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Share Your Strategic Plan With the Public
Your nonprofit recently developed a five-year strategic
plan that includes exciting new programs and facility
expansion. Those who participated in shaping the plan
— staff, board members, key donors and volunteers —
share your enthusiasm for what can be realized if
everything falls into place.
But what about the public at large? How can you
make them aware of your strategic plan in a way that
will excite and engage them? Here are a handful of
ideas for doing so:
1. Host a series of small group, information-sharing
meetings in which you summarize plans for your
organization’s future and offer facility tours, explaining changes that will come
about as your plan is realized.
2. Get key members of the strategic planning committee to submit editorials that
share a glimpse into what the future will hold for your organization and those
3. Share your strategic plan, or portions of it, on your website.
4. Incorporate comments about your strategic plans into all public speeches.
5. Pitch an occasional feature idea to the media about some aspect of your
organization’s future: why you have chosen to address a particular issue, how
you intend to go about doing it and the impact it will have on the community
and those you serve.
Team of Key Players
Assists With Major News Events
Assembling a committee or team of key
players to assist you in orchestrating a
press conference to announce a major
event is a good idea. This team can help
brainstorm ideas to make your event
stand out and be a success.
But don’t disassemble the team the
minute the press conference adjourns.
Rather, assign members the duty of
analyzing the results of your efforts.
Have them review media coverage and
offer suggestions as to what worked well
and what they would recommend doing
differently the next time. Then write up
a post-press-conference report to use
when planning future events.
In addition, ask this team to send
brief, handwritten thank-you notes to
speakers and other persons who helped
make the media event a success.
(Remember to send these team members
thank-you notes from you, personally,
Spread the Good News
In year-end reports to constituents,
highlight the year’s top 10 most
newsworthy events that occurred at your
You Can’t Beat
Want the public to become more aware
of your organization’s valuable services
and programs? Then get those you serve
and loyal supporters to talk it up.
Nothing beats satisfied customers
when it comes to attracting more
customers, donors and others. Serve as a
catalyst helping others to spread the
• Meeting with interested groups and
individuals, asking them to serve as
ambassadors on behalf of your
• Offering periodic training sessions
that serve to educate loyal
supporters on ways they can help.
• Publishing and distributing a
quarterly handout for insiders that
lists ways they can augment your
marketing efforts. Include
examples of how others have
promoted your organization in
Use Graphics Appropriately to Maximize Your Message
Graphics can help make your organization’s newsletters or brochures look more
professional and attractive, but too much of a good thing can spoil the effect.
Consider these steps when deciding which photos, clip art, charts or special
typography to use in your next publication:
❏ Use graphics to enhance editorial. One good photograph accompanying a
feature article may be a better option than two or three less interesting shots.
It’s usually not necessary to use all available photos.
❏ Highlight key information. Simple graphics, like a calendar page with the date of
your major event, or a theme logo can instantly draw attention to important
facts and draw readers into the copy.
❏ Maintain consistency with images. Incorporating too many types of graphics on
facing pages, like clip art, screened or reversed type and photos can look
cluttered or piecemeal. Be sure that art you put on page 2 balances well with
page 3, even if laid out separately.
❏ List all images that must be included. Before you do your layout, consider what
must be used, including logos, photos, charts and calendars. Rough them into
your draft to see how they will look, and determine how much room you have
left for necessary copy. Knowing what you have to work with helps you plan a
more appealing layout.
❏ Use type and quotes. When photos won’t be used, try highlighting copy or quotes
with larger type or in reverse color to add visual interest. Begin key paragraphs
with large initial capital letters or attention getting subheads that spur the reader
to continue to the conclusion.
❏ Creatively manipulate boxes, headlines and alignment. Headlines and type can
spread across a page or individual columns. Alignment and headline placement
alone, borders, rules or boxes are graphic accents that also serve to break up
gray copy. When used correctly, you may not need additional graphics.
Use tools and metrics
to monitor the
progress of your
strategic plan. Then
share that progress
with the public on an