As a small nonprofit, you’re faced with ethical decisions about communications every day, often without the resources available to larger organizations. Any time you communicate with a donor or supporter, you are shaping your organization’s reputation. Every mailing, every email, and every Facebook post is you in the eyes of supporters. This presents you, the small nonprofit communicator wearing many hats, with a tremendous opportunity, but also with great risk.

Communicating ethically is critical to gaining and maintaining the support you need to further your cause. This means keeping everything you say and write truthful, accurate, and fair, while facilitating respect and mutual understanding. For small nonprofits, this often means addressing both sides of an issue with facts.

Sound overwhelming? Not with a little help. In “Getting Comfortable with Spin“, the Nonprofit Communications Blog by Kivi Leroux Miller provides a quick checklist for making sure your communications are staying within ethical guidelines: avoid exaggeration, concede unfavorable facts, and pay attention to your own gut reaction to your message.

Next post, we’ll talk about whether communication can be ethical and still be effective.