Yes, new tools such as crowdfunding have taught nonprofits how to convey great stories in order to pull donors' heartstrings and open their wallets and purses, but the conversation should not stop there. Now more than ever, savvy donors want to be reassured that their money is making a difference and reaching the intended constituents – so we must respond if we are going to be successful. So, how do non profit leaders and today’s organizations supplement storytelling? Here are three key factors nonprofits can include in their 2014 strategies:
1. Clarity and Transparency
Be honest with your supporters. Donors want to know not only your successes but also your failures. More importantly, people want to understand how your organization will learn from its mistakes and move forward. Keep donors updated about your activities and how it plans to improve operations. If your organization suffered from a communications media snafu, be direct with your donors. Inform them of the steps being implemented to prevent any future problems. There's no better way to promote trust than to encourage open dialogue with your donor community.
2. Stay Connected and Be Creative with Content
Thankfully, with today's technology, connecting with our constituents is much easier than even a decade ago. Whether it's by phone. iPad, or Google Hangout, meet donors on their playing fields. By using apps and text messaging, your organization can now have people donate money, set up volunteer time, or even volunteer virtually. Host volunteer interviews via Skype. Send reminders to volunteer groups with WhatsApp. Announce successes through Twitter and share videos of success and the impact of gifts on YouTube.
3. Be a Team Player and Look to Collaborate
Nonprofits should partner with one another to reach a variety of donors and maximize communications channels. Effective partnerships can promote a positive image to the community and can show camaraderie for multiple causes. Think about planning a community showcase , where community members can learn about different organizations in the local area. Donate a Facebook post to highlight the great work of another nonprofit. When organizations play nice, then outsiders will respect and value the nonprofit sector more. This can also serve as a way to engage a wider donor base as well as expose staff to new ideas and models for success.