Non Profits: How to Stay Relevant to Your Supporters

volunteer screening, background check, volunteer credit checkWhen budgets are still cut to the bone, and donor dollars are more precious than ever, how can non profit managers produce a good return for their marketing efforts? Whether you use social marketing, email marketing or direct mail marketing, the first thing to remember is that your mission and message must be relevant to your audience.

Don’t assume that the same message delivered the same way will always work for your audience. For one thing, it is changing: supporters will shed their loyalty to a non profit organization (NPO) quickly under the influence of others. Consumers today want to know they’re part of something bigger before committing to parting with their money. That can mean checking the online reviews of a hotel before making a reservation, or supporting a charity because all their Facebook friends are. If other people approve of something, they’re more likely to make a commitment.

Relevance is providing consistent messaging that strikes a chord with the reader. It’s about delivering a message in a pre-approved manner. It’s about being where your supporters are.

Relevance means knowing what your supporters need and developing a message that addresses those needs:

  • Supporter #1 needs to feel like they’re making a difference in their community. Your job is to provide the true stories of how your organization is doing it.
  • Supporter # 2 needs to know that when they donating money to your nonprofit, most of the dollars go to programs, not overhead. A simple statement on your website, mailer or email message will fill the need.
  • Supporter #3 is unable to give money, but would love to volunteer—you should meet that need with information that welcomes them to give their time to your NPO.
  • Supporter #4 needs to be able to trust your organization. Provide facts that communicate longevity, program success, awards and honors won, and real accomplishments.
  • Supporter #5 needs authenticity. If times are dire at your NPO, say so. Don’t make things sound rosy one month, and horrible the next. Consistent, honest communication will go a long way to building trust.

When your supporters are taking more time than ever to decide how to spend their charity dollars, remember that remaining relevant is one of the most important things you can do.

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