NFP Communication – Four Areas You Should Be Investing In

Feb 18
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In order to stand out in today’s climate, NFPs need to be more strategic and invest in core areas, writes Criterion ahead of the upcoming Strengthening Communications and Engagement conference.

Now more than ever, not-for-profit organisations are having to think and act more business minded. With over 600,000 registered NFPs in Australia, organisations need to step up or risk being pushed out of the market.

Whilea more corporate approach may conflict with the nature of NFPs, the value in being able to generate funding and attract customers will ensure their sustainability and enable them to deliver on their mission.

With a lot of noise and disruption in the sector, brought on by new funding models and digital innovation, it can be challenging to discern what NFPs should be investing in.


NFPs aren’t preparing for these changes, they are well and truly in the midst of it. The difference between success and failure often starts with cultural change. Now more than ever, there is a need to cement the role and value of communications as a core organisational function. This means giving communications a seat at the table and involving them early in the business development process. Getting the whole organisation on board is the key in being able to deliver an effective communications strategy.


Significant competition has created a flooded market, one where NFPs must consider what their value proposition is. While there is a lot being said about creating a unique brand identity in response to this, some argue that this is useless unless your branding places the customer front and centre. One way that NFPs are doing this is by positioning themselves as subject matter experts and leveraging that to build trust and recognition – tying their value to their brand.


NFPs are needing to go beyond a one-size fits all approach and many organisations have done this exceptionally well. Delivering on customer centric communication means getting to the core of who your customer is and how best to engage with them. The need to remain competitive necessitates a greater need for personalisation across all channels of communication and to understand how to best leverage those touch points along the customer journey.


With great changes in the sector, comes great opportunity to embrace digital disruption and innovation. With start-ups now entering the market and shaking up the sector, organisations are needing to be proactive and leverage technology to engage their customers. While social media is certainly not new, there is a need to be more deliberate and purposeful in how NFPs utilise this platform. With the emergence of behavioural economics in recent times, NFPs have been exploring this as a method to understand customer behaviour and gather valuable insights.

Despite these challenges, there is a huge opportunity for growth within the sector. NFPs just have to be more strategic and invest in core areas to achieve this.

To learn more about this topic, attend our Strengthening Communications and Engagement conference held on the 10 and 11 April 2018.

Submitted by Ellen Foxall

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