A Quick Study of Nonprofit Content Types

Not all nonprofits are the same. So why should nonprofit content types be the same?

You have very different characteristics, and your content marketing presents different challenges depending on what sector you’re in.

For example, animal rights groups have an easier time attracting people with pictures of cute cats and pups, while health care institutions can create very useful lifestyle content.

Not sure what your content power tools are?

Below is a list of different nonprofits and the content advantages and disadvantages of each to help get you started.

The Environmental Activist

This content type is geared at raising awareness and getting people to make small changes.

Content advantage: Many people are environmentally passionate and want to leave a better world for their children.

Content disadvantage: You’re preaching to the same choir with the same content, so you have to “keep it fresh” while finding new ears.

The Health Care Association

Hospitals and care providers can educate the public about health issues, specific diseases, or paths to a healthier lifestyle.

Content advantage: People always want and need reliable health care information.

Content disadvantage: You have to compete with health magazines and blogs, so there’s a lot of pressure to produce content that stands out.

The International Aid Provider

This type of organization has to be agile and responsive when emergencies and disasters strike.

Your content has to spell out solutions to ongoing problems in areas that are removed from your donor.

Content advantage: When an emergency strikes, your content has an undeniable news hook.

Content disadvantage: When the disaster ends, donors may feel like giving closer to home.

The Animal Rights Group

Keeping our four-legged friends safe and sound is your bread and butter, and you overflow with pictures and videos of cuddly goodness.

Content advantage: People respond in a big way to cute critters, and a huge swath of the population feels very deeply about animal rights.

Content disadvantage: Protecting animals is an ongoing problem, so it can be hard to create a sense of urgency for people to support you right now.

The Arts Centre

Whether you’re an arts museum or heritage site, you provide a public service by upholding and safeguarding society’s culture.

Content advantage: You excel in educational materials, and your memberships and magazines are a natural attraction factor.

Content disadvantage: You can be particularly affected by demographic changes, popular tastes and the economy, so you’re constantly renewing your content to reflect those factors.

The Youth Developer

You want young people to get a good start in life so that they can realize their full potential as they grow up.

Content advantage: Who doesn’t like pictures of cute kids? Personally, I always go ga-ga over photos from the youth organizations I work with. And stories of kids overcoming adversity is a sure way to win over donor hearts.

Content disadvantage: Older kids who with behaviour problems don’t have the same cute factor. The benefits of early intervention and prevention can be a hard sell.

The Seniors Advocate

You aim to get seniors out of isolation and improve their quality of life. You produce content on dealing with dementia, helping family caregivers cope, or getting a healthy diet.

Content advantage: Baby boomers and matures need your content because they’re taking care of aging parents or are worried about how to cope with life as they age themselves. They rely on your content for support and expertise to live their best lives.

Content disadvantage: Younger generations can be closed off to the idea of getting older, so using content to build long-term support can be tricky.

The Social Changer

Your content has to convince people to improve social justice by including marginalized groups and helping society become more fair.

Content advantage: Like The Environmental Activist, you probably have a group of hardcore supporters who firmly believe in your passion to create more just communities.

Content disadvantage: Explaining your benefit is a challenge, because your social impact generally isn’t immediate.

The Science Institute

Your cutting-edge centre is out to change the future of medicine or technology. You are adding to humanity’s knowledge with basic research, clinical applications and new inventions that make people’s lives better.

Content advantage: Your built-in expertise attracts the media and gives your content a hefty dose of authoritative weight.

Content disadvantage: You have to communicate very complex concepts in simple terms for the average person, and finding a news hook for your stories isn’t always possible.

Mix and Match

Use this list to consider the content strengths you can leverage and the weaknesses you can work on.

But read through all the model to see if you can borrow the advantages of other content types and avoid their pitfalls too.


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