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8 Practical Tips to Grow Your Nonprofit Communications Plan

nonprofit communications plan - intranet collaboration software

Like any other business, nonprofit organizations need all the help they can get to succeed in today's world. Nonprofits have it especially hard considering the need for donations and spreading awareness.

Fortunately, there are many things that nonprofit organizations can do to grow and prosper, and one of the best ways is to implement intranet collaboration software.

Intranet collaboration tools are a must-have for any forward-thinking nonprofit organization ... they make it super easy to develop a communications plan, spread the word, and truly support a cause. Understanding how an intranet will help grow your nonprofit communications plan is essential. Here are 8 practical tips to get you started. 

1. Have Better & More Thorough Discussions and Conversations.

nonprofit communications plan - intranet discussion forums

It's extremely important for nonprofits to have the ability to create and build discussions as easily and proficiently as possible. A lot of times, members don't find themselves in the same room as one another. In this scenario, it's important to have a virtual workspace to create discussions.

Intranet collaboration software allows you and your members to post questions, build discussions, and more ... all from the comfort of your own desk. Posts are made and can be read in real time, just like popular social media networks. Over time, you can use the information posted and discussed to influence how you approach a certain project. This often means the difference of a job well done and a huge misstep.

2. Create Content to Spread Awareness.

nonprofit communications plan - business blogging software

Part of developing and growing your nonprofit communications plan is by spreading awareness ... and it can be a tricky process. These days, social media and the Internet have completely changed how an organization can get in touch with the public, and business blogging is perhaps the most effective vehicle for nonprofits right now.

Intranet collaboration software is an excellent platform for creating highly-informative blogs that you can push out to the public as well as within your own organization. Blogging on a consistent basis is an excellent way to increase awareness about your nonprofit in conjunction with social media and other tools. Once you learn the finer points of blogging with intranet collaboration tools, all you have to do is continue to create great content.

3. Build a Knowledge Base of Important, Reusable Information.

nonprofit communications plan - intranet knowledge management

For a lot of organizations, intranet knowledge management and building a knowledge base of information is super important. Many nonprofits work from specific codes and guidelines, many being difficult to remember ... especially for newcomers. Because of this, you'll need a "guidebook" at the disposal of you and your employees.

Just as you can use intranet collaboration tools to create content for blogging, they can also be used to build an internal knowledge base that can serve as your organization's handbook. Having a well-built knowledge base will help with onboarding of new employees, which can be a lengthy process otherwise. When you create content with intranet collaboration software, your knowledge base can be as big or small as you'd like.

4. Plan & Organize Your Events with Shared Calendars.

nonprofit communications plan - intranet calendars

Anyone who has worked for a nonprofit knows how important event planning can be. Events are ideal for building awareness, yet planning them takes time and effort. Fortunately, intranet software can help make the entire process easier.

nonprofit communications plan - intranet event management

Intranet collaboration software not only helps you plan events, but it's also used as a platform for RSVPing. This can save a great deal of time on the part of the event planner. You can even create a discussion that allows those who attend to leave feedback about the event. For organizations that hold events regularly, intranet calendar and event tools are a must.

5. Communicate Better with Nonprofit & Vendor Partners.

In many situations, it might be preferable for nonprofits to partner with each other. This is a great way to learn and grow alongside another organization that holds similar interests and values. Since email is often used as the primary communication vehicle partnering with other nonprofits isn't always as easy as it should be.

One way to really benefit from intranet collaboration software is to create a community that allows you to invite other nonprofit members. In this shared space, you can post questions and comments, create discussions, and connect with other individuals ... all without even meeting in person. Given the fact that conflicting schedules and geographical location (among other issues) can make it impossible for members of various nonprofits to connect, having intranet collaboration tools at your disposal can be a huge help.

Working with vendors is something that nonprofits find themselves doing on a regular basis, and it's important to streamline the process as much as possible. When you deal with vendors over the phone, you're more likely to miss-out on important details than you would if everything was recorded as text. Vendor communication is almost always more effective and efficient when done through your intranet.

6. Set up Online Workspaces for Your Teams.

nonprofit communications plan - intranet online workspaces

For larger nonprofits, it's common for many teams of people to handle the day-to-day workload. If you've ever worked in a team environment before, you already know your team members need to work together in a designated space without distractions. This is often easier said than done.

In every social community, it's possible to partition-off and create online workspaces for each team to use as they see fit. Teams can upload their own files, create private discussions, and update the status of various tasks and projects without the rest of the community seeing what's going on. This cuts down on distractions, ensuring that each team only sees what's necessary for them to complete what they're working on. Teams can always collaborate with each other and create discussions in the community at large.

7. Increase Possibilities for Remote Work.

nonprofit communications plan - mobile intranet

Today's world of nonprofits is much different than yesterday as more and more organizations are working remotely. Many find that having a centralized office is not only unnecessary, but it can also be quite costly. And working remotely is almost always preferred by those who travel on a regular basis. While the Internet has made this easier, intranet collaboration software takes remote working to an entirely new level.

When you use intranet collaboration tools, you can communicate in real-time with other members of your organization, whether they're located across the street or in an entirely different country. The increased possibilities for remote work means you won't have to restrict how or where you do your hiring, which can save your organization money and build a more proficient staff.

8. Provide Great Support to Members. No IT Hassles.

Many nonprofits don't exactly have an IT department on-hand to take care of their web presence. While admins can typically handle social media posts and other light tasks, more developed interactive tools require a team of professionals that understands whatever issues may pop up. For a lot of nonprofits, the idea of creating a social intranet can be somewhat anxiety-producing.

When you work with the right vendor, you'll never have to worry about a lack of IT support again. Cloud-based social intranet software is designed so the organization using it can focus on their own work and leave the technical details to the software vendor. A lack of IT hassles can go a long way, especially when it comes to conserving time and money.

In Conclusion.

When developing your nonprofit communications plan, there are many different platforms you can use. Intranet collaboration software will surely put you ahead of the curve as time goes on. After all, the future of intranet collaboration tools is bright, and the earlier an organization catches on, the more benefits it's likely to see.

 

The Cure to What Ails Internal Communications

 

Tim Eisenhauer
Written by Tim Eisenhauer

Tim is president and co-founder of Axero Solutions, a leading intranet software vendor. He's also a bestselling author of Who the Hell Wants to Work for You? Mastering Employee Engagement. Tim’s been featured in Fortune, Forbes, TIME, Inc Magazine, Entrepreneur, CNBC, Today, and other leading publications.

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