Why PR is important for not-for-profit organisations
Raising awareness for not-for-profit organisations and charities is critical in helping to drive donations, support fundraising campaigns, and educate the public about the services these organisations provide.
With so many not-for-profits vying for attention, PR is important to promote not only the profile of an organisation, but of their key spokespeople as well, helping them to become thought leaders in their industry.
At Adoni Media, we have been the trusted PR agency for a number of leading Australian charities and not-for-profit organisations, and we know what drives a successful campaign that delivers millions of dollars’ worth of news coverage for our clients.
With countless causes competing for public attention, connecting with target audiences is one of the many challenges faced by not-for-profits.
This is where PR can help. Effective PR strategies can build awareness, increase visibility, and open new doors to donations, volunteers, and partnerships, leading to increased support for their cause.
Since 2019, Adoni Media has supported leading Australian charity, The Salvation Army, with their two major annual fundraising campaigns, the Red Shield Appeal and their Christmas Appeal. Each year, the Adoni team has generated media interest in launches, localised fundraising events, research data, and case studies to secure millions of dollars’ worth of coverage across television, radio, newspaper, and online media outlets.
Simon Gregory, PR Secretary Queensland for The Salvation Army said: “I’ve not come across another media agency that worked so hard or cared so much about seeing us succeed. Adoni was able to help us grow our media engagement via their extensive contacts.”
Since 2022, Adoni Media has been working with Victorian-based youth homelessness charity, Lighthouse Foundation, helping to shine a light on the work they do, promote current fundraising efforts, and showcase how this charity is achieving real results by doing things differently. The Adoni team has secured double page spreads and front page mentions in major mastheads, including The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, as well as television coverage, extensive radio interviews, and regular print appearances in Melbourne, local and industry media.
Building credibility and trust
Credibility and trust are paramount for not-for-profit organisations. Potential donors, volunteers, and supporters want to know their contributions will make a meaningful impact and that the organisation is transparent and accountable.
PR can play a pivotal role in proving an organisation’s credentials. By effectively communicating their mission, values, and accomplishments, not-for-profits can build trust with the public and their supporters.
Launching research and announcing results also helps to showcase an organisation’s expertise and reach. Mission Australia engaged Adoni Media’s PR services to gain media coverage for its Youth Surveys and of the announcement of new research pieces targeting Cairns. Adoni Media also launched new initiatives for the charity – one aimed at helping older women facing homelessness and the other, children in Ipswich.
Similarly, Adoni Media used data from The Water Conservancy to gain media coverage around the organisation’s rebrand, by linking the survey results with World Water Day. The organisation’s research and the timeliness of the story gave journalists a reason to run the story.
PR strategies that showcase the positive impact of their work through case studies, testimonials, and data-driven reports, help to build credibility and strengthen the confidence of donors, leading to increased support and awareness.
PR can also promote key spokespeople as thought leaders on issues within their areas of expertise, helping to build trust with journalists and the wider community.
Attracting donors and partnerships
Funding is the lifeblood of any not-for-profit organisation. Securing donations and forging partnerships with businesses, foundations, and other organisations is vital for their survival and growth.
A well-crafted PR strategy can act as a bridge, helping these organisations reach potential donors, showcasing the impact of their work and the difference their contributions can make. When these partnerships are publicised, it can also attract more interest from the public, helping to raise brand awareness.
When not-for-profit Australian Wildlife Conservancy entered a partnership with the Wilinggin Aboriginal Corporation in northwest Western Australia, Adoni Media helped to explain to a broader audience why that relationship would help protect the country’s most vulnerable animals and call for further donations to help in the conservation efforts underway in the region.
Advocacy and social change
Not-for-profit organisations are often at the forefront of advocating for social change and policy reforms. To be successful in their advocacy efforts, they need public support and public policy backing.
Not-for-profit organisations Total Environment Centre and Boomerang Alliance engaged Adoni to help drive awareness around proposed Container for Change schemes in Victoria, demanding change. Adoni Media also ran proactive PR campaigns to call for improvements to similar operations in Queensland.
PR plays a significant role in mobilising the public around these causes and generating support for policy changes. Through media exposure, press conferences, and social media campaigns, PR can elevate these important issues to the forefront of the public consciousness, leading to a more significant impact on societal change.
Engaging volunteers and supporters
Volunteers are the backbone of many charity organisations. Engaging and keeping volunteers is crucial for the successful execution of projects and initiatives.
By telling compelling stories of the impact volunteers have made and showcasing the rewarding experiences they gain, charities can attract more people to contribute their time and skills.
The benefits of an experienced team
Having a public relations team with experience is an invaluable asset for any not-for-profit organisation and charity. Not only do they have well established contacts, but they also know what to expect from media and are able to plan PR strategies that help promote the brand.
Some of the not-profits Adoni Media has supported include: The Salvation Army, Lighthouse Foundation, Mission Australia, Wesley Mission, Help Enterprises, Total Environment Centre, Boomerang Alliance, Australian Wildlife Conservancy, Play Matters Australia, and The Water Conservancy.
The charity and not-for-profit sector is competitive and often, the organisations that receive the most donations are the ones which receive the most attention.
Charities that connect with their audience, engage donors and volunteers, and publicly champion and advocate for causes are the ones that will receive the most support. As we move forward in a world where social impact and philanthropy play an increasingly vital role, having access to PR is essential for non-profits to thrive, create lasting change, and make the world a better place.