Curating Content from the Duluth Flooding

Producing enough content to satisfy the appetite of modern media consumers is an almost impossible task to accomplish for any single organization. Which is why we often hear the phrase “content curation” when it comes to supplying a large amount of videos, pictures, audio, and written content via the various online and social channels. Even for a news organization, a more complete story can be told when media captured and published by multiple sources is integrated into the overall story. That is exactly what Minnesota Public Radio is doing with the “historic” flooding that took place in Duluth, Minnesota (and surrounding parts) on Wednesday. To follow the collection of images from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. click here.

Minnesota Public Radio didn’t have a reporter on scene to capture this image of an escaped seal during the Duluth flooding, but thanks to a “content curation” approach, they were still able to share the image with their audience.

MPR is a great news organization, so it stands to reason they would be on top of stories like this, but the lesson can be applied to any nonprofit looking to tell their story (in other words, EVERY nonprofit). That lesson is, lean on your community and allow them to participate in the storytelling process. It’s one thing to have a contest asking for specific content. That can work when done thoughtfully, but an even better, more natural and authentic approach is to always be on the look out for content that helps convey your mission. In many cases, the person who originally posts the content might not realize their Instagram snapshot can be of benefit to the organization they support. It’s up to your social media manager to identify the content and package it for everyone to enjoy.

The benefits of content curation are many. For one thing, this approach allows you to share a lot more content, which is key in attracting more supporters online and keeping your current batch of supporters happy. Content curation also gives you content you never could have dreamed of capturing, regardless of how big your staff might be. The photo to the right of a seal that escaped from the Lake Superior Zoo is a perfect example of the opportunities content curation affords a nonprofit. This was an unexpected incident that took place on a quiet street in the early morning hours of a Wednesday – there’s no way MPR could have anticipated the incident and had a photographer there to capture the story. But, thanks to an aggressive presence on social media, MPR was able to grab the shot from a listener and post it to their blog. (Just a note …the seal is now home safe in the zoo.)

So what content opportunities are out there waiting to be discovered by your nonprofit’s content curator?

For more on how online and social media can boost fundraising, visit

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