Every organization has its strengths, those places where you shine and have troves of material. When we sit down to map out a website redesign or social media strategy, one of the key questions we ask is "What assets do you have?"
Great photos mean a highly visual site and strong social media assets. Lack of real photos of real people means we may need to focus on infographics. One way or another, it's important to have attention-grabbing visual content.
Discovering Hidden Strengths
Look around at your strapping, beautiful team. Is Ramon a clandestine short film auteur? Is Fiona adept with witty turns of phrase? Is Dieter a closet design whiz on Canva? And what about that smart, young intern that knows Instagram like the back of her hand?
Take stock of assets. Find your staffs’ hidden talents and get them involved. Here are a few valuable skills and assets that you might know are already in the bag - or that you’ll want to elicit in-house - and what to do with them:
Photos are critical, and now, in the digital era, ubiquitous. Odds are that you have, not one, but several people on staff with an artistic eye and a phone full of great photos.
Remember not all of your photos need to be concrete images of your work. And for orgs that need to protect the privacy of their beneficiaries, photos of clients aren’t even an option.
Metaphors and more abstract approaches, like nature images, are perfect workarounds to this problem. Little details like a beneficiary’s hands, artwork, etc., can impart a human touch without revealing personal identity - like the photo above from Denver Children's Advocacy Center.
If fabulous photos are a strength for your org, put them front and center on absolutely everything - website, social media and email.
Video is one of the best ways, hands-down, to tell stories, convey information, and engage people emotionally in your cause. Tap video enthusiasts on staff to craft short videos that can be shared on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and your website.
Needs some videography tips specifically for nonprofits? We’ve got them.
Do you have a great researcher/statistician or a collection of compelling statistics? Or just access to some great third-party studies relevant to your field?
Use this data to create easily digestible infographics and social media info blasts about your cause (Tweets, Facebook posts, etc).
If you have a particularly sharp writer in your midst, especially one versed in web and mobile writing, they should be generating a constant flow of content on your website and social media.
Ask them to write powerful client stories and news for your site, create a blog, or help craft social media posts.
Does your wordsmith need to brush up on best practices for web and mobile writing? Here’s the quick run down.
If you don’t have a graphic designer on staff, look for a staff member with a great eye and technical know-how with Canva or another similar design platform.
Enlist them to make all of your content look good, design social media posts with text overlay, and help ensure that your nonprofit “brand” stays consistent.
In Conclusion: Work It!
Sharp writing, design and imagery are the three key pieces of successful online engagement. Giving your staff a chance to shine will increase investment in your org and make your org shine in turn. That's a good thing.
Look around you, use what you've got, and cultivate the rest!