Technology has impacted nonprofit branding

In the age of social media, there is now a wide range of assorted communication platforms readily available to enhance the branding and marketing communications for large and small nonprofits alike. The ability to develop robust communities of followers and fans is improved when organizations regularly send tweets, post on Facebook, exchange images on Instagram, or email news and l updates. Technology has enabled nonprofits to reach hundreds, if not thousands, of potential donors, volunteers, and even employees, quickly and at very low cost – an advantage that cannot be replicated with most other marketing initiatives. 

But while social media offers essential tools for any nonprofit organization to leverage, do not overlook the power of relationships.

Having the capacity to create strong relationships is always effective

It is human nature for people to want to connect with people they like and trust. But building that intense level of trust, confidence, and comfort is hard work. A significant investment of time and energy must be devoted to cultivating friends, to identifying inspiring people, to getting person and to sharing experiences.

But it is worth the effort.  In an article written by Paul Zak entitled, “How Our Brains Decide When to Trust,” he references research regarding a hypothesis on the trust factor. The hypothesis, which claimed that consumer behavior could be predicted based on their level of trust, turned out to be accurate! It is important for nonprofits that findings showed that “Trust was contagious and directly increased how much shoppers spent.”  The fact is that the more trusted you are, the more connected you will be to your audience.

Establishing mutual respect is one key to developing meaningful, trusting relationships. This requires being authentic and transparent, participating in important conversations, listening thoughtfully, and demonstrating sincere interest in each other. Once the relationship has begun, being consistent and vigilant is the next step to ensuring its sustainability.

Influencer marketing is the final result

Developing deep relationships gives your nonprofit a powerful alternative approach to traditional branding and marketing tactics. The relationships you have formed with colleagues, volunteers, friends, supporters, and staff make them the perfect ambassadors for you – perhaps making them even more effective than your next tweet! In fact the people who enjoy a relationship with you, who know and trust you, are the ones who are best at getting the word out and influencing others.  Their passion and enthusiasm contributes immensely to building your brand awareness and their loyalty encourages others to learn about the organization’s mission and impact. The picture they paint and the story they tell fuels interest in those they meet.  As your network of relationships grows, so does your brand. Friends tell friends and momentum builds with each new link in the chain.

Enjoy the benefits of technology-backed social media but never forget the power of your relationships to spread the word!