Posted in Tips & Resources on 11:07 am
You think about your organization’s mission all the time, but the people you’re trying to engage don’t. Here’s how to get their attention.
Your non profit or foundation is focused on fixing a problem and making the world better. Whether it’s homelessness, STEM education or equal rights, chances are you’re very passionate (some might say slightly obsessed) about the issue and think about it all the time.
So how do you effectively connect with people who also care about your mission but don’t live and breathe it all the time like you do? By sharing content that’s interesting to them first and then inspiring them to take actions like donating and volunteering.
To do this, step outside your mission and programs for a minute and think about the universe your organization operates in. Ask yourself – what topics are relevant and related to our mission and also to your supporter’s daily lives?
Let’s take a food bank for example. Your mission is to end hunger in your community. In the office you talk about about food insecurity, farm subsidies, nutrition, and food stamps. Now let’s think about your potential donors and volunteers. Although they care a great deal about hungry people in their neighborhood chances are they’re thinking more about how they can get their own kids fed and off to soccer practice while not skipping out of work too early. So when they glance down at their smartphone in line at the take out counter and see a a Facebook post by your organization which one is going to get their attention:
1. Did you know that 38% of families in our community are food insecure and that obesity on the rise in our country is directly related to poor nutrition?
2. Need a quick and healthy snack you can take on the go? Here’s our volunteer Jane’s recipe for the tastiest (and easiest to make) granola bars you’ve ever had.
Let’s be clear – we’re not saying that your nonprofit or foundation should never talk about hard issues with your supporters. But you’ve got to have a healthy mix of content they find interesting and that speaks to them along with the messages you’re trying to share. Think of your conversations with them as a progression, like this:
It takes discipline to talk about your issue in a way that engages and brings in busy people who aren’t thinking about it as much as you do. We’ve used this handy little worksheet in trainings to help organizations think through the issues related to their mission. Download it and list the topics and issues that are related to your work. Once you get a sense of where your organization’s mission and your supporters’ lives intersect then you’ll start creating content that speaks to that sweet spot and brings them along.