Each nonprofit agency has its own unique story. They each have a background that shares their humble beginnings and how they have evolved into what they are today. There are many pieces to this story and when sharing it with others, especially the media it needs to be accurate and consistent. Using a carefully crafted media kit is the best way to do this.
So, what exactly is a media kit? A media kit is a carefully compiled portfolio of pertinent agency information created to share with others, primarily the media for agency publicity purposes. It’s an excellent way to get accurate agency details out in a clear, concise, consistent format.
Let’s talk about what type of information should be included. Stacy Jones with NonprofitPR.org suggests starting with a general introduction page. This should include up-to-date contact information, along with the agency address, phone number, email, website and social media links.
Provide some general background information. This should include the agency cause and mission statement. Next, add agency statistics and facts that represent your activities. For example, share the number of clients you serve and their demographic information. Include information about any annual events your organization holds, and details about how or where people can donate. Feel free to use charts, graphics, photos, and other illustrations of your goals and mission.
It’s also important to share the biographical information of your organization’s leadership team. This is an excellent spot to showcase their expertise and accomplishments. On the final or back page of the media kit, be sure to include your website, address, phone number and contact information again.
A simple, concise media kit can be used during special events, fundraisers, conferences, workshops and community events. Always be sure the information is correct, current and tailored to best serve its purpose. Don’t forget to include it on your agency web site in an easily downloadable file format.
Media kits are an essential public relations tool for sharing key points about your organization. Take advantage of their value and have yours ready to go.
The fields are ready. Uniforms are pristine. The concession stands are stocked. The bats are warmed up. The gloves are oiled. That’s right it can only mean one thing...baseball season is here! At this point you are probably wondering where this is going so let me get started.
One thing baseball and nonprofits have in common is they operate under a form of leadership. Both answer to a board of directors, shareholders or someone at a high management level. The leadership is responsible for a variety of tasks; financials, human resources, employees, clients and operations just to name a few. This probably sounds very similar to your organization. Leaders have a hug responsibility to their organization. Without leadership something is bound to fail. This month let’s look at how baseball and nonprofit succession planning are important to staying in the game.
The game of baseball is a very strategically planned and played as a team sport. On the field the team is led by a manager. The manager is the decision maker for the on-field strategy, lineup, training and instruction. The role is critical to the team because the manager’s guidance is what dictates the team’s direction on the field. So, what happens if the manager is no longer there? Maybe a planned retirement or an unplanned termination has occurred. Maybe a personal emergency takes them off the field. No manager could now mean no direction for the players. So, how does an organization handle this? The organization needs a new leader. They can't just pull one of the streets to fill the role. The sustainability of the team requires careful succession planning if the organization is to continue to drive success.
Nonprofits are also very strategically driven. They are also challenged with the inevitable leadership shifts. Leadership will change, it’s not a matter of if but when. These types of shifts can be detrimental to the organization if there hasn't been any pre-planning done. The best way to handle this is to create a written succession plan. Not taking the time to create one could mean the demise of your organization. Getting started is always the toughest part. Let's get you pointed in the right direction.
The National Council of Nonprofits suggests starting with these ten planning tips for transition:
The future sustainability of your organization relies on the work and plans you put into place today. Get a written succession plan created and keep your organization in the game!
If you are in need additional resources take a look at the Nonprofit-Executive Succession Planning Toolkit. It offers guidance on emergency and planned successions. (Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City)
National Council of Nonprofits. Succession Planning for Nonprofits – Managing Leadership Transitions. www.councilofnonprofits.org/tools-resources/succession-planning-nonprofits-managing-leadership-transitions
Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now. "
Michelle has been a volunteer with the Volunteer Center of McHenry County for a year serving as a marketing volunteering.