytelling

| Ruen Govinder | Hashtag Nonprofit | Communications
People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel - Maya Angelou When nonprofits talk about their work, there is a tendency to emphasise dry facts and figures, or ‘NGO-speak’ (inaccessible jargon). If you want your work to resonate with people, inspire change, win support, or even attract donors, the key communications tool you need to master is storytelling. A vir...

Getting started with storytelling

| Ruen Govinder | Hashtag Nonprofit | Communications
The idea of adding something as challenging as storytelling to your already busy day may feel overwhelming. However, this does not have to be the case. Stories are all around you, and you can gather them in the course of your work over a long period of time. Creating a story bank Your story bank is a space where people can quickly gather a collection of narratives that you can have on hand to create presentations, quote in interviews, use in funding proposals or op-eds. Your story bank can...

How to host a webinar like a pro

| Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement | Communications
NPO Inyathelo recently held a free webinar on cost-effective and efficient webinar solutions. The organisation has provided tips not only for other NPOs, but also for other organisations considering hosting a webinar, while keeping costs down. “Inyathelo staff began working remotely on 18 March – it was as new to us as it was for many,” say operations director Feryal Domingo and operations coordinator Jacques Swart. They presented the webinar, backed up by database officer Bayanda Gumbi. “We...

Quick tips on writing for the web

| Ruen Govinder | Hashtag Nonprofit | Communications
Web writing has its own style. It’s direct, visual, and to the point. Here are a few simple tips to help you optimise your writing for the web. Keep your intro short! Few people will read long intro text. They glance through the article and try to find the main points in a few seconds. Start with the conclusion. People are impatient online – get to the point in the first paragraph and then expand on it. Write only one idea per paragraph. This makes it easy to scan the page for main point...

Managing your social media staff

| Ruen Govinder | Hashtag Nonprofit | Communications
Communication works for those who work at it. - John Powell Few NPOs can afford to appoint a full-time staff member to manage their social media. However, you can assign the work of social media manager to a staff member who is well-versed in your programme work and your mission, who has an understanding of social media, and who is trained in communications. Allow enough time Make sure that you assign enough time dedicated to working on social media. If this is considered an 'add-on' task ...

Skills required to manage social media

| Ruen Govinder | Hashtag Nonprofit | Communications
Social media is often left in the hands of anyone in the office who spends time on social media.⁠ But communicating on behalf of an NPO requires special skills and, if not properly managed, can be damaging to your organisation.⁠ Do not assign social media to anyone who is not qualified or experienced enough to communicate on behalf of your organisation.  Your social media staff should: Understand the overall mission and vision of your organisation. Determine how social med...

Developing a basic comms plan

| Ruen Govinder | Hashtag Nonprofit | Communications
As a digital media consultant, one of the first questions I ask clients is how their website and social media work fits into their communications plan. More often than not, this question is met with either uncomfortable silence or just laughter. “Communications plan? Who has time for that?” The reality is that you can’t afford to work without a plan. This is a guarantee that you will be wasting precious time and resources. Would you consider embarking on a new programme at your NPO without ...

Stop wasting your time on social media

| Ruen Govinder | Hashtag Nonprofit | Communications
Are you wasting your time on social media? If any of these points sound familiar, you are very likely wasting your time: You’ve left social media content to your resident ‘techie’ or intern to manage Your organisation has opened accounts on multiple social media channels, but you’re not sure why You open a new Twitter account when you want to tweet about a campaign or event You have less than 100 Facebook or Twitter followers, despite having accounts for more than six months Your socia...

Guiding questions for social media policies and procedures

| Ruen Govinder | Hashtag Nonprofit | Communications
Everyone involved in your social media work should have a solid understanding of the NPOs social media policies and procedures. Clarifying these issues can help you avoid potential problems later. Responsibilities Who has overall oversight over social media? Who is responsible for creating and updating the social media calendar? Who will post to which channels? Who ensures consistency between language and messaging on social media channels, mailers, and your websites? Which staff memb...

Other Resources

How to host a webinar like a pro

Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement
14 September 2021

How to banish burnout at NPOs

Feryal Domingo | Inyathelo, The South African Institute for Advancement
07 September 2021

Taking a fresh look at NPO finance

Soraya Joonas | Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement
30 August 2021

Understanding Section 18A

Ziyo | Accountants with heart, and Anna Vayanos
19 July 2021

Acting outside your objects - Tax and other consequences

Nicole Copley | NGO Law
12 October 2021

Top 5 tax myths for non-profits

Ziyo | Accountants with heart
19 July 2021

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