Nonprofits are selfless and should remember to tell their story

August 15, 2019

National Nonprofit Day is August 17, a time to recognize not only the nonprofit primary altruistic goals (research, aid, service) but also acknowledge the positive impact on our communities. As an agency and as individuals, we’re grateful to our area nonprofits for their selfless service. And we want them to succeed, which is why we take our daily and after-hours commitments to the nonprofit cause so seriously.

Like any company, Elizabeth Christian Public Relations is a team comprised of individuals who are involved, connected and inspired by myriad missions that relate to our lives and our community. We see the value that nonprofit organizations bring to society—supporting those who may be unable to help themselves, strengthening our economy, keeping us plugged into our own humanity and otherwise making Austin and our nation safer, as well as more beautiful, more educated and overall an uplifting place to live.

As such, many on our team take time to volunteer for committees, sit on boards and work in field service, in addition to financial donations we regularly make. We share not to brag but rather to normalize the idea that charitable giving and giving of our time is not only a privilege but a responsibility of those who are able. We do this because we believe in the work these nonprofits do and want others to benefit.

Whether we’re volunteering or working on a nonprofit client’s behalf, we’re always thinking about their narrative and how people perceive their mission. It’s all part of being professional communicators. After all, a central goal of every nonprofit—be it for community betterment or fundraising—is awareness. For obvious reasons, we’re big believers in the power of building one’s narrative and stakeholder groups. However, our dedication to this effort extends beyond the causes on our client roster.

For budget-conscious nonprofit organizations, communications can often be discussed as a luxury or an afterthought. The discussion we continuously hear goes like this: “We need to focus on our core mission and operations right now, so we just don’t have the time or budget to focus on something like marketing.” But when you stop to think about it, strong PR does more than increase awareness or increase positive feelings about a mission.

Those with a firm understanding of an organization and its critical work are more likely to apply for a job, stay on the staff or board, volunteer, donate, attend events, be receptive to programming and outreach, vote in favor of a bond measure, partner, take calls and generally cooperate with a nonprofit’s goals. Therefore, in a very real way, sustained and thoughtful public relations (media coverage, thought leadership, social media presence, event participation, crisis communications, et al) makes all aspects of a charitable endeavor work better and makes every dollar go further.

Finally, while we admire all of those who keep nonprofits fulfilling their critical missions each and every day, we want to give a special shoutout to the nonprofit communicators who tell heartwarming stories about the inspiring programs and people that make us all aspire to be our very best. Thank you for the work you do. Without you, your mission would be a well-kept secret. And that’s just no help to anyone.

Current Nonprofit Clients

  • Austin Board of REALTORS ®
  • Cabela Family Foundation
  • Downtown Austin Alliance
  • Greater Austin Crime Commission
  • KMFA Classical
  • The Sandgaard Foundation
  • Texas Access to Justice Commission
  • WorkQuest

Staff Nonprofit Affiliations

  • 4ATX Foundation
  • American Heart Association
  • Andy Roddick Foundation
  • Austin Area Research Organization
  • Austin Chamber of Commerce
  • Austin Pets Alive
  • Ballet Austin
  • Best Friends Animal Society
  • Covenant Presbyterian Church
  • Divine Canines
  • Elisabet Ney Museum
  • Ensemble VIII
  • Flatwater Foundation
  • Food for the Hungry
  • Gateway Church
  • Greater Austin Crime Commission
  • Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
  • Junior League of Austin
  • Latinitas
  • Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
  • Pay It Forward 9/11
  • Refugee Connect
  • St. David’s Foundation
  • St. Michael’s Episcopal Church
  • Trevor Project
  • United Way for Greater Austin
  • UT International Office
  • Women’s Symphony League
  • World Outreach Ministries
  • Young Women’s Alliance

David Wyatt is a Vice President with Elizabeth Christian Public Relations.