Communications fundamentals

Members $125/Non-members $250

NTEN courses run for one week and are offered twice a year.

By getting the fundamentals in order, you’ll be a more confident, strategic communicator.
Instructor Marlene Oliveira

Course Overview

Brand messaging

A brand messaging platform can guide – rather than limit – your communications planning.

Website content

Give your website content the attention it deserves, strengthening your digital home base.


Re-examine your approach to storytelling, to deliver your nonprofit’s narrative over time.


To deliver strategically sound communications with cohesive, compelling messages, you need to have strong foundations. Your brand, website, and storytelling are fundamental because they provide a roadmap for messaging and content development, a digital home base for your organization, and an opportunity to deliver your nonprofit’s narrative over time.

In this course, we’ll start by revisiting the role of your strategic plan and priority audiences in guiding marketing communications decisions. Then, we’ll take a broad scan of your content foundations: your brand messaging, website content, and storytelling approach. Finally, we’ll consider how you can leverage these elements to use resources efficiently and feel more confident and effective as a communicator.

Throughout the live class, we’ll take time for you to reflect upon the state of your organization’s communications fundamentals, identify gaps, and consider actions you can take — big and small — to build or strengthen your content foundations.


Marlene Oliveira

Communications advisor and copywriter
Profile Photo

Marlene Oliveira is a communications advisor and copywriter specializing in content strategy and copywriting for nonprofit organizations. She has worked in the nonprofit sector since 1999, including a two-year crash course in a grassroots role, six years as the national communications manager at a large Canadian health charity, and since 2008, has been solving content challenges for a wide variety of nonprofit organizations through her consultancy, moflow.

Marlene’s approach is to tap into the knowledge, experience and expertise her clients already possess to help their communications flow.

Blended courses run for one week and offer a mix of self-paced and live events to offer both the flexibility you need with the personal connection you want.
Pre-Work (Readings & Quiz)

Live Event

Recording Available
20-30 mins (Self-Paced)
20-30 mins (Self-Paced)


Several relevant articles will establish key concepts and ideas as a primer to the live event, and help you to identify questions and topics you want to explore further.

Knowledge Check

A brief quiz will reinforce what you've learned so far. Don't stress - it isn't pass/fail - it is just to help you remember and distill the concepts you read in the pre-work.

Live Event

This is a 90-minute live captioned online training with opportunities to interact with the presenter and your peers. And if you can't make the live session, you'll be able to access a captioned recording.


Faculty, themselves experts with a wealth of nonprofit experience, have created exercises that will reinforce what you've learned and give you actionable steps to improving your organization.

Earn While You Learn - Professional Credits

In addition to our own Nonprofit Technology Professional Certificate, NTEN is an approved provider for a number of other professional credentials programs. This course qualifies for the following credits:


NTEN Professional Certificate