By Marie LeBlanc, Catalogue Community Partnerships Coordinator
Earlier this week, the Nonprofit Quarterly published an article by Joe Waters on the importance of nonprofit publishing — not advertising, not promoting, but publishing. In today’s whirlwind world of social media, the re-tweet and “like” often take precedence over extended, printed content creation. Waters points out a couple of reasons why nonprofits benefit from quality publications (branding, differentiation, publicity), but I would argue that the community at large stands to gain from quality nonprofit publications as well.
One of the greatest virtues of a nonprofit community (particularly in an urban area such as greater Washington) is its diversity. This diversity allows a plethora of nonprofits to emerge and each serve a slightly different area of need. In order to be an effective and engaging publisher, a nonprofit must know what its niche is and how to communicate that to a larger audience. A nonprofit must also figure out how to connect even the “nichest” social issue to a topic of regional or national prominence — funding for social services, the value of the arts, racial or class inequalities, and power imbalances.
The unique information that nonprofits collect on a daily basis can increase an entire community’s knowledge of social problems and possible solutions. Many nonprofits collect this information without even thinking about it, or simply hold reserves of institutional knowledge within the human resources of their staff. Publishing original content in a variety of forms (“blog posts, video, e-mail newsletters, e-books, white papers, free reports and other types of content,” according to Waters) allows nonprofits to showcase their unique knowledge in creative and credible ways.
Tell us about your unique knowledge of the nonprofit community and how you’ve published content that “informs, educates, and inspires.”