Content Marketing for Social Impact: Make Sure You’re Answering These Questions

By Alison Pfaff Sep 6, 2022

Rarely can nonprofits compete with large corporations for attention. So, how can you get your message out there and get noticed? By focusing first on what you want your audience to know, it may be instructive to begin by asking what your audience wants to know from you.

Transparency is important in government and increasingly to brands as well, as more millennials and Gen Z say the politics of their spending matters. But transparency is crucial to nonprofits. People give to nonprofits to feel like they’re making a positive difference in the world. Thinking in terms of recurring donors sharing authentic content as the primary goal of transparency, here are three specific questions your audience will want to know more about and how you can use these topics to generate engaging content.


Where is my money going?

It’s a fair question. Some nonprofits spend billions on advertising and marketing. People naturally want to know how their money is going to be used. It’s such a salient question to today’s philanthropists that an entire industry has emerged to grade nonprofits on their effectiveness. If the goal of transparency is to generate prolonged involvement with your nonprofit, this is the question that needs to be answered first.


What are the results?

Once your donors know how you spend their money, the next logical question is how well you spend their money. Offering in-depth data to show how donations bring about your stated objectives is good, but in our socially connected world, true to life stories about the impact you’re making will connect with your donors in a way that mere numbers never can. Tell human, inspirational stories. Let people experience firsthand the good work you’re doing with their help.


How important am I to the cause?

Make an authentic case for why each individual’s involvement is important to your cause. How they make a difference is perhaps the most important question your audience wants to have answered. By nature, philanthropists big and small want to make a difference. But it is human nature to want to see that difference and feel useful. That’s why it so often feels better to give money to a person in need than it does to donate to a cause that may be halfway around the world. Making your audience feel valuable will help bridge that human tendency.


All three of these questions can be answered with the same approach. Telling engaging stories humanizes your work in a way nothing else can.

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