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A Word of Advice to Nonprofits

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When I am speaking at events that are designed to help nonprofit organizations build their brands, tell their stories, and gain greater exposure for their mission and fundraising, I often observe anxiety growing in the audience as we begin to review all of the options available to them today.

Technology has evolved so rapidly, creating a seemingly endless list of new platforms that both small and large nonprofits have a challenge trying to prioritize all the tasks that they face daily.  This is further magnified when the nonprofit has a limited staff and a multitude of daily roles to juggle.   While technology is a very good thing, it can also be overwhelming. Deciding what to do – and more importantly – what NOT to do, is a daunting task for any nonprofit.    

It is my recommendation that every nonprofit hit the pause button before jumping into the marketing mix with both feet.

Instead of lamenting what they are not accomplishing, they can focus on what is getting done! Here is a list of practical questions that the board and staff can consider as they set the stage for using the most effective tools and efficient platforms for their own marketing communications:

  1. What is the organization’s goal for each social media concept?

  2. Have they ever asked their volunteers and donors what method of communication they prefer?

  3. Have they ever tracked which platform seems to drive the most traffic?

  4. Do they have a strategic plan for each communication vehicle?

  5. Do they use a mix of tactics?

  6. Is the information posted current – and if not, who can assist in ensuring fresh uploads    

Answering these five key questions can help the leadership of a nonprofit consider the possibilities offered by each tool. Whether it is Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube or other resources, each has its own unique dimension, builds a unique community of followers and expands the organization’s brand in a unique way.

Recognizing that there will never be enough time to harness the power of every social media outlet, it is critical that the nonprofit narrow the field, and then select the one, two or even three options that will be the most efficient and best use of their time and resources and that will move them closer to their anticipated results.