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Making An Impact: How A Charity or Non-Profit Can Benefit From Public Relations

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nonprofit charity prPhoto credit to Pimentel Photography (top, left and right) & Holly Thomas (bottom middle)

When it comes to brand awareness and fundraising, charities and non-profits are faced with a daunting task these days. We’re seeing a shift in the demographic of donors, making it extremely important to target new audiences in order to expose them to organizations they may not be aware of.

In today’s congested world of advertising, it’s hard to make noise among a sea of ads and direct mail campaigns: geared to draw interest and new supporters. Younger generations aren’t taking the time to read through the extensive materials an organization puts together, and they’re certainly not consuming content in traditional ways. It’s important to embrace the disruption happening within this market, and one way to do so is with effective public relations.

PR is often considered an add-on to non-profit campaigns, as many organizations have not had a chance to see its true effectiveness. Having worked recently with organizations like The Starlight Children’s Foundation and Pants Off For Prostate Cancer (click to see image galleries of events EDPR assisted with), we at Embrace Disruption PR have a firm grasp on how to execute a strong non-profit PR campaign.

Here are a few of the PR tactics we use to build awareness for non-profits in order attract a new wave of donors and supporters:


Perhaps the most traditional of tactics, publicity can help get your organization in top tier news outlets. Whether it’s to publicize an upcoming event, or shed light on a touching story – PR firms and agencies can assist in getting you on your market’s top television shows, newspapers and magazines. It’s important to note: publicity doesn’t end with securing stories in traditional outlets, it should be inclusive of blogs and other content sources. In today’s landscape, fewer and fewer people are consuming content in it’s physical format – they’re looking online. Think about your research habits – you’re more likely to examine topics that matter to you through online tactics like search engines, blogs/websites and social media, right? That brings us to our next approach.

Social Media

Building meaningful relationships with like-minded influencers and supporters online can prove to be invaluable. It’s probable that many of your supporters are already actively online, talking about your brand or cause. You should be part of the conversation too – always go where your audience is. PR firms can use their established relationships with influential people online, and also build new relevant relationships to help promote and publicize your organization in one of the world’s most digestible content formats. Remembering that the exposure rate for social networking can be endless, having a strong social strategy and presence can be detrimental to building your organization’s awareness.


If your organization (or PR firm) isn’t blogging regularly, they should be. What better way to control your messaging and communicate to audiences beyond your traditional reach. Showing up in search engines more prominently with quality content can make the difference between a new donation, ticket purchase or even volunteer (elements non-profits can’t ever have enough of).

Sponsorship & Partners

Oftentimes, PR agencies and firms represent or know a variety of businesses that are actively looking for ways to align themselves with charities or non-profits that are meaningful to their organization. Finding opportunities to create special benefits, in-kind donations, sponsorships, conferences, races, galas, and contesting are definitely within the realm of a PR firm’s abilities.

Ambassador Campaigns

Another fantastic addition to your public relations efforts includes securing notable individuals and celebrities to act as spokespeople for your non-profit organization. Most PR firms have strong relationships with talent and talent management, which allows them to identify perfect matches for your publicity engagements or public service announcements. PR pros will often find opportunities to place these spokespeople within media (both traditional and non), as well as in speaking engagements and at events.

With millions of impressions garnered through traditional and non-traditional PR tactics, we’ve managed to build out incredible campaigns for our non-profit clients. If you’d like to chat more about what we can do for your organization, please don’t hesitate to send us an email or call us at (416) 963.9857 – we are based out of Toronto and our reach is nationwide.

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