You’re on staff at an organization and you’re overworked. That is almost ALWAYS the case in the nonprofit world.
There’s never enough time in the day to achieve all that needs to be done. Why? Because you’re trying to make a HUGE difference in the world and/or someone’s life. Whether it’s ending human trafficking, tackling poverty, or bringing awareness to mental health, you’re doing a big job. A job that can’t be completed in a day, a week, or maybe even a lifetime.
But what if we told you there are people out there eager and waiting to help? With the right communication and training, the people you already know – your rockstar supporters – can become your biggest champions.
So many leaders in the nonprofit space focus on the new. New money, new people believing in their cause, new people getting on their bus. But what if the people you already know can help you the most? Even if those people have “only” volunteered or give “just” $5 each month? Chances are, these people are extremely devoted to the work you are doing. They are sacrificing their time and resources because they care. They want to be invested in the work you are doing in any way possible.
Now, how can you lean on these VIPs?
- Cultivate. First things first – build relationships. Time and time again we talk to supporters who want more from the organizations they are invested in. Whether that’s getting together for a cup of coffee or sending personal note, they want to stay updated with the work they’ve invested their time in. They want to get to know the hearts behind the cause. This may take some time at first, but building these relationships means your supporters are more likely to be there for you when you need them most.
- Activate. Once you really know the people who are supporting your mission, you can then lean on them to be your champion. But don’t just ask them to give money or volunteer at your next event. Invite them to share your mission with people they know and encourage them to get creative with it! Of course, social sharing is an easy one, but why not ask them if they’re willing to create an online fundraiser for you? Or have a garage sale and donate the proceeds? Or make and sell art? All people have a skill and creative ideas to support, so talk to them about it. Make it interactive and make them feel like they’re involved on a much deeper level than just writing you a check. Again, they’re invested already because they care. And if you create an engaging and fun experience for them, they’re going to want to share your mission from the rooftops.
- Thank and keep engaged. This may be the most important one. You never want your supporters to leave feeling unappreciated. Say thank you as much as you can, write a thank you note, give a gift card, give them some swag, take them out for coffee, do anything you can to let them know you appreciate them. This also includes taking note of their interests and skills and keep them engaged doing things they love. When they’re using their skills to make a difference, they are more likely to positively associate the experience and keep coming back for more.
We know all of this requires some work and attention you may feel you don’t have time for. But when you do it, and do it right, it could double or even triple your capacity and efforts. Now that, nonprofit super stars, is priceless.
Want to learn more about how Donaide can help you engage with your people? Learn more!