Do you yearn for increased awareness of your nonprofit in your community? Is your agency one of your community’s best-kept secrets among younger donors? Are enough people engaged in your cause?
If you’re like most executive directors, you crave increased community visibility and support. And your solution is to direct staff or a consultant to generate press releases, social media posts, and advertisements that can be promoted in the media. After all, the media is the most effective way to let people know about all the good your organization does, right?
The most effective way to increase community visibility is to centralize your nonprofit’s message. You must create one unified, consistent message. By doing so, the public will know who your nonprofit is, what it stands for, and rally to support your mission when you are publicly recognized. And you will see higher levels of financial support when you ask for donations.
Increasing Community Support
As I state in my latest book The Sustainable High ROI Fundraising System:
“To rise above the noise and be noticed in the fray, work on creating a consistent brand, articulating a unique marketing position, getting everyone in your organization to iterate one message, and repeating your message extensively among your target groups…Your nonprofit’s brand, roughly speaking, is its reputation for how well it lives up to its promises. A strong brand means your nonprofit is widely known to make a positive impact on the issues it tackles. In other words, your agency demonstrates a strong commitment to its mission.
Building your brand starts with communicating it. And your nonprofit’s brand is conveyed through every symbol, word, and action associated with the organization. That includes internal and external communications and materials. You want your internal people all to be on the same page to impart the same distinctive message to the public. And you want to share a singular, powerful message to your external audiences so they know exactly who your nonprofit is and there is no confusion over what it stands for. That means your logo, font, website, photography, public speeches, social media posts, brochures, reports, volunteer trainings, employee manuals—everything you do and say—is planned, coordinated, and embedded with the same language, concepts, and symbols. It also means choosing and designing fundraising activities that promote the message you are trying to communicate. All these components combined make a strong brand.”
“[Train] all your core constituencies to repeat the same message. Which means your unique messaging needs to be incorporated into your organizational culture. Which means it is in your board recruitment materials, board agenda, promotional materials, speeches, press releases, fundraising campaigns, events, staff training manuals, volunteer training materials, and any other tool you use to communicate about your nonprofit, internally and externally. Your goal is to provide your bullseye groups with the messages they need to spread the word out to the next circle. And then the circle after that. It’s a ripple effect. Community awareness of your nonprofit increases as each circle expands. And, since you are coming from their perspectives using their words based on their values, potential community supporters will understand what you’re trying to say. Which, in turn, results in a greater likelihood they will respond.
So, make sure your messaging is consistent in your strategic plan, marketing plan, communications plan, and case for support. Especially since these documents lay the basis for your external communications. Also, make sure the language you use to describe your nonprofits is included in your staff and volunteer training manuals.”
My book The Sustainable High ROI Fundraising System gives you much more information about how you can generate community support, financially and otherwise. You can be the first to get your copy by clicking here.