How Non-Profits Can Use Curation to Promote Their Causes

Steve Melito / Content Marketing, Curation, NPO Leave a Comment

Curating content is fun, but it’s not the only thing I do to make a living. Sure, I write blog entries like this. There’s other content marketing work, too.

As much as I enjoy research and writing, however, long days in front of a computer monitor doesn’t make for a balanced life. Time spent with family and friends is essential. There’s also a wider world that deserves attention.

Like many solo marketers, I suffer through slow times in my business. Do you endure periods like this, too? It’s never fun when money is tight, but if you take a look around, you’ll see that many people are in need.

So when I took a part-time job with United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) last summer, I did so to help ends meet. But I got as much as I gave – and I gained a few insights.

Reaching Out, Looking In

UCP is an international, non-profit charitable organization that’s a leading service provider and advocate for adults and children with disabilities. As one of the largest health non-profits in the U.S., it consists of a network of affiliates whose mission is to advance the independence, productivity, and full citizenship of people with disabilities.

Like many for-profit and non-profit organizations, UCP affiliates have websites and newsletters. Some parts of UCP, such as Life Labs, also have their own blogs.

Readers want information about local events and expect fund-raising appeals. Yet there’s also room to create and deliver content about topics such as advances in autism research or emerging technologies that can assist disabled people.

Social media has a role to play, too. In the mostly rural area where I live, Facebook is better than the newspaper – which isn’t so local anymore now that it’s merged with another publication.

Even in big cities, however, Facebook’s News Feed feature helps users to build their smaller communities and see what they want to read. That’s true for people of all abilities in all lines of work.

MAIN STREET, NOT MADISON AVENUE

Non-profit organizations aren’t just like for-profit companies, of course – especially when it comes to marketing budgets. That’s where content curation can help.

It’s not the only way to generate content, of course, but it’s a “sweet spot” on the content marketing spectrum. Content curation is more than just cost-effective and scalable, however. A non-profit can also strengthen its newsletter and social media efforts with curation.

HELPING OTHERS

Curation starts with discovery, and many who pursue careers with non-profits are generous, curious people. Typically, they’re not professional marketers, but that’s not what content curation is about.

Do you need to meet the informational needs of an audience? Would you like to find, deliver, and share content that supports your organization’s mission and message? Then content curation is for you.

Professional marketers who work with non-profits can also benefit from curation. If your client doesn’t have the budget for a full-blown blogging program, consider suggesting this cost-effective alternative.

Non-profits face their own set of challenges, but content curation can let you help them help others.

Steve Melito is an award-winning writer and editor specializing in manufacturing, material science, and homeland security. He is the founder and owner of Thunderbolt Business Services, a digital marketing and content development firm with clients and partners in New York, Montreal, Los Angeles, and New Delhi.

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