How (and Why) We Doubled Down on Digital Content to Protect Wild Places

Help people get outdoors and hike, and they’ll fall in love with our public lands—and work to protect them. That’s what’s behind the digital strategy of two environmental organizations—Montana Wilderness Association and Washington Trails Association—that have made a serious commitment to our digital content. Recognizing that not everyone can explore the wilderness in person, the National Park Service has also invested in digital as a way to emotionally connect the public to these special places we all steward.

From building one-of-a-kind online Hiking Guide databases, to curating personal blogs, social feeds and user-submitted content, to producing incredible video storytelling, these organizations have created distinct content strategy models based on what our communities need (like detailed, up-to-date, hiking information and education resources). By doing so, we’ve found an approach that fosters strong partnerships, recruits amazing volunteers, attracts millions of organic website visitors, and benefits all of our organizations’ program goals.

Not an environmental organization? No worries. The 10 essentials of our digital strategy are approaches that can be applied across the nonprofit sector. Ask us about our successes and struggles. Get ideas about how to convince the powers that be that digital and content are worth their weight in trail mix. Learn how to tell compelling video stories or offer immersive digital experiences without a gazillion-dollar budget. Learn our approach to sharing information and social content—while staying true to our missions.

Plus, we’ll probably share a few photos and video from some of the most beautiful places in the country, because that’s just what we do.