Georgetown study finds new effective trends in nonprofit marketing

Social work challenges our capabilities as communicators, from building awareness and credibility to supporting fundraising efforts, a well-executed, strategic public relations program can make the difference between achieving or set goals and falling short on them.

With budget and time constraints PR professionals strive to bring positive change to organizations in a highly competitive field and while they may succeed at brining attention to the organization, the awareness strategy doesn’t alway translate into action.

A research group in the Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication (CSIC) has put in place a program that works with students and practitioners to help increase social impact. The program found that there are 5 trends capable of persuading audiences to support social change.



1.Framing the story and making a connection: focus on one single story rather than multiple and connect people in ways where they are not only spectators but participants of the change.

2. Images, images, images. More organizations today are investing in professional quality photographs as part of their communications strategy. Images can transmit emotions and reach audiences in a way that words alone cannot.

3. Targeting and connecting with the audience is important however nonprofits need to understand that an individual who donates is ten times more valuable when they are able to influence others because they become the marketers of your cause.

4. Monitoring and measuring the effectiveness of your efforts does not only mean checking out monetary profits. Customers today expect more from the companies they trust, in your results equation profits should always be linked to purpose

5. Developing Communications experts and promoting them as a reliable source. When individuals perform through the lens of social impact we can say they are working form the heart – a necessary skill of every good communicator.


John D. Trybus. (2017). Five Trends in Nonprofit Marketing & Communications. Retrieved March 12, 2017.



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