Nonprofit leaders, much like their for-profit peers, need to have access to relevant information about their target audience.  Whether the data is for a corporation seeking to engage with its niche market to sell goods or services or it is for a nonprofit seeking to cultivate potential volunteers and donors, the intent and strategy for gathering and analyzing data are pretty much the same.

As a nonprofit, how do you build a meaningful connection with your audience?

There are basically three common sense steps that all nonprofits need to utilize to develop the powerful relationships that are essential to their long term success:

  1. Identify who is most likely to embrace the organization’s mission and vision. This is the first necessary step to building a high performing board, a strong team of volunteers, and consistent, loyal donors. Start with a core group of followers; encourage them to invite their friends and others sympathetic to the cause to attend a meeting with the nonprofit leaders and staff to learn more about the group and its cause. A word-of-mouth suggestion offered from a trusted friend is a powerful tool for attracting like-minded supporters. 
  2. Ask a lot of questions. Hosting a focus group provides an efficient way of finding out what matters most for existing and potential volunteers and donors. Instead of assuming you know what is essential to them, it can be helpful to simply pose key questions. In this way you can determine what your audience values, what actions you can take to have the most impact on them, and what you need to do over time to keep them actively inspired and involved.
  3. Be appreciative. When seeking to build long lasting, meaningful relationships with donors and volunteers for your nonprofit, you need to know who will be most affected by your mission, and what they care about. But you also need to let them know how sincerely appreciative you are of their support – both time and money – and their willingness to help you achieve your goals. This sounds like an easy, ‘no brainer’ idea – and yet it is frequently overlooked.   No donor or volunteer can ever be taken for granted. Frequent, genuine expressions of gratitude must become standard behavior. This can be done using a mix of tactics including phone, email, text, hand written notes, verbal acknowledgement at events and mentions on the website, on Facebook and Instagram, or through other marketing platforms and materials. 

When developing connections that you can rely on in the short and long term, you will need to be consistent, strategic, and authentic in your approach. This means that from that first interaction throughout all of the subsequent interactions, you will need to demonstrate the organization’s role and the measurable, critical impact it has on the community it serves.

Do not lose sight of the importance of your behavior and of your ability to know your audience, to understand what they care about and what they need from you, to deliver on the promises you make to them, and to show your deep appreciation for their support.          

Center for Non-Profits and SobelCo Team Up!

On July 24, SobelCo will host a lunch webinar on behalf of the Center for Non-Profits featuring Sally Glick. Sally is a Principal of the Firm and she is a member of the Board of Trustees for the center as well as sitting on their executive committee and their communications committee. The topic, “Effective and Efficient Board Meetings” will review some of the next – and most practical practices for developing strong boards and ensuring effective and efficient board meetings. 

Identifying and recruiting top quality is the first step, while shaping the board members into a cohesive group that work together to achieve the organization’s mission by leveraging their diversity of skills and experiences in a strategic manner is step two.

This is an important conversation for all staff and volunteer board members as it addresses one of the key obstacles faced by nonprofits of all sizes!  

To register, please visit the registration page on the Center for Nonprofit website

Join us for lunch and networking or access remotely at your convenience.