5 Ways to Raise Awareness For Your Nonprofit
October 13, 2016 Lynette Garet Marketing 0 Comment
Retailers know that if customers can’t see it, they won’t buy it. Similarly, nonprofits without an audience don’t recruit supporters and volunteers, don’t find donors or win grants. Ultimately, invisible nonprofits don’t benefit anyone because no one knows what they do.
Building awareness for your nonprofit simply means building brand recognition. You can be fancy and call it advertising or marketing, but the simple fact is you have to get the word out and you have to do it in a strategic manner. In other words, you have to have a plan. Key steps include:
Know your supporters
Who, among your supporters, is most passionate about your mission? Who is reliable, always meeting or exceeding your request to lobby decision makers?
Identify and refine your target audience
Who are the decision makers, policy makers and people with the connections to achieve your goals? You might segment your audience by different criteria: who has deep pockets, is the most vocal, etc.
Plan your storyboards
What is your message, how will you tell your story? Also called a messaging arc, your plan details the topical sequence of communication, tailored for each audience segment.
Gather your information
Data holds the answer to who is listening to you and how they found out about your nonprofit. Tracking and analyzing that information will inform decisions about which platforms and resources are most effective.
Choose your communication channels
Do social media or direct mail, PSAs or PR, best serve you? Which method does your audience prefer or has made the most impact?
Now that you have a plan to raise awareness, how are you going to work your plan and toward what goal? Do you have a focal activity for all this awareness—a silent auction, sports competition, fair or panel discussion in aid of your cause?
People like to enjoy themselves, even while they are working to bring world peace, create food security or save stray dogs. Make it fun, maybe even silly and encourage local leaders to take part—will the mayor or high school principal take a turn in the dunk tank to raise money for a crossing guard at the local elementary school? Farmers markets and community supported agriculture programs promote food security and sustainable food production practices, at the same time participants are visiting with friends and neighbors.
If people are talking about you and your programs, you are generating awareness for your mission. Awareness translates to advocacy, support and fundraising. It translates to success.