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How to Build an Efficient Social Media Calendar for Your Nonprofit (+ Free Template)


There is a lot of work that goes into the art of creating a great nonprofit social media strategy. Notably, there are a ton of benefits to posting on a schedule. In order to help you get organized and save time, constructing a social media calendar is essential. 

Pre-planning your posts can not only help you ensure they convey what you need them to, it can take the stress out of posting. When you pre-plan your posts, you can pre-program them to be posted to your social media platform at certain times, which helps to condense and simplify the process. Here are some of our best tips on building the most effective and clear-cut social media calendar possible!

Let’s go!

Download our content calendar template today!


What Is a Social Media Calendar?

A social media calendar is a document used to record the posts you will make on each platform in advance. Pre-planning your posts is high on the list of social media nonprofits best practices. The most popular format is a spreadsheet, preferably made online, since they are easy to edit, share, and update as often as you need to. 

social-media-calendar-template-nonprofits-what-isSimon is excited to get his nonprofit's social media scheduled!

Social media calendars, most significantly, help you reach your goals - your revenue goals, your supporter engagement goals, and more. They impel your marketing team toward consistency, timeliness, and even a higher vision. They help you communicate effectively with your supporters across platforms by ensuring you make consistent posts that are of a high quality, with a specific intention in mind - to bring awareness to your cause, to capture the attention of interested parties, or perhaps to let your followers know you appreciate them. In essence, social media calendars ensure your nonprofit’s purpose is brought to life, in a way that shows your supporters how valuable your work is to the betterment of the world. 

By planning your social media campaigns in advance and plotting them on a calendar, you can do all of the above, and more. Your social media calendar can serve as an important synopsis of each event period, alongside which any corresponding details are carefully expounded upon. Your organization can benefit greatly from this consolidation of objectives.


Why Should Your Nonprofit Definitely Use a Social Media Calendar?

To put it simply, social media calendars save time, for all parties involved. With ample time to plan, write, validate and also have an idea of what direction your organization is going in, social media becomes more of a science than an art. When you have specific events or campaigns occurring throughout the year, devising the marketing posts leading up to them can be useful. A social media calendar allows you to visualize the months ahead, and plan out different actions for your followers. If you have video content or images to be shared at specific times, a calendar can ensure that they go out properly.

Whether your posts highlight nonprofit influencers’ interactions or specific fundraisers, social media calendars create a birds’ eye view of the ways you will connect with your audience over a period of time. This gives you a significant planning advantage: it allows you time to employ analytics tactics and plan your posts according to the results. For example, when you know what you are posting and when, you can have increased visibility on your charity’s ROI. You can ask yourself questions like: did you reach your goals? Why or why not? And more. 

Social media calendars also prove themselves to be very useful when you need to get approval for your content based on your nonprofit’s social media policy. They allow the person who must validate it to do so, and if they request revisions, you can handle them without worry that you will not have enough time to make corrections. Additionally, social media calendars can teach your team about anticipating demands for posts. When they have content ideas, they can add them to the queue instead of posting them in that instant. This ensures that you will have a steady flow of content when you need it, and that your posts will be arranged strategically to suit whatever your nonprofit’s current angle may be. 

Pro Tip: Leave some room for flexibility in your calendar for special events, unexpected good news, and more. This way you will be able to accommodate them without much difficulty.


What Should You Include in Your Social Media Calendar?

Social media calendars should not only ultimately save your organization time, they should make coming up with, and putting into motion, a coherent and effective social media strategy easy.  They should essentially streamline every pertinent element of your posts. For starters, you should have a specific method of identifying which platform your post will be made on, and which influencer, if any, will be involved. You may choose to color code your posts or label them by name based on which platform you intend to post them on. This goes for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and more. It is also a good idea to refer to any social media ambassadors for nonprofits you plan on involving in your posts ahead of time. 

social-media-calendar-template-nonprofits-what-to-includeEva is feeling great about creating her first social media calendar!

Next you may write a brief description of the content’s topic for each post. Summarize it as much as possible, but keep the important information concise and clear. Make sure the reader will have an adequate understanding of what the post will look like based on the description you provide.  

Place the CTA (call to action) in the calendar as well, which is a link to the page that you want people to visit after they see the post. This could be your donation page, an information page on your website, or a blog article. 

Leave a link to the image file for the post. This is especially important in a case in which the person who is preparing the calendar and the person who is creating the post are different. On most platforms, posts that include a picture do much better in terms of engagement. 

Include the date and time that the post should be published. If the post is a part of a specific marketing campaign, you may have a very specific time it should go out. If it is a volunteer request for a specific event, you have to leave enough time in advance for participants to respond. It is important to give supporters ample time to plan for an event, especially if your nonprofit builds up the suspense in the meantime; participants are then more likely to follow through. 

You essentially want to include any information that is imperative for the person who is creating the post to understand. If there is a great deal of communication between the person who creates the calendar and the person who manages your organization’s social media profiles (or if you only have one individual who does both), your needs may be less extensive, and paraphrasing is acceptable. If there are two different people on the project and they do not have the opportunity to communicate much, a guideline for the post may be necessary. Make sure your calendar is suited to the unique processes of your organization’s team. 


How You Can Use Springly’s Social Media Calendar Template

Springly’s nonprofit social media strategy template is a guide for specificity in your social media planning. It even includes tools for tracking metrics and analytics to help you determine what to post. It is not just a social media calendar, it is also a general content calendar. Not only can you plan your content creation, but you can plan your communication strategies alongside it. 

This creates a more efficient campaign, by way of having that extra chunk of organic reach. You do not have to use all of these features, however they are there if you want them. Springly presents a customizable template that can make your social media management a breeze. The less time you have to spend on it, the more time you have to serve your community. 

social-media-calendar-template-nonprofits-how-to-useEmily is loving our social media calendar template!

Our template contains:

  • A social media calendar

  • An editorial calendar, which is content you can place on your blog, on your website, or directly on your LinkedIn profile, for example

  • An email marketing calendar

  • A monthly overview of all of it 

                                   Download our content calendar template today!

If this all sounds like a lot to manage, do not worry! We have included some examples to show you how it works. To avoid gaps in your posting times on each platform, you may choose to use a service that will help you post on a variety of channels all from the same place. It is important to maintain posting frequency across a variety of platforms, and social media management software can help. 

Pro Tip: We highly recommend you assign the task of keeping your calendar up to date to one or two people, max. It is also important that they update the calendar regularly. Precise control over your calendar creates more consistency in your brand image. Define clear rules about who is in charge, and add their titles to your social media policy, just to make it all official. 


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