The basis of They Ask You Answer is to create consumer trust in order to maximise profits. But, as the name suggests, not-for-profits are not primarily interested in making money. So can they, and if so how, apply TAYA to their organisation and marketing strategy? Can content marketing for not-for-profits work with this approach?

TAYA and Not-for-profits – is it possible?

The answer is a definitive yes. After all, even though not-for-profits are not in it for the profit, they are as much as anyone looking to foster and increase trust with their target audiences. However, we need to tweak TAYA a little bit and look at it from a different perspective in order to make it work. It is necessary to keep in mind that, even though non-profits are not focused on profit-making, they still exist within a capitalist society and have to survive within it, whether it’s through grant funding, donations or selling products in order to raise money for their cause. So how can we apply TAYA when we find ourselves in that middle ground – needing money and support and wanting to spread awareness for our cause but not being in it for profit?

The very TAYA basic principles remain the same when talking about content marketing for not-for-profits: write down all questions people interested in your organisation have ever asked you and answer them truthfully. We think that categorising these questions, however, will look slightly different. Let’s have a look at the big 5 and one additional category for content marketing for not-for-profits.


Pricing & costs might not be the focus of your TAYA strategy and you might feel hesitant to talk about your organisation’s finances, but it’s worth noting what aspects in this category might be of interest to your audience. You might be selling services and products whose prices could be addressed. You might be relying heavily on donations or grant funding and your audience might be keen to know how exactly you are spending their donations or what the funding process entails. Don’t be shy in talking about these, but make sure to always connect them to your cause. Emphasise exactly why you need that money and how it will make a difference in the world.


When it comes to problems to address, you as a not-for-profit might have more to talk about. Not necessarily because you are more flawed than for-profit organisations, but because your target audiences are likely more diverse and, thus, might raise a bigger variety of potential problems. A prospective volunteer might want to know how you hope to integrate them into your organisation if their work is to be long-distance, a customer of your recycled technology might inquire why they should trust that your repairs are as safe as professional ones, and a potential service user might wonder why they should trust you and your befriending volunteers with their mental health. Imagine what the biggest sceptic would challenge you about your organisation and engage with those questions. Ideally, you can turn these challenges into advantages and show why your organisation is the best to deal with these problems.


Comparisons look slightly different for not-for-profits. The sector shows a much higher interest in collaboration with other not-for-profits, so comparing yourself to similar organisations could shine an unwelcome negative light on those partners. However, comparisons are still possible. Firstly, as a not-for-profit you are likely aiming to make a change and have an impact on the status quo. Explaining the status quo and how your approach is better, is a great start. Equally, comparing yourself with other organisations can work if it is well-meaning.

Let’s assume you are a mental health charity offering one-to-one counselling. Other charities might also provide mental health support but with greater emphasis on group activities or befriending. You could lay out these different offers and explain which services are best for whom. This will foster your relationships with other organisations while positioning yourself as an expert and providing genuine value for someone who is not sure where to turn.

Reviews & Best in Class

Reviews and Best in Class follow in the same spirit – collaboration counts for more than leaving others in the lurch. It might appear odd to recommend other organisations instead of talking about how great you are, but the value of positioning yourself as an expert and building trust is immense. Whom do you trust more – the person who says they are the best in everything or the person who makes genuine judgements about what they are good in and what others might be doing better? Very likely the latter.

Equally, reviews and best-in-class do not have to focus on organisations that do exactly what you do. Find those that are on the periphery of what you do – somewhat related but not exactly the same. Have a look at software or tools that you use – do you have some expertise in the different available options and can talk a bit about which is best?


This sixth category must be your biggest focus in your content marketing strategy. It is what differentiates you from all for-profits and makes you unique: your cause and the impact you are aiming for. This is the reason for why you as an organisation exist and why you do what you. It’s been shown that “87% of people want meaningful interactions with brands.” and it’s easy to imagine that this number is even bigger for interactions with not-for-profit. After all, meaning and impact is not-for-profits’ main goal. So dig deep into that cause and answer all questions that your target audience might have. A Community Interest Company who does this well is The Blurt Foundation who post weekly blog posts and pieces of content surrounding their cause of increasing awareness and understanding of depression.

How about for-profits?

In fact, there is a case to be made for for-profit organisations also considering their values and causes. Even though their main goal is to make a profit, more and more consider themselves as following certain values and being socially and environmentally conscious. Whereas talking about your cause might not massively impact your SEO, it is likely to increase your audiences’ trust in you, whether it’s on social media or offline marketing. Including values in your marketing as a for-profit and showing your customers what you stand for, will raise your profile and give your customers something to connect to.

When customers feel connected to brands, more than half of consumers (57%) will increase their spending with that brand and 76% will buy from them over a competitor.

If you stick to these 6 categories within your content marketing for not-for-profits, you are on track for a heap of great content. You will continuously expand your online resources, providing valuable content to prospective volunteers, donors & service users and position yourself and your organisation as an expert in your field.