Writing a press release is an effective (and often inexpensive) way of spreading awareness of your nonprofit’s major activities or notable events – especially with the adjustable press release template to ease the process.
This article provides an in-depth overview of writing a press release for a nonprofit organization with real-life examples and all the key elements you need to cover.
Plus – we have also prepared a special NGO discount to help you reach your audience, maximize the potential of your press release, and get featured in media outlets!
- What is a nonprofit press release?
- How to write a nonprofit press release?
- Why write a nonprofit press release?
- When to write a nonprofit press release?
- Nonprofit press release example
- Nonprofit press release template
- Distribute your press release to the right audience
- Final thoughts
If you’re in a rush, Prowly offers press release templates that you can use to easily create your own, in a format that journalists expect to receive.
Prowly also lets you find relevant journalists and send out your press release to them.
What is a nonprofit press release?
A nonprofit press release serves as a crucial method for organizations to spread the word about their latest initiatives, donations, or events. It aims to garner more media coverage for NGOs by providing an overview of their activities and causes.
When written effectively, a press release can create buzz around an organization and build a strong brand reputation.
What are the main goals of a nonprofit press release?
Nonprofits want to inspire people to support their cause, whether that means volunteering, donating, or simply spreading the word to their friends and family.
A successful press release for a nonprofit should be compelling and persuasive, making readers feel connected to the organization’s mission and excited to get involved.
By achieving these goals, nonprofits can generate valuable support and recognition for all the important work they do.
How to write a nonprofit press release?
The first thing to keep in mind is that a press release isn’t just an overview of your nonprofit’s activities.
It needs to be a clear and compelling news story that grabs the attention of journalists and readers – some to help it stand out from most nonprofit press releases.
For further information on each element, read How to Write a Press Release (With Tips From PR Pros).
Use the inverted pyramid method
The pyramid method is a standard format that structures a press release’s information from most important to the least, making it easier for the journalists reading it to quickly grasp the key details.
- Start with the 5Ws: the who, what, when, where, and why of your story.
- Add necessary context, supporting details, and quotes.
- End with information about your nonprofit.
Let’s delve into the details of how to write a press release for a nonprofit organization (or go straight to Prowly’s press release templates).
#1 A headline in a non-profit press release
Your headline is the most important element of your press release, as it’s the first sentence readers will see. It should be eye-catching and capture what the story is about in a few words.
Nonprofit headlines should be concise, informative, and engaging.
For example, a headline like “Annual Fundraiser Raises Over $50,000 for Children’s Hospital” immediately highlights an impressive achievement, while also informing readers of the organization’s cause.
Prowly’s sample non-profit press release above shows how easy it is to add a new, pre-formatted paragraph, or even embed visuals simply and easily by choosing the right block from the list (on the left side of the editor section).
#2 A compelling lead sentence
Your opening sentence should seize attention and be concise to build upon the headline and expand on the key points of your story.
The first paragraph should be one or two sentences that sum up the purpose of the press release, providing an overview of what’s going to follow.
For example, “Local charity ABC Homeless Services launched a campaign this month to provide warm homes for homeless veterans in the area. In just two weeks, the organization raised enough funds to build 10 homes.”
#3 A dateline
It may seem like a small detail, but a clear and accurate dateline can make a difference in getting your nonprofit’s message noticed and taken seriously. Include the city, state, and date in a consistent format.
Pro tip: Every nonprofit organization can redeem the discount from Prowly to pay less for managing all the PR activities.
#4 Adding quotes to the press release’s body
The body of your new nonprofit press release should clearly communicate the organization’s goals and explain why the story is newsworthy while focusing only on the relevant information and important details.
Share direct quotes from experts, statistics, and success stories to give readers an idea of the scale of your work. The quote should be fresh, relevant and add value to the story.
Pro tip: Choose quotes that reflect the impact of your organization’s work or demonstrate the dedication of your staff/volunteers (not necessarily an executive director).
All you need to do is to choose a block in Prowly to automatically highlight your quote.
#5 Adding visuals and assets
It’s more than essential to include your organization’s logo and media contact information in press releases.
This helps build your brand, facilitates journalistic contacts, and reduces the risk of the media outlet using outdated assets.
Pro tip: To make your press release stand out, embed social media posts directly into your press release. You can do it by choosing the right block in Prowly’s Press Release Creator tool.
#6 Contact and boilerplate information
Your last paragraph should cover organizational info, as in the “About Us” section, that explains what your NGO does.
As for your media contact information: include the names and email addresses of the relevant individuals who will be available to speak to reporters.
It’s good to go beyond the bare minimum to facilitate contact and add:
- spokesperson’s phone number,
- website URL,
- and social media handles as well.
Of course, spokespeople don’t have to be board members. Find someone who knows the nonprofit’s mission well and has PR experience to articulate it clearly and concisely.
Pro tip: In Prowly you can create spokespeople cards and add them with one click once the copy is ready. That way you will be sure you don’t leave a typo in the contact section.
We also prepared two guides to walk you through using the AI Press Release Generator for the best results, as well as for writing and pitching press releases with AI.
Why write a nonprofit press release?
If you’re looking to get the word out about your nonprofit, a press release should definitely be part of your outreach strategy – here’s why:
- Raise awareness about your NGO: announce current projects, attract new donors and volunteers, and gain valuable media coverage by distributing a well-crafted press release.
- Build media relationships: make the media aware of the activity and vision of your nonprofit.
- Ensure the accuracy of information and assets: a well-formatted nonprofit press release and providing the media with original company assets (logo, etc.) ensures accurate information is shared by news outlets.
- Enhance your organization’s visibility and credibility: by joining ongoing media discussions, contributing to “newsjacking,” and sharing your expert comments.
- Pitch digital and traditional media: writing press releases for nonprofits is still relevant in both.
🎯 Prowly can help you achieve all these goals, from press release creation to earning media coverage by pitching the right journalists.
Pro tip: Establish yourself as an expert by using your organization’s research and insights to gain media attention. This is valuable for journalists, particularly in trending topics such as the environment, society, diversity, and the social economy.
When to write a nonprofit press release?
Almost any major milestone or achievement is worth sharing with the public. Some examples of situations worth describing in press releases include:
- A new campaign or a nonprofit launch (press release can generate buzz and attract supporters)
- Hosting a fundraising event or volunteer day (to get the word out to the community and boost event attendance)
- Responding to a current issue or upcoming event like a nonprofit gala (press release can position your nonprofit as a leader and strive for a change)
- Updates to existing programs or services (to highlight progress and success stories)
- Receiving grant funding or awards (to show the value of the NGO’s work and attract potential donors)
- Introducing a new partner/donor (to encourage collaboration)
- Appointing a new executive leader (to illustrate the nonprofit’s vision to the public)
- Introducing a new partner/donor (to express gratitude)
- Launching a book that includes your nonprofit story (to show you are featured in meaningful publications)
- Rebranding (to communicate a new identity to the public)
Here’s how TreePeople communicated the receipt of their new grant using Press Release Creator. Bonus points for publishing it in their own Online Newsroom to enhance the new’s visibility!
To demonstrate the characteristics of a finely crafted press release, let’s take a look at another example of a non-profit press release that caters not only to local media outlets.
Nonprofit press release example
River Action is a non-profit organization dedicated to conserving and restoring rivers in the UK and Ireland. They advocate for cleaner rivers and raise awareness about the importance of river ecosystems through campaigns, collaborative projects, and surveys – like the one described in the press release below.
“Healthy Rivers Are an Influential Voting Issue for Almost Half of British Public” is a perfect example of a non-profit organization press release where River Action developed great storytelling based on their mission statement and study.
What we love about this non-profit press release
💬 Aleksandra Kubicka (PR Evangelist at Prowly) explains why she chose this press release example:
- Storytelling backed up with data. “Its writing style seamlessly combines a compelling narrative, pertinent data, and a strong appeal to community sentiment to create an engaging and persuasive piece of communication.”
- A mix of facts and emotions. “It catches the reader’s attention and effectively highlights the importance of the issue at hand, while also shedding light on the organization’s efforts toward a solution.”
- Easy to skim. “Starting with bullet points enhanced the writing quality. It optimized word choice, structure, and readability while maintaining the storytelling.”
- Visuals to clap eyes on. “Infographics ready to share, super impactful, and helpful while spreading the message.
- List of sources and additional info on more real-world examples.”
- Pointing out clearly – e. g. “The Charter’s ten key actions.”
- Using Online Newsroom. “To appear more often in search engines.”
You can create an Online Newsroom using Prowly and publish there your press release – just like River Action.
Pro Tip: Your organization’s research and insights can be incredibly valuable in establishing an expert position, especially for journalists. Sharing this information can provide valuable expertise and enhance credibility.
River Action uses Prowly’s NGO discount for creating and publishing their press releases. You can use the offer and start managing your nonprofit’s PR like a pro.
Nonprofit press release template
If you’re seeking to craft press releases for nonprofits our convenient template is here to assist you!
Crafting a press release can be daunting if you’re unsure of where to start.
But with this ready-made template, you’ll have a structure to guide your writing and ensure that you cover all the most important information with a professional and eye-catching layout.
Begin by effortlessly filling in the provided blanks with your own information and you’ll be all set to go.
Start spreading the word about your cause with clarity and impact using a free press release template.
Distribute your press release to the right audience
Just crafting the perfect press release isn’t enough, you need to make sure it gets in front of the right eyes.
In this section, we’ll explore some strategies for nonprofit press release distribution to the most pertinent journalists and organizations.
Pitching using a good quality media database
Apart from saving time and resources, a media database can give you the added advantage of targeting the right kinds of journalists that fit your niche and editorial profile.
With a pre-vetted and organized database, you can easily filter out irrelevant or uninterested journalists, and effectively reach out to the ones who are most likely to publish your content.
In Prowly’s Media Database, there are over 3000 relevant journalists writing about NGOs, nature, and the environment – and that’s in the US alone, plus over 2000 media outlets, such as National Geographic, or Bloomberg Green.
Why not give it a shot and create a nonprofit press release for your cause?
💡If you’re seeking more exposure for your press release, explore these 10 ideas on how to effectively promote a press release.
Buying a media contact list or using a wire service
Using a wire service can result in your press release being buried among countless other releases in a generic space. It might not reach your target audience, but just the general public, because it’s too broad of a pitch.
Regarding media contact lists, they often contain outdated or irrelevant information, leading to wasted time and effort when many of your emails bounce back.
Repurpose your PR content to social media
Repurposing your nonprofit press release for social media platforms can amplify its reach and impact.
Create bite-sized summaries of your press releases to share as posts. Tailor your language and format to each platform’s audience – not only to your own community members.
Don’t forget to include compelling visuals and relevant hashtags to boost visibility and always link back to the full press release to drive traffic to your website.
Now that you have been well briefed on the fundamentals for writing a great nonprofit press release, it’s time to actually start crafting one.
Our example of an NGO press release and free template can help guide you through this process.
When you are ready to distribute your press release, feel free to get creative in how you pitch it, and make sure to use a quality media database to reach the right audience and capture attention.
💸 To help you craft press releases and pitch the media effectively, Prowly has a special offer for NGOs.