NPO 041: Blogs, Email, and Videos for Nonprofits (Julia Gatten, AfricAid) - Part 1 of 2

Today's Guest: Julia Gatten
     Julia is committed to bringing AfricAid’s story to life in creative ways to connect US supporters to our incredible mentoring programs in Tanzania. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in History from Furman University, Julia made her way to the University of Denver for a master’s degree in International Human Rights and has worked in nonprofit communications since graduating in 2012.

She loves animals, tea, sunshine, and the Oxford comma but is most passionate about seeing girls reach their full potential as leaders of their own lives and in their communities. Julia joined the AfricAid team in 2016 as the External Relations and Operations Coordinator and was promoted to Communications Director in 2017. When she isn’t designing reports, updating content, or editing videos, you’ll find her playing rugby, rock climbing, reading, or exploring Colorado.

Nonprofit Spotlight: AfricAid
AfricAid mentors secondary school girls in Tanzania to complete their education, develop into confident leaders, and transform their own lives and their communities. They equip girls to overcome challenges and reach their full potential because educated girls create lasting positive change. The outcome of their work is proactive, resilient, and socially-responsible girls who secure better jobs, raise healthier families, and increase the standing of women in society. AfricAid accomplishes their mission through two extracurricular mentoring programs: Kisa Project and Binti Shupavu.

Lessons Learned:
In our conversation, Julia shared her experience as the Director of Communications for AfricAid. (More detail to come on this page.) Some of the key lessons they has learned are outlined below: 

  1. Blogs are a great way to share content with donors

    1. Engage staff in writing these.

    2. It’s possible to get a volunteer to help manage this!

    3. Provide workshops to support people who are not professional writers to feel comfortable and confident with publishing a blog article.

    4. Discuss the audience and the goals of the blog. Julia’s team put together a set of guidelines for all of their blogs that allowed it to be an easy reference tool for all writers.

  2. Quarterly email blasts replaced their bi-annual print newsletter and so far there have been some great advantages of it.

    1. Can share more content this way - pictures, videos, links to blogs, etc.

    2. Can track open rates and what links donors click. Ideally, you can use this information in the future to implement best practices within your target audience.

    3. Be sure to have a clear goal in mind for each email and cater the entire message to that goal. Do not give donors the chance to get lost in 12 different links or off-topic stories.

  3. Videos are a great way to bring a mission to life for the donors.

    1. Keep it short!

    2. Even though it’s hard to cut out content you think is great… do it anyway!

    3. Find ways to repurpose videos so that your time spent on editing has an even better return on your investment.

Find Horizons for Youth online:

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