White Paper Marketing For Nonprofits [Examples Included]

White Paper Marketing is a powerful strategy that should not only be used by for-profit organizations. Check out how your Nonprofit can benefit.

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White papers are a popular and powerful tool for content marketers. They can be used to position your organization as a thought leader and to present useful and persuasive research and information. Why do Nonprofits use White Paper Marketing so little?

We’re going to dive deeper into this subject and make the case for implementing White Paper Marketing for your Nonprofit.

Let’s get into it.

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What is a white paper?

A white paper is an in-depth report or guide about a specific topic and offers solutions to the problems discussed. The goal is to educate readers as well as possible.

In digital marketing, it is a long-form piece of content, similar to an eBook. The difference between the two is that white papers tend to be more technical and in-depth. The facts and opinions expressed in white papers are often backed by original research or statistics that the publisher has aggregated from reliable sources. They often include charts, graphs, tables, and other ways of visualizing data.

The term “white papers” originated in England as government-issued documents. One famous example is the Churchill White Paper, commissioned by Winston Churchill in 1922.

White papers are no less editorial than other forms of content, but the depth of research lends them an authoritative tone. For this reason, they are good candidates for promoting thought leadership on a specific topic.

Why Nonprofits should start with White Paper Marketing?

In this day and age, more and more people want to do good. At the same time, people want to know that the money they donate will be spent well, AND there are quite some charities to choose from when donating.

Creating a great interactive white paper can help your nonprofit stand out and showcase that you’re a thought leader on the subject. You can showcase that you truly understand the issue you’re combating, have the right solution and showcase successes.

Best practices for Nonprofit White Paper Marketing

As a Nonprofit you’re in a unique position compared to for-profit organizations. You can showcase how much good you’re doing and provoke strong emotions.

Be sure to use that to your advantage.

Use a lot of imagery, but be mindful to not only share ‘doom scenarios’. Focus on the positive impact you’re having.  Here are some tips on selecting the right images as a nonprofit, here you can find free stock photos (your own images are always better) and here are tips on creating a Nonprofit Brand Book / Style Guide.

Throughout the white paper, be sure to tell a compelling story, showcase your thought leadership and be mindful of your branding.

Nonprofit White Paper Examples

Looking for inspiration? Here are a couple of Interactive Nonprofit White Paper Examples that showcase the tips mentioned above. Enjoy scrolling through them. You can see that the white papers are not created in a PDF format, but built with Foleon to make them a lot more interactive.

Check out Visme’s resource for even more white paper examples.

Nonprofit White Paper Examples MVO Nederland

How AI can help you Create great Nonprofit White Papers

As we´ve seen in the examples above, defining how you are going to showcase your white paper (PDF or Interactive format) is crucial for your white paper marketing strategy. Now, let’s have a look at how AI can help you create more and better white papers, faster.

Finding white paper ideas with an AI-Powered Content Idea Generator

head over to StoryLab.ai’s Content Idea Generator and play around to get some cool content ideas for your next white paper.

Here’s what that can look like. In this example, we’re a nonprofit and want to create a white paper about plastic pollution solutions. The input for the Content Idea Generator was:

“Top Plastic Pollution Solutions”

Here’s what the AI Tool generated on the first run:

create white paper nonprofits - content idea generator example

White paper idea examples we’ve received on the first run:

  • ‘7 Innovative Solutions to Reduce Plastic Pollution’This article can discuss seven creative solutions people and companies are using to reduce plastic pollution. It can include ideas such as beach clean-ups, biodegradable packaging, banning single-use plastics in cities, and investing in circular economy initiatives.
  • ‘The Dangers of Plastic Pollution: How Our Actions Impact the Environment’This article can discuss the long-term effects that our current plastic consumption habits are having on the environment. It can explain how plastic accumulates in landfills or oceans, breaks down into smaller particles that pollute our air and water supply, and affects sea life.
  • ‘3 Easy Changes You Can Make to Help Reduce Plastic Pollution’ This article can provide readers with three simple lifestyle changes they can make to reduce their own contribution to the plastic pollution problem. It may include tips on buying reusable bottles or bags instead of using disposable ones; avoiding products packaged in excess amounts of plastic; shopping at bulk stores; and more.

We don’t want to stop after having a short list of just three white paper ideas, so we can the Content Idea Tool a couple more times and here’s what we got:

  • ‘The Ultimate Guide to Plastic Pollution Solutions: How Individuals and Communities Can Make a Difference’ In this article, we can discuss the different ways individuals and communities can take action against plastic pollution. It can include tips on reducing single-use plastics, choosing more sustainable packaging options, investing in reusable products, advocating for policies that reduce waste production, properly disposing of existing plastic waste, and more.
  • ‘Plastic Pollution Prevention: Why Education is Key to Long-Term Solutions’ This article can focus on the importance of educating people about the effects of plastic pollution. It can discuss how members of communities need to understand the scale and impacts of this issue in order to develop effective long-term solutions.
  • ‘5 Inspiring Examples Of Plastic Waste Reduction Initiatives That Are Making an Impact’ This article will feature initiatives from around the world that are aiming to reduce or eliminate plastic waste from our planet. It will highlight stories about successful initiatives in cities around the world as well as inspiring examples from small businesses or NGOs seeking change.

With this list, we’re pretty confident we’ll be able to choose a nice topic and create an engaging digital white paper our audience will love.

We’ve picked the topic:

“3 Easy Changes You Can Make to Help Reduce Plastic Pollution”

Create Catchy White Paper Headlines with an AI Title Generator

Next up, let’s create a catchy title for our white paper. For this, we turn to the AI-Powered Title Generator. The title of your white paper is important to catch people’s attention wherever you promote your white paper. Be sure to take the time to create a great title and don’t just focus on your main headline. Every page of your white paper needs to entice people to read on. Make sure your sub-headlines are also inviting people to read more.

Let’s fire up the Title Generator. Our input was the topic we’ve just selected:

“Founders Story the journey of the founder”

Here’s what the Title Creator Generated for us on the first run:

create white paper nonprofits - title generator example

Title output examples the AI Tool generated for us:

  •  3 Simple Steps to Reduce Plastic Pollution Now
  • Reduce Your Carbon Footprint – 3 Quick Tips to Help You Go Plastic Free
  • Reduce Plastic Pollution: 3 Simple Changes You Can Make Now
  • Reduce Plastic Pollution: 3 Easy Changes to Make Now
  • Reduce Plastic Pollution: 3 Simple Changes That Make a Difference

Usually, we would run the AI title generator a couple more times to really get the creative juices flowing. For this example, we’ll just move on to creating introductions with the help of AI.

Create Great White Paper Intros with an AI Intro Generator

We got our idea, we got our main headline. Let’s create an Introduction for our white paper with the help of AI.

For this example, we chose the following example that we generated:

“Reduce Plastic Pollution: 3 Simple Changes That Make a Difference”

create white paper nonprofits - intro generator example

White paper intro examples AI Generated for us:

  •  When it comes to reducing plastic pollution, little changes make a huge difference. Every time you refuse a single-use water bottle or skip the plastic bag, it may feel like a drop in the ocean — but when millions of people participate, this small act can lead to significant environmental change. If we want to make an impact on global plastic pollution levels and accelerate our journey towards sustainability, each of us must take responsibility for our actions. Small efforts such as using reusable shopping bags add up to remarkable transformations over time. Here are three simple changes that will reduce your plastic use and help save the planet!
  • While many people know that buying and using more environmentally-friendly products is key for protecting our oceans from plastic waste, there are actually some other easy ways to reduce your personal contribution as well. Making even small lifestyle adjustments can really add up over time –– so here’s how making three minor changes can help cut down on plastic pollution. +Are you aware of just how much damage human activities cause by throwing away millions of tons of plastics every year? It’s not too late to reverse course: By combatting marine debris with conscious consumerism and smarter habits, everyone has the power to contribute positively toward saving the ecosystem in meaningful ways – starting today! In this blog post I’ll discuss 3 simple strategies you can use right now in order slow down or eliminate further destruction due to pointless single-use plastics

We can now choose to:

  • Re-run the intro generator;
  • Take one of the ideas we like, add our unique human touch, and perfect it.

You can use the intro generator for all your chapters and fill in the skeleton of your white paper in minutes instead of days.

In summary

I hope you now have an idea about the benefits of White Paper Marketing for Nonprofits and that the tips and examples inspire you to create a strategy around content marketing and white papers.

We strongly believe that his powerful strategy should not only be used by for-profit organizations.


What Is White Paper Marketing in the Context of Nonprofits?

White paper marketing for nonprofits involves creating informative, authoritative documents that highlight issues, solutions, or industry insights relevant to the nonprofit’s cause or mission, aimed at educating and engaging potential supporters and stakeholders.

Why Are White Papers Important for Nonprofit Organizations?

White papers are important for nonprofits as they establish expertise, provide valuable information to supporters and donors, and can be used as a tool for advocacy, fundraising, and building credibility in their field.

How Can Nonprofits Effectively Use White Papers?

Nonprofits can use white papers to present research findings, policy positions, or case studies. They are effective for fundraising, educating stakeholders, influencing public policy, and demonstrating thought leadership.

What Topics Should a Nonprofit Cover in a White Paper?

Topics for a nonprofit’s white paper should align with their mission and expertise, including industry trends, policy analysis, success stories, research findings, or solutions to specific societal issues.

What Makes a White Paper Effective in Nonprofit Marketing?

An effective white paper in nonprofit marketing is well-researched, clearly written, and addresses a specific issue or question. It should provide valuable insights and practical solutions, and be targeted to the organization’s key audiences.

How Can Nonprofits Distribute White Papers to Reach Their Audience?

Nonprofits can distribute white papers through their website, email newsletters, social media, at conferences, and through partnerships with other organizations or industry influencers to reach a wider audience.

What Role Does Storytelling Play in Nonprofit White Papers?

Storytelling in nonprofit white papers can make complex issues more relatable and understandable. Sharing real-life stories or case studies can illustrate the impact of the nonprofit’s work and make a stronger emotional connection with readers.

How Can Nonprofits Measure the Success of White Paper Marketing?

Success of white paper marketing can be measured through metrics such as downloads, shares, mentions in the media, engagement on social media, website traffic, and feedback from stakeholders and supporters.

What Are the Best Practices for Writing a Nonprofit White Paper?

Best practices include thorough research, a clear and concise writing style, a well-structured format, using persuasive and authoritative language, and including visuals like charts or infographics for greater impact.

Can White Papers Help Nonprofits in Grant Applications?

Yes, white papers can help in grant applications by providing detailed background information, demonstrating expertise, and supporting the case for funding with evidence and well-articulated arguments.

How Do White Papers Differ from Other Nonprofit Marketing Tools?

White papers are more in-depth and research-focused compared to other marketing tools like blogs or brochures. They provide a comprehensive analysis on specific topics, showcasing expertise and thought leadership.

What Is the Ideal Length for a Nonprofit White Paper?

The ideal length varies, but typically a nonprofit white paper should be thorough yet concise, usually ranging from 6 to 12 pages. This length allows for depth without overwhelming the reader.

How Can Nonprofits Collaborate with Experts on White Papers?

Collaborating with experts, such as industry professionals or academics, can enhance the credibility of a white paper. Nonprofits can invite contributions, interviews, or peer reviews from these experts.

What Role Does Data Play in Nonprofit White Papers?

Data plays a critical role in reinforcing the arguments and insights presented in a white paper. Using accurate and relevant data helps in building a compelling and trustworthy narrative.

How Can Nonprofits Promote White Papers on Social Media?

Promoting white papers on social media can involve sharing snippets, key findings, or graphics from the paper, and encouraging discussions around its content to engage a broader audience.

Should Nonprofits Use Technical Language in White Papers?

The use of technical language depends on the target audience. If the white paper is aimed at industry professionals, technical language can be appropriate, but for a general audience, it’s better to use clear and accessible language.

Can White Papers Aid in Nonprofit Advocacy Efforts?

Yes, white papers can significantly aid in advocacy by providing detailed evidence and arguments to support a nonprofit’s position or to influence public policy and opinion on specific issues.

How Often Should Nonprofits Publish White Papers?

The frequency of publishing white papers depends on the nonprofit’s capacity and the evolving nature of their field. Regular publication can establish the organization as a consistent source of authoritative information.

What Visual Elements Should Be Included in a Nonprofit White Paper?

Visual elements like charts, graphs, infographics, and images can enhance the readability and impact of a white paper, helping to illustrate key points and break up dense text.

How Can Nonprofits Ensure Their White Papers Are Accessible?

Ensuring accessibility involves making white papers available in various formats, including PDFs and web versions, and considering readability factors like font size, color contrast, and a clear, logical structure.

How Can Nonprofits Use White Papers in Email Marketing?

Nonprofits can use white papers in email marketing by sending them directly to their mailing list, providing a link to the white paper in newsletters, or using key insights from the paper to engage subscribers.

What Is the Best Way to Structure a Nonprofit White Paper?

The best structure for a nonprofit white paper typically includes an introduction, a clear statement of the problem or issue, an exploration of solutions, and a strong conclusion with a call to action.

Can White Papers Help Nonprofits Build Partnerships?

Yes, white papers can help nonprofits build partnerships by showcasing their expertise and value to potential partners, thereby facilitating collaborations and joint initiatives.

How Important Is SEO in Promoting Nonprofit White Papers Online?

SEO is important in promoting white papers online as it helps in increasing the visibility of the document on search engines, making it more accessible to a larger audience.

What Challenges Do Nonprofits Face in White Paper Marketing?

Challenges include limited resources for research and production, ensuring the content is engaging and accessible, and effectively distributing the white paper to reach the intended audience.

How Can Nonprofits Use White Papers to Influence Donor Decisions?

Nonprofits can use white papers to influence donor decisions by presenting compelling data and stories that demonstrate the impact and importance of their work, thereby encouraging donations and support.

What’s the Role of Calls to Action in Nonprofit White Papers?

Calls to action in nonprofit white papers are crucial as they guide the reader on what steps to take next, whether it’s donating, volunteering, sharing the white paper, or engaging with the nonprofit in other ways.

How Can Nonprofits Balance Academic Rigor with Readability in White Papers?

Balancing academic rigor with readability involves presenting research and data in a way that is thorough yet understandable to a general audience, using clear language, and explaining any technical terms used.

Can White Papers Facilitate Nonprofit Networking?

Yes, white papers can facilitate networking by providing a basis for discussions and collaborations with other organizations, industry experts, and professionals interested in the nonprofit’s area of work.

What Are the Costs Associated with Producing a Nonprofit White Paper?

Costs associated with producing a white paper can include research expenses, professional writing and editing services, graphic design, and costs for promoting and distributing the white paper.

Improve your Marketing with the Power of AI

See how you can start with AI Marketing and reach your goals faster than ever before. Check out the Tips, Strategies, AI Tools, Masterclass, Courses, and Community. Unleash the true potential of your brand with the help of AI.