Cosmic

3 Must-Have Digital Elements Every Social Impact Organization Needs

Your organization’s website will attract and maintain more supporters if it includes evergreen content, a digital media hub, and an action center. Learn how.

Eric Ressler
August 16, 2021
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As you generate excitement and attention around your cause, you need to sustain and build on it however you can.

Yet in today’s digital-first world, it’s impossible to do that effectively unless you come at it with a strategic approach.

No longer does a quarterly newsletter or a weekly Tweet suffice for getting necessary information out to your audience. Nor is a callout on Facebook or inconsistent blogging enough to mobilize your community.

The key to conquering your digital marketing? Employing the three pillars of digital media content:

  1. 1.
    Evergreen content
  2. 2.
    A digital media hub
  3. 3.
    An action center

By breaking your content into these three categories, your organization will maximize the time, money, and energy you are already spending as you work to spread your message and effect change.

3 Pillars of Your Digital Content

A modern social impact organization is most effective when its website has three synergistic elements of digital content.

As your audience learns more about your organization, your goal is to inform, inspire, educate and engage them. Each pillar does just that.

1. Evergreen Content: Bedrock Information About Your Organization

You likely already have this information on your website. This type of content isn’t topical nor does it need frequent updating.

Evergreen content is your:

  • Origin story
  • Timeline or history
  • Theory of change
  • Mission, vision, and purpose
  • Credentials (why you are the right ones to do the work you do)
  • Team members (their role and responsibilities)
  • Board of directors (this does need updating as board members rotate on and off)
  • Culture (what values you hold, how you operate, and what it’s like to work at your organization)
  • Contact information

Evergreen content gives your supporters the basic information they need to understand your organization. This content should answer a lot of commonly asked questions. Many organizations already have this basic information, but unfortunately, that’s where they ususally stop.

2. Your Media Hub: Topical Educational Content Your Organization Produces

In today’s attention-and-algorithm economy, you need to produce enough content to outsmart the system and get in front of your audience. Your battle doesn’t stop there. Next, you must develop such scroll-stopping content that they want to come back for more — again and again.

Your website’s media hub is where you organize your:

  • Educational information; deeper supporting content about the systemic change your organization is working towards and information about the larger conversation
  • Thought leadership content, like blogs, podcasts, and webinars
  • Videos
  • Storytelling features, like photo essays
  • Impact stories with statistics to back them up
  • Opinion pieces
  • Podcasts (if your organization produces one)
  • Recorded webinars your organization hosts
  • Pertinent updates to your cause

3. An Action Center: Where Your ‘Calls to Action’ Come to Life

Your supporters follow you because they support your cause, but also because you tell them what needs to be done to advance it. But they can’t get involved unless you tell them what they need to do — and give them an opportunity to go do it. This is where your action center comes in.

Your action center is the content area on your website for supporters to:

  • Make a donation to your cause
  • Sign a petition or contact a legislator
  • Find information about your organization’s events
  • Share your content on social media
  • Sign up to volunteer
  • Find information on how to engage in their community, such as join a march, go to an event, or join another organization’s campaign alongside yours.
  • Learn about one-off actions that are campaign-oriented, such as fundraising events or pushing local legislators to act on something specific
  • Become a member of your organization

Dividing the Digital Work Among Your Organization’s Team

Altogether, your evergreen content, media hub, and action center is a lot of content. But look at it this way: Your evergreen content only needs to be touched once in a while. And your other content? It’s all central to the work you do. This means you should add the responsibilities of content production to the dedicated team members already focused on parallel day-to-day tasks.

If it isn’t inherently clear how to divide the workload based on content category (like volunteer information being produced by your volunteer coordinator, for example), then consider assigning “beats” like news outlets do with their journalists.

Each team member tasked with a beat is responsible for following, producing, and publishing content for that area. One person could produce thought leadership content and impact stories; another could head up fundraising updates and membership information.

Set a regular cadence for publishing content to make sure your organization is consistently putting new, engaging content onto your website. (Then promote it out into the world!)

How the 3 Pillars Work Together to Nurture Support for Your Cause

Like a three-legged stool, your evergreen content, action center, and media hub need each other to support your organization’s digital presence. They all work together in a synergistic fashion to inform, educate, and inspire your website’s visitors and your steadfast supporters.

As your audience becomes aware of who you are and what your organization stands for, they will begin their journey up the engagement pyramid.

For example, one supporter may find out about you through their friend’s social media post. They may get some background information about your organization through reading your mission, vision, and purpose (evergreen content).

Then, they may read your blog post that gives background information on a recent policy change affecting your cause (media hub).

After that, they may feel motivated enough to join you in the fight for change by accessing your templated letter and contacting their legislator (action center).

Ideally, as your new supporter becomes more involved in your organization, they will return to your website for more information and updates. Perhaps they will become so galvanized that they want to join your board of directors one day.

It’s all connected. At each touchpoint along your supporter’s journey, your organization has important content to share that can encourage your just-curious browsers to evolve into all-out advocates of your cause.

Building Social Media and Email Marketing Into Your Digital Plan

You probably use email and social media to reach your supporters. Be sure to use your strategies holistically for each entity along with your website content. Otherwise, you’re only operating at 75% at best.

When it comes to social media, one of its key benefits is collaborating with influencers. If any popular social media users with a large following support your organization, partner with them and use their platform to reach a wider network. Get them to advocate on your behalf.

As for email, this is where a lot of action and education starts. But always make sure that whatever you’re sending to people’s inboxes drives them to your website to take action. Your donor management platform is a great tool for crafting email strategies that target certain followers and direct them to curated content on your website — or drive them to your action center to engage.

Your team works tirelessly to tackle your organization’s goals every day. Make the most of everyone’s time and effort by taking a three-pronged approach to your digital strategy. Your website will undoubtedly present as more streamlined, credible, and compelling — and in the process, it will pull more supporters and funders to your side.

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