How a Nonprofit Communications Strategy Builds Donor Loyalty and Nonprofit Growth
Would you believe us if we said 100% of donor, staff, and volunteer loyalty and nonprofit growth stems from communication?
So having a nonprofit communications strategy is essential, right?
Put it this way – when have you donated to an organization just because there was a button that said: “donate now.”
We’re thinking the chances are slim! Because you want to know
- Who are you donating to?
- What is their mission?
- Do you resonate with it?
- Where does your money go?
- And so much more!
That’s only natural! But it’s the same for your donors, staff, volunteers, board members, and even the general public.
We’re dissecting how a nonprofit communications plan builds donor loyalty and nonprofit growth!
What is Nonprofit Communications?
There are no tricks to it! Nonprofit communications is pretty much exactly what it sounds like.
It’s the communication tactics and methods your organization uses to interact with your donors, staff, volunteers, board members, and the general public.
It includes any type of communication – whether it’s a thank you note for contributing! Or it’s a direct mailer you send out.
Why is a Nonprofit Communications Strategy Important for Your Organization?
Just like properly communicating is important for a relationship with your significant other, your nonprofit needs to communicate well with those who interact with it.
It’s the difference between receiving monetary donations to be spread across multiple programs because your nonprofit asked for it…
And receiving supplies that you can’t use because your nonprofit wasn’t totally clear on what it needed.
Coming up with a nonprofit communications strategy makes sure that your nonprofit is transparent. Your communication plan can involve a strategy for your nonprofit team members and volunteers to effectively get projects completed.
It can involve how your nonprofit shows up in its marketing channels. It can include the precise messaging your organization wants all of its content to revolve around.
How Does Having a Nonprofit Communication Plan Benefit Your Organization?
1. It Eliminates Departmental Silos
When you prioritize internal communication for your nonprofit as a part of your overall strategy, you give your organization guidelines to follow. And when they can refer to those guidelines for communicating effectively, you reduce the risk of departmental silos.
With the right strategy in place, your staff, volunteers, and even board members know how, when, and where to keep each other in the loop.
2. It Creates More Transparency which Builds Loyalty
When you have a strategy in place on what to communicate to your staff and your supporters, you immediately create more transparency.
People want to have information about your organization. They want to know where their money is going, and how their funds are helping your mission.
When they know what to expect, that builds loyalty. And the loyalty factor is what helps drive recurring donations!
3. It Engages Your Staff, Volunteers, and Donors
Through effective nonprofit communications, which uses techniques like storytelling, you’re able to reel staff, volunteers, and donors into your cause. You can envelop them in the value behind what you’re doing! And you can show them how they’re a part of doing something for the greater good.
If you’re interested in more about ethical storytelling, check out this training at CharityHowTo!
What Does Nonprofit Communications Include:
Dare we say – everyone! Everyone who interacts with your nonprofit organization in some way, to be clear.
But it can be categorized into two groups – external and internal communications for nonprofits.
External Communications for Nonprofits:
This encompasses all of the materials you send out to anyone who is not working within your organization.
And it can include:
1. Nonprofit Brand Strategy Communication
Your nonprofit brand strategy involves the origin of your organization. The mission, values, and story behind the organization are included within external communications.
These are foundational elements that you share with those who support your cause. More than likely, parts of these are added into nonprofit copywriting.
2. Donor and Fundraising Communication
Whether you talk through email, on social media, or even direct mailing, all of it comprises donor communications. Down to your thank you emails, effectively communicating with your donors and through your fundraising campaigns builds relationships. That’s one of the biggest motivators for recurring giving, too!
If you’re interested in more about donor communication to build relationships, click here!
3. Marketing Communication
All of your marketing materials, whether they’re Instagram posts or email newsletters, pass through your nonprofit communications plan. A solid nonprofit marketing strategy can often be built using your communication plan as a reference.
Internal Communications for Nonprofits:
Internal communications for nonprofits is just as important as external. It’s how your organization can boost morale, excitement, and engagement among team members. It’s how you build trust between board members and staff members.
Here are the primary groups of people involved in internal communications:
Many nonprofits need volunteers to continue growing their organization and making an impact.
But communicating with them, and keeping them in the loop, is one of the best ways to keep them coming back again and again.
They want to know they’re not being taken advantage of. And they need to know when the organization needs help! Otherwise, how do they know to sign up?
Have a plan on how, when, and where to share information about upcoming events and volunteer shifts. And always thank them for their time and effort!
2. Staff Members
Staff members need to speak to each other daily to do their jobs properly. They need to communicate inter-departmentally to make sure all tasks are completed for the good of the organization.
Create a strategy that tells them when they need to follow up with other staff members. And let them know the preferred method to do that! Is it through email? A phone call? An instant messaging app?
3. Board Members
A nonprofit’s board members create high-level strategies for the goals and the mission of the organization. And often, the entire nonprofit rides on the decisions they make. So communicating with each other is crucial.
But allowing for transparency between an organization’s board members and its staff and volunteers is an excellent way to build loyalty among the entire team!
Creating a nonprofit communications strategy is an excellent way to improve your organization overall! It’s the foundation of success.
Ready to create one for your organization? Our sister site, CharityHowTo, has a training video on how to map one out!