How to Use Digital Tools to Make Your Nonprofit’s Research Go the Distance

Problem Statement

Is your best work hiding in plain sight? Join this session if you want to learn how to use digital tools to get your audiences to find and use your nonprofit’s research, evaluation reports, and other content.

“Innovative knowledge sharing” through research is central to the mission of the World Bank, the global financial institution. But in 2014, the World Bank discovered that one-third of the published reports on its website have never been downloaded. By anyone. Not even once.

Too many nonprofits have the same problem as the World Bank: most of the people you want to see and act on your organization’s research don’t know it exists. Oftentimes, reports are just published on a website and not seen by anyone, no matter how compelling the findings.

In this presentation, we will share online tips and tools for promoting your research, evaluation reports, and other content. We’ll show you how to turn complex, dense research into compelling stories for online platforms and share strategies for leveraging digital publishing tools to reach audiences.

Beyond reliable standbys for getting your news out, like e-newsletter and blog promotion, we’ll also share tips for making the most of emerging digital trends, like Facebook video and LinkedIn Pulse. Most research remains useful for years to come, so we’ll share ideas on how you can repurpose information in different formats (like infographics or social media visuals) to continue promoting research.

As a communications firm that makes working with nonprofits and philanthropies our focus, we’ve seen it all—20-year studies, national evaluations, and policy briefs. We’ll provide case studies of how organizations large and small have successfully promoted their work, sharing lessons that you can put to use when you return to your office.

From this presentation, you’ll take away four things:

  • Best practices for getting your research in front of your audience
  • Practical tips for promoting your research using new digital tools
  • Evergreen content marketing strategies for promoting research over time
  • Tips for reaching new and unlikely audiences
Jenna Cerruti
Prichard Communications
Account Director
Jenna Cerruti is an award-winning online communicator with extensive experience in strategic communications and implementation, particularly media relations and digital campaigns. As an account director, Jenna leads Prichard’s work with nonprofits, foundations and social change organizations.

Joe Costello
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Director, Digital Communications
Joe Costello joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2015, bringing his expertise in traditional, digital and social media to his work in marketing the Foundation’s mission, programs, and priorities. Before joining RWJF, Costello served as vice president for external relations, business development, and government affairs for the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia, Pa. In this role, with his focus on market and business development, he helped the Museum exceed all of its earned income goals for the first time in its history. Previously, Costello served as a senior project manager with Music Choice, a national music content provider for cable television. Earlier, he was program director for WDRE in Philadelphia, and then worked for, the web home of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News. This was the beginning of the expanding electronic news movement and he was part of the first wave of communicators to specialize in online news and marketing. Costello earned a BA in Communications from West Chester University in Pennsylvania.

Mac Prichard
Prichard Communications
Mac Prichard is the founder of Prichard Communications, a public relations firm that serves foundations, non-profits, and purpose driven brands. Prichard's clients include The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, NW Health Foundation, and Reclaiming Futures. Mac has been a spokesman for the Oregon Department of Human Services and other state agencies, was a speechwriter and deputy legislative director for former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, and City Hall communications director for Earl Blumenauer. Earlier in his career, Mac was the first public information officer for Boston's Big Dig, and helped organize Congressional fact-finding missions to Central America for the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. Mac earned a master’s degree in public administration at Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in political science at the University of Iowa.