The Content Marketing Institute recently released their first ever research study on nonprofits: “Nonprofit Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America.” While the research shows that only 26 percent of nonprofit professionals consider themselves effective at content marketing, 92 percent are using some kind of related strategy. Clearly, content marketing will continue to play a growing role in nonprofit outreach in 2014. Here are some of the key findings released in the report:

  • While 92 percent of nonprofits use content marketing, only 25 percent have a documented content strategy in place guiding their efforts (with 54 percent reporting no strategy whatsoever and 20 percent unsure). Not surprisingly, those who report a strategy rate themselves higher in terms of content marketing effectiveness compared with those who do not. This trend (of a lack of a documented content strategy) is similar to what’s been seen in the business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) sectors.
  • While nonprofit entities use an average of 4 social media platforms to distribute content, most report a high level of uncertainty regarding this strategy’s effectiveness. The most popular social media platform is Facebook, with a rate of 91 percent use. However, only 58 percent of these marketers believe it’s effective. Other commonly used platforms include Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Flickr, LinkedIn, SlideShare, Pinterest, and Google+.
  • Highly effective nonprofit marketers report using several tactics much more frequently than those marketers who rate themselves as least effective. These tactics include videos, articles on other websites, blogs, infographics, and online presentations.
  • Most nonprofits see the value of content marketing, with 38 percent planning to increase their content marketing budget over the next 12 months. Of those surveyed, 44 percent plan to keep the same budget, with only 3 percent planning to decrease it.
  • When it comes to content marketing among nonprofits, the top challenges faced by professionals are lack of time to develop the content (69 percent) and a lack of budget (67 percent). Other commonly seen frustrations and challenges include difficulty producing the kind of content that engages the audience, a lack of knowledge and training, inability to measure content effectiveness, and difficulties producing enough or enough of a variety of content.

This report was produced in conjunction with Blackbaud and sponsored by Fusion Spark Media. It looked at the content marketing habits and trends of 1,714 nonprofit agencies and organizations.


Pulizzi, Joe. “Nonprofit Content Marketing Research: Successes and Challenges.” Content Marketing Institute. 11/14/13.