Communication for Nonprofits

What Is Nonprofit Communication?

Nonprofit communication is any communication that takes place between a nonprofit and its audience. This includes everything from making charitable solicitations to the general public to writing thank you notes and sending organization updates to existing supporters.

Who Is Nonprofit Communication Targeted To?


Nonprofits communicate with their donors via email, on social networking sites, and through direct mailing. They connect with donors to solicit donations, thank them for their donations, and communicate about how their funds are being put to work.


Communication with volunteers is an essential part of effective volunteer management. Volunteer communications are used to keep volunteers engaged by sharing information on upcoming volunteer opportunities, thanking volunteers for their service, and other matters that impact volunteers. Communication with volunteers may happen through email, direct mail, or a messaging system within an organization’s volunteer management software.

Potential Supporters

Nonprofit communication with potential supporters helps organizations gain new supporters and secure donations. Communications targeted at potential supporters should first and foremost articulate the nonprofit’s mission and create an emotional connection with the audience. Next, they should provide clear direction on how to get involved, whether it be how to donate or ways to volunteer.

Board Members

Nonprofit leaders meet regularly with their Board of Directors to align on high-level strategy, mission, and goals for the organization. The board also provides oversight and accountability for the organization. Sometimes board members will provide hands-on expertise for tasks like accounting, annual reports, and organizational leadership. Because the board has a high level of responsibility, communication among board members and nonprofit leaders must be clear and consistent.

General Public

Communication between a nonprofit and the general public typically centers on cause awareness. Cause awareness is simply educating people and raising public awareness about an organization’s cause or issue. Organizations communicate with the general public through their website, social media channels and email and by hosting events open to the public.

Nonprofit Communication Tools

A nonprofit organization communicates in a myriad of ways, from emails to social media channels to direct mail initiatives and more. The key to excelling at nonprofit communication is sending the right message at the right time.

Specifically with donor communication, for example, nonprofit organizations often look for tools and features that help them automate things like donation receipts and acknowledgments. Segmenting donors is another priority for nonprofits because it gives them the ability to target some donors without spamming others.

Bottom Line

Nonprofit communication includes things like showing donors they are valued and sharing the organization’s mission with supporters. This keeps an open channel for nonprofits to solicit future donations.

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