How to Get User-Generated Content From Supporters

How to Get User-Generated Content From Supporters

Content Marketing has been increasingly at the top of mind for many marketing professionals, but how do you generate so much content? It isn’t easy, I’ll tell you that much! Luckily for nonprofit organizations out there, your donors, volunteers and supporters can all help you with this problem. How do you get this content from them? Fernando Labastida, a content strategist with Kimbia, has outlined some ideas on to help you get user generated content from your supporters.

Nonprofits must think about differentiating their content from the mass of generic content being generated. Writing one more blog post about how your cause is helping in so many wonderful ways is not going to cut it – well at least not like it did three years ago. Nonprofits have a great story to tell, but how can you stand out in a crowded field of generic content marketing? By tapping into that wellspring of stories each one of your supporters and beneficiaries have.

Though we all want to tap into the raw, emotional stories that can drive a fundraising campaign, help recruit volunteers and tell your unique story, you have to be well organized about how you generate and use content directly from your beneficiaries and supporters.

Fernando has identified three steps to help you ease your constituents into an escalating cascade of user-generated content. These steps are outlined below:

Have them create content for your content project

When you’re first trying to get your constituents, supporters and beneficiaries to share their personal experiences, you need to make it easy for them. One successful method is to organize your own content project, such as a video or an eBook, but have the core content come from your constituents. This gives you unique content and them the reward of helping without creating a lot of work for anybody.

Hold a competition with user content at it’s core

This is a fun one, and it’s a way to get lots of diversified, quirky and creative user-generated content. A perfect example of this type of user-generated content is the Movember movement.

The #Movember concept is simple. During the month of November, to raise awareness and funds for men’s cancer, teams of men (and women, the “Mo Sistas”) form around the world and compete against other teams in a friendly race to see who can raise the most money – and who can grow the most outrageous moustache.

The user-generated photos of moustaches are almost overwhelming. You can find them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr, Pinterest by simply searching ‘Movember’. Does this user-generated content work? Well, since it’s inception in 2004, Movember has raised $446 million in the United States. Not bad for a bunch of silly pictures of men with moustaches!

Create a platform for deep sharing

If you really want to tap into those deep human stories, you need access to your constituents’ stories – in their own words. That’s the holy grail of user-generated content, which makes it the hardest to get. You might have to start out with a safe place where people who feel vulnerable can share their stories within the confines of a defined community of like-minded members.


Content Marketing is becoming one of the most powerful ways for nonprofits to get the word out about their mission. Harnessing the stories and creativity of their constituents is the way to create epic content marketing. Depending on where you are in the process and what your current goals are, we have outlined different ways for you to collect this content.

Be sure to read Fernando’s tips along with more detailed examples, see his blog post over at


The Connected Cause is a place for experts in the nonprofit online space to share perspective, offer guidance and promote best practices for using today’s technology effectively. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive source of collaborative thought leadership for the nonprofit industry.

One comment

  1. Finding the time (and talent!) can be hard sometimes to keep posts fresh and get new perspectives – these are great ideas to get things moving again, and hopefully leap-frog into new areas to explore, all while engaging your constituency.

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