Non-profit PR

By: Allison Evans

With a degree in Public Relations, the career avenues one can travel down seem to be limitless. An example of that is selecting a career in nonprofit Public Relations, which opens up endless doors of opportunity for an up and coming PR professional. According to an article by Amy Vaughn through learningtogive.org, there are more than 1.6 million organizations in the nonprofit sector. These organizations range from national levels, like the Make a Wish Foundation to our own backyard.

Nonprofit Public Relations is a sector separate from agency and corporate public relations. Nonprofit concentrates on the promotion of services and organizations, rather than product placement and consumer habits. Our own Chapter’s member, Nicole Spears, experienced non-profit PR after interning for Athens County Children’s Services.

“Doing PR for a non-profit is different in a lot of ways. Many times the work you do will go under the agency’s name. For example, you may write a Letter-to-the-Editor in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, but it would not be published as your work but rather that of your agency. There is a learning curve there,” Spears said.

Nonprofit focuses on a number of different tasks including grant writing, fundraising, volunteer recruitment, event planning, and publicity in addition to agency and corporate tasks (social media, press release writing, newsletter writing, etc.). All of these duties can vary depending on which type of nonprofit category one is hired into. Nicole describes this as similar to her experience:

“In my non-profit experience, I worked directly under the sole PR employee of the agency. She was forced to play a lot of different roles each day since she was the only one conducting communications for every facet of the workplace,” Spears said.

For those who have worked for a nonprofit organization, promoting a cause that is worthy of promotion is very rewarding. Without the promotion of these organizations or services, it would be very difficult for the public to know what services they could be receiving, or what help they could have in their lives. A job in the nonprofit sector could make all the difference in the world in your own life, as well as others.

“Working in non-profit often allows you to see the results of your PR efforts, which is a very awarding accomplishment. Feeling like your making a difference takes the “work” out of the job, especially when you get to make a lasting impact in your community,” Nicole Spears said.

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