Nonprofit Publishing And Its New Secret Weapon

on Content Trends

If there’s one industry that you wouldn't expect to see at the bleeding edge of digital publishing, it would be the nonprofit sector.

Turns out, this is far from the case.

In the last few years we’ve seen a trend of nonprofit, volunteer and charity organizations producing gorgeous content online that has scaled to full-fledged publications like NRDC’s onEarth and WWF’s World Wildlife Magazine, which is also a print magazine.

Like all good content marketing, the large nonprofits’ content strategies are focusing on what the consumer wants to share rather than what he or she should share.

The Meaningful Content Fund distributes top-notch, oft overlooked content from the corners of the Internet.

This is a win-win for an industry not known for lavish marketing budgets, since content marketing tends to be a cost-effective tactic for gaining trust and building relationships.

One organization making sure that the new world of nonprofit editorial is finding the audience it deserves is the Meaningful Content Fund.

Launched in January 2014, MCF is native ad company Sharethrough’s initiative to distribute top-notch, oft overlooked content from the corners of the Internet.

Using its native ad buying platform, Sharethrough awards grants to content that matters, like “Are ‘Womenomics’ Working In Japan?” and “Protecting Cultural Heritage After The Nepal Quake.”

These articles and many more receive a grant that distributes the content as a sponsored placement in the feeds of top-tier publishers, including Time Inc., Forbes and Men’s Health.

How does Sharethrough determine meaningful content? There are four key pillars that help guide the selection process:

1. Connection: tell a story in a way that enables people to connect about a subject that matters to them.
2. Original Thought: Introduce new ideas or points of view.
3. Advancement: Demonstrate new uses of media and help mediums evolve.
4. Depth of Engagement: Provoke deeper engagement and reflection on a subject.

It’s easy to see that these pillars are more than met with the stories that nonprofit publications are sharing.

You can find all grant recipients at, but we’ve highlighted a few for you here.


Green Peace - Click Clean Report

The Internet and technology are inescapably linked to our everyday lives but sometimes we forget about energy and environmental costs of our online dependence. Through survey sampling and data analysis, Greenpeace created the Click Clean Report, which analyzes top tech companies and rates them on their commitment to renewable energy and preservation (it even comes with a chrome extension).


WWF Exposure Series - Malaysia

WWF’s Exposure series is comprised of beautiful photo essays of developed and rural countries all over the world. Within each photo essay lies details of everyday life, environmental preservation tactics, and a rich media experience that vividly details a very different lifestyle.


NRDC onEarth - Help Bats. Save The Environment. Drink Mezcal

The only thing more effective than a organization creating meaningful content is to commit to an entire publication. Enter onEarth, the digital magazine from the Natural Resources Defense Council that regularly produces well-written, digestible content on the key global environmental issues that the NRDC tackles every day on a legislative basis.

Have something meaningful to say or show? Nominate your story for a distribution grant from the Meaningful Content Fund.