PR and Non-Profit Organizations

By: Jared Kissane

I often hear about different non-profit organizations and the many great accomplishments some strive to make.  I look at Relay for Life and see the millions of helpful dollars they raise each year for cancer research, or Goodwill Industries International, and how they help clothe thousands of less fortunate people around the world daily.

nonprofit_wordleHelping people has always been a passion of mine. Coming to college, I knew I wanted to leave with a degree that would allow me to work with people to help them meet their goals, or even needs. With this in mind I discovered how big of a role PR plays in helping non-profit’s become successful. Below is a list of ways PR can help a non-profit strive to accomplish its mission:

  • The Pitch: When a non-profit approaches a local business for donations the business will require more than a “feel good story” in order to consider becoming a donor. So what sets apart one non-profit from another? The ability for a PR professional to show a business not only how their money will help the organization, but how by partnering with the organization will help their business. Such things could include a rise in advertising, a report showing a direct rise in sales, or anything else that appeals to the donors’ interests.
  • The Mission Statement: This is the root of every non-profit’s purpose. A PR professional can take on the responsibility of writing a mission statement that clearly states what they wish to accomplish and how they plan to accomplish it. This is where things can get tricky and PR experience comes in to play because a non-profit requires a lot of help from the outside, but a misleading mission statement that comes across as self-centered can cause possible volunteers to look the other way.
  • “Local non-profit organizations have a publicity advantage that their counterparts in the for-profit world lack: media outlets want to help non-profits spread the word about their worthwhile programs or initiatives,” said Sandra Beckwith, owner of Beckwith Communications and author of “Publicity for Nonprofits: Generating Media Exposure That Leads to Awareness, Growth and Contributions.” A PR professional can help mediate a healthy relationship between journalists and nonprofits that will give them an edge to get their story published.

Whether it is planning fundraising events, creating imaginative donation opportunities, or improving internal relations, every non-profit organization can greatly benefit from having a credible PR professional on board.


About ferrisprssa

We speak the truth with compassion. We embrace diversity in all forms. We are innovative, creative, upbeat and engaged. We are the Ferris State University PRSSA Chapter! Our student-run PR firm gives students outstanding hands-on experience and professional training.
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One Response to PR and Non-Profit Organizations

  1. Nancy Lanz says:

    Jared, this is really awesome. I too have a passion for helping people. I am very proud of you!
    Love you!

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