Strategic Communications in the Nonprofit World


Alyssa Carfi, Founder & President at Brave Minds Project, Account Supervisor at Red Havas

The lines of communication are now blurred. Communications professionals, especially those working in the nonprofit sector, can use this to their advantage, as the merged-media landscape provides more opportunities and multiple mediums to get your message out into the world.

In 2020, we’ll continue to see that obtaining a share of media voice will look different than it did a few years ago. Whether earned, owned, shared or paid, the message received by the person on the other end may appear in different formats, but it can still resonate the same.

A nonprofit’s message will always be most powerful when it is grounded in its mission. Your end goal should always be at the top of the agenda, reflected in each and everything you communicate. And it is around this mission that you should be sure to develop a clear and actionable message. This is what matters most when grasping the attention of others.

Knowing the medium you’re communicating across is also important when developing the message. As we as a society continue to do everything from our phones, digital assets are highly recommended to grab the attention of the viewer. When posting on social media sharing platforms like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, imagery is what appeals most to those scrolling. As more publications continue to migrate online, journalists look for imagery and digital assets to help tell their stories. Nonprofits can benefit from this, because they are able to showcase their story with more than words.

Though we’re in the digital age, people are still longing for a human connection. As part of your communications strategy for 2020, don’t be afraid to tell the stories that people can relate to; the stories that show our vulnerable side; and the stories that move us. Put yourself in the seat of the public and think about the story you want to hear.

When I founded Brave Minds Project, I realized I had to be vulnerable and tell my personal story if I wanted to really connect with others and show them, they can pursue their dreams despite having a brain condition or going through brain surgery. As it turns out, vulnerability is our best asset. It allows us to reach a larger audience, whether someone has been affected by a brain or brainstem condition or not, they can relate to our feelings. Our content, whether social media or earned media, is what draws people to our helping our cause.

And while it’s vital to know your audience and the best ways to engage them, for a nonprofit, it’s also important to know where your donors are. Ask yourself: “What are my donors reading, and where do they get their news?” Once you’ve got your actionable, on-mission messaging developed, go to these places first to share it.

2020 Nonprofit Communications StrategyAbout the Author: Alyssa carries over 7 years of experience. Specializing in corporate communications, media relations and event planning on a global scale, her knowledge and insight serve a wide range of clients within Red Havas. Alyssa holds a bachelor’s degree in Advertising Marketing & Communications from the Fashion Institute of Technology, along with a Minor in English. In addition to working at Red Havas, she is the founder of a 501c3, Brave Minds Project, which helps patients between the ages of 10-29 who are affected by brain and brainstem conditions.




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