Board Diversity Impacts ROI

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It’s hardFoliage as Shapes - IMG_0052 s.c to find an organization today that’s not focused on, or at least giving lip service to, diversity. But have you ever considered the cost to your organization of not having a diverse leadership team? When Catalyst first came out with their study about the ROI for investors of companies with more diverse boards, many were surprised. But the numbers were clear: Return on Equity, Return on Sales and Return on Invested Capital were all significantly higher (53%, 42% and 66% respectively) for companies with more women on their boards.

The same is true for nonprofit boards.  Boards lacking diversity can make poor financial decisions, such as investing the bulk of their endowment with an investment manager  “everyone knows.” Boards lacking diversity can miss big opportunities to reach new communities and new donors. They can miss out on creating new partnerships.

So how can you create a more diverse board?

First, let’s define diversity. When I meet with boards on this topic, everyone’s first instinct is to think ethnicity and gender. These are important. But just as vital to decision-making are having people of diverse ages, life experiences, socio-economic backgrounds, family structures, and more.

Range of Ages. The most common lack of diversity I see on boards is related to age. And the most common form of ageism I see is against younger people (which on boards tends to mean under- 35). Yet the views of the 18-35 set, and their facility with the internet and social media tools, makes them especially valuable on boards.

Varied Life Experiences. Another area where boards often lack diversity is in life experiences. That’s because so many people are recruited to boards by friends, business associates or college/grad school classmates. So if you have one corporate lawyer on your board, you’re likely to have two or more. That’s not to say anything against lawyers, but there is also diversity among types of legal expertise and it could benefit your board to have more than one kind. Life experiences also include living overseas, blended families, military families, LGBT, and religious background.

Personal Attributes. A third area for boards to focus on when attaining diversity is a mix of personal styles and personality attributes. Even if you’re board is every color of the rainbow, if every person on it is a forceful leader, you’re going to have trouble filling your committees. By the same token, if everyone is a quiet, behind-the-scenes type of operator, you’ll have trouble finding committee chairs every year. You need a mix of several personality types to make a board fully functional.

Varied Connections. Finally, board diversity requires diverse community connections. One of the most overlooked areas for recruiting board members is among the clergy. Rabbis, priests, and ministers tend to know a lot of people in their communities, as well as other organizations that are making a difference there. That makes them great “connectors” to have on your board, irrespective of whether your organization has a religious mission. Other great connectors are people who volunteer in communities in which your organization wants to reach. And also don’t overlook individuals who serve on national boards, where they make contacts all across the country.

Tapping diverse talents always leads to a stronger board. And a stronger board helps you avoid costly mistakes and deliver on your bottom line: the mission.

Amy DeLouise is a video producer/director and consultant who works primarily with nonprofits and their leadership teams.

Brain Chemical Connects Us to Human Stories

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When we watch cSigning a Checkharacters on the screen, why do they make us laugh or cry? And why does one story make us want to support a charity or social cause? It turns out compelling human stories trigger a chemical response in our brains. Neuroscientist Dr. Paul Zak has been studying the neurochemical oxytocin for years, and learned that humans have a chemical response similar to animals when we find another human trust-worthy: a spike in our oxytocin makes us feel connected to another human being. Even when watching the human on a screen, this response is triggered—what Dr. Zak calls the golden rule response: “if you treat me well, in most cases my brain will synthesize oxytocin and this will motivate me to treat you well in return.”

Most recently, Dr. Zak conducted a study with several short films from St. Jude’s Hospital. When viewers connected with the characters in a short film about a father whose young son is dying of cancer, they had an increase in cortisol and oxytocin. That chemical boost ran parallel to feelings of empathy with the characters, which was increased when there was a strong “narrative arc”—a powerful dramatic rise and climax to the real people story line.

This doesn’t come as a big surprise to those of us working in nonprofit direct response and impact story-telling. We know that to get donors to give and communities to care, we have to tell powerful stories. We know that viewers must connect emotionally with our characters, just as they would with characters in a fiction film. We do this through not just their words and images, but through lighting techniques, music scoring and the pacing of our edits. But building empathy isn’t enough. We have to create a dramatic arc that builds to a climax. We have to create suspense around some kind of obstacle that the characters must overcome, whether it is in their past or present. And our viewers have to relate to that obstacle, even if it is not precisely the same for them.

This is why pre-interviewing potential characters is so essential for documentary-style stories based on real people. Before they go on camera, we need to understand what will be compelling, what will not be relatable, and what will build suspense for our viewers.  And now it turns out that what we’re also doing is triggering those chemical responses in the brain that will make our subjects and their story connect to the brains of our viewers.  In the case of nonprofit storytelling, we need those chemical responses to be strong, because we are usually looking for a response that extends to well after the video ends: we want a viewer to get involved in a cause, donate money, write to their elected officials, or change some previous behavior (stop smoking, lose weight, etc). So it turns out that all these years I thought I was an English major-turned-filmmaker, it turns out that I’m in the neuroscience business: triggering a brain response that helps people act on the golden rule, and do great things for others and the world.

Amy DeLouise is a director and producer who tells real people stories to help viewers connect with causes and take action.

Tips for Rebranding a Nonprofit

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Solid branding is just as critical for nonprofits as it is in the corporate world.  A brand that is not aligned with organizational goals, principles, and donor investments, is in serious trouble. And because a re-brand can take time and dollars away from key mission, it scares people .  Nonprofits can also find re-branding daunting because it can be a deeply emotional process for donors, long-time volunteers and staff.  Here are some reasons to do a re-brand and ways to make it a productive, even exciting process.

Why Re-Brand?

1.  Your name/logo/tagline no longer reflect your true mission.

2.  No one knows what your mission is when they hear your name.

3.  You are expanding your mission and want to ensure all your external materials reflect this.

4.  You have gone from being a collection of local or regional organizations to being a national one and need a new, unified identity.

Reasons NOT to Re-Brand a Nonprofit

1. You have multiple and divergent missions that not everyone can agree on (not a re-brand issue, but a good reason to embark on a strategic planning process).

2. You’ve really messed something up (you need crisis PR and brand attention, but not necessarily a re-brand).

3. Your logo style and color is dated (this may be true, but may not be reason enough to give up the brand capital associated with it).

Okay, let’s assume you’ve gone through all the due diligence and decided it’s really time for a change. What’s involved?

A Strategic Plan for Your Brand

Branding is always an act of imagination. The question to ask if you want to re-brand is “will this help propel our mission to where we envision ourselves 10-15 years from now?”  Or, in the lingo of corporate brands, “does it help us deliver on our brand promise?”  And just as you have a multi-year road map for your organizational work, you need a strategy for your re-brand.   Here are three things to focus on in a re-brand and questions for your board and staff to consider.

1. Programs and Services.  Are they consistent with our mission/vision?

2.  Governance Structure.  Do our bylaws, board governance, and staff-board  and staff-volunteer relationships effectively support our programs and services? Do we offer a consistency of vision and goal-setting across all parts of the organization?

3.  External Signifiers. Do our name/logo/tag line/communications channels help people understand our mission, vision and value to our community?

So many organizations start a re-branding with the externals and then fail at the re-brand because the internals are still not quite in sync.

Brand Identity Touchstones

Another element to success is checking in with key constituencies.  I’m not recommending crowd-sourcing your new logo. But when considering changing any key aspect of your branding—colors, logo and/or tag line—consider these useful perspectives:

1.        Current customers/clients/donors.  Organizations that already have deep roots into social networks can use them for feedback. But it’s also good to use old-fashioned focus groups, with a trained professional to run them. However realize that all of these sources are subjective and subject to change from a variety of external pressures you can’t necessarily control.

2.       Prospective customers/clients/donors.  This one is always a bit harder to pinpoint, but a firm specializing in both quantitative and qualitative survey data can help you hone in on key sub-markets and assess the resonance of your new branding with them.

3.       Vendors.  I know, on first blush this seems odd. But as one of the people who often has to deal with people’s new logos (for multimedia/video production), I’m often struck by how they don’t work across multiple mediums.  Check in with your essential communications vendors–from printers to video producers to webmasters–and be sure that you are considering the fonts and colors that work best in their media.

As you craft your new brand vision, always come back to mission. Consider how your donors, volunteers, policymakers and the public will remain confident that you will provide the value they expect and deserve.

Can Younger Staff and Members Add Value to Your Brand?

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I’ve asked some colleagues to contribute to this page.  Here’s Melissa Houghton, Executive Director of the Washington D.C. Chapter of Women in Film & Video (WIFV) on how younger members and staff have increased the impact of this professional membership association.  If you are interested in guest blogging, please feel free to email me at amy[at]amydelouise[dot]com.

WIFV is blessed with many members who are early adopters of all types of technology. Social media platforms have been no exception. But when it came to WIFV moving from its members-only listserv into a social media platform, so we could reach beyond our members, we didn’t jump in with both feet.

What held us back? What keeps us moving forward?

Sometimes, the same thing.  WIFV has about 1000 members, many of them filmmakers using the latest non-linear computer-based editing tools and digital cameras.   The organization has a vibrant listserv for members that makes it easy for them to get technology questions answered, fill positions, get references and learn what films are screening.

On the one hand, why do anything more?

Our goal is to provide services for members and the listserv is where we’ve encouraged them to go for information. At the same time, they expect WIFV to be available to them wherever they are and they are on social media.  And they want others within and across industries to know more about us. When some members set up Facebook and Linked In profiles for the organization, and we only found out after the fact, we realized we had to become pro-active about our brand in this new space.

Who could help us?

Thank goddess for interns and student members! They are fearless with social media and were able to watch the sites for a while to learn who was using them, and what were the most active discussions. Our younger members’ experiences in the office with program development also helped them understand what types of postings would generate the most interest and keep the sites active with valuable and engaging content. They’ve also been tireless about getting involved with our committees and bringing their enthusiasm and know-how to the members who had more reservations about how WIFV would use social media.

It has been a learning experience for us all.

Our older members are beginning to engage through SM and build the same personal connections they’ve always used to produce and distribute powerful films, just in new ways. The young professionals in our midst realize that there is a business as well as personal need to share content and resources and keep pushing us forward.  They don’t let us slack off with postings and make sure we re-tweet, write on walls, and link with others. And hey, here I am, blogging!

Brand Tools for Local Volunteers and Staff

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Foliage as Shapes - IMG_0052 s.cHere’s a great question that came to me from one of my readers: “How does the headquarters of a national nonprofit support and/or monitor brand consistency among dozens of social media sites run by local chapter volunteers?”

It’s definitely a balancing act to develop a consistent brand strategy—including use of social media—without burdening local staff and volunteers. I believe there are several key elements to a successful plan.

  1. Define Your Mission. Make sure everyone understands your “elevator pitch” about your mission and who you serve, and why you do it every day. Make sure every person, from CEO to local volunteers is able to deliver this pitch and connect it to their own personal story.
  2. Define Your Communications Philosophy. Why and in what tone do you need to communicate to stakeholders? Explain in very clear, non-jargony terms (i.e., without using the word stakeholders!), what about your brand should be communicated, whether it’s through a local walk website, a volunteer’s blog or a Facebook page.
  3. Monitor Based on Philosophy.  Your philosophy should guide your monitoring. The “why” of your communications will dictate how you measure success, and what will flag concerns at the national level. Don’t get too caught up in uniformity. It’s all about achieving mission results in the end, so what matters is anything that can propel or derail that goal.
  4. Provide Tools.  Give every local staffer and volunteer a simple, online-accessible toolkit of what they need to communicate your brand. If they have these tools, chances are high they won’t spend time developing their own look or content that could be inconsistent with your main national brand, because their focus is and should be on on-the-ground activities.

Let’s take a closer look at the local Toolkit.  So what should go into it?

Stories. Ultimately nonprofits are able to communicate best through stories of the people and communities they help. Provide a regular stream of well-written content, with quotations and photos to go along with it, and your local teams can either copy the format with their own or use yours.

Videos. Video is a highly effective tool for engaging donors, volunteers and local staff. A short video can efficiently communicate your brand and message to a large number of people in a variety of local settings. Consider providing a DVD each year to every local chapter that can include: 1) an overview/general marketing video about your organization, 2) a short, peppy meeting opener, 3) case studies/interview-based vignettes that can communicate why your mission matters to real people and their lives (this can be used to cultivate donors, or bring in new volunteers or members), 4) an annual conference and/or local events highlights video.  Once you have the basics, you can just provide updates or periodic new material (such as a brief training video on a new program you are rolling out.)

Graphics. Include a logo as it should appear in several mediums (i.e. it will be different for the web than for TV or for print pieces).  Also, it’s handy to offer a template for newsletters or local brochures. And of course, you will want to identify fonts—either approved or recommended for headers, tag lines, body copy, etc.

Photos. A true gem for busy local staff and volunteers is a well-organized online photo library.  Include downloadable, rights-cleared photos your local volunteers and staff can use in blogs, on websites, in newsletters, e-marketing pieces, etc.  You want images that include major organizational leaders and celebrity champions, volunteers in action, key locations, special events, and most importantly, the people or communities you serve.  Getting rights cleared can be a hassle, but if you set up a regular process for every shoot (and have a downloadable form for getting permissions cleared), you will go a long way towards providing brand and image consistency for your organization.

Communications at the local level is vital for any national organization. But it can also create serious pitfalls for your organization’s brand among key constituencies, including the media, donors, and future volunteers. Providing tools, rather than dictating rules, can help pave the way to a more unified brand.

5 Free Ways to Boost Your Brand

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Balt. Bldg.1 - IMG_0407 sIn the “jobless recovery,” it’s important to be strategic about spending on your brand. Here are five ways you can support your product, service or nonprofit mission without spending a dime.  (Alright, in total fairness, time is involved and we all know that’s valuable.)

1. Deploy Your Leaders. Boards of directors, partners, the executive team–they should know all the in’s and out’s of your brand and be the spokes on the wheel of your brand promotion. But sometimes they are not deployed in an intentional way with marketing your brand in mind. Make a conscious effort to (re)educate your board and leadership team on your “elevator pitch” and “brand promise”–what unique value you provide–at their next meeting. Ask folks to give their elevator pitch to the group, to help them hone their own description of your brand essence.

2. Engage Every Employee. Your leadership team, marketing or development staff may all be cognizant of your key brand messages. But what about your interns, the people at the loading dock and your new receptionist? Everyone communicates your brand–to customers, to donors, to other employees. Make sure you take the time to engage everyone. One great experience can make all the difference. So can a bad one.

3. Let Others Speak for You. Referrals are the best sales. Ask your best customers, donors, community volunteers, etc. to help you promote your brand. Ask them to Tweet about your latest accomplishments, mention it on their company blog, or be willing to wear a nametag that says “So and So, [Your Charity Name] Volunteer” at their next business event. In the advertising world, everything is measured in the volume of “impressions” your ads get. But also every human impression counts.

4. Cross-Promote. Whether you are a for-profit or a charity, find organizations that don’t compete directly with you but who offer complimentary products/services.  Then create a monthly program for cross-promotions. For example, if you’re a florist, have your link featured on the page of an event organizer and vice versa.  If you’re a charity with a national walk or run coming up, cross-promote with an athletic shoe or apparel company.  And don’t forget to cross-promote yourself: be sure that every communications tool you use–email, e-newsletters, blogs, websites, business cards–promotes every other venue through which you communicate, so customers can reach you in whatever way they like best.

5. Increase Brand Clarity. Brand audits can be very expensive and time-consuming projects, but here’s a mini-audit you can assign to a couple of folks for a considerable impact. Have them review your letterhead, website, print pieces, blogs, Facebook pages, etc. and tell you whether your logo, name, tag line and mission statement appear consistently. Look at color, size, fonts and wording. You’d be surprised how many times these communications tools are inconsistently branded, thus diluting your impact.  You don’t have to reprint everything all at once, but be aware so that the next time cards go to the printers, for example, they can be in sync with your website.

Of course, there’s no free lunch.

If your brand is struggling because your mission is fuzzy, your leadership isn’t strategic, or your staffing is weak, then no amount of free branding solutions will help.  But in tough times, these simple tools can also go a long way while we all wait for recovery.

Does Your Board Support Your Brand?

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This past week I spoke on a teleconference workshop about tools to engage boards to supporBarn in the Palouse- s.ct fundraising auctions. Many of the 50+ organizations who signed up indicated that their board members are not fully engaged in outreach events and fundraising. Does this mean they have the wrong board members? Do they need to define roles and expectations?  Or do board members actually need some training? I find it’s a bit of each. Whether you are a for-profit or nonprofit, your Board of Directors is a critical component of how you connect to the communities and constituencies you serve. They need to be supporting your brand in multiple ways. How can you help them do this?

Board members need to know their financial role.

As we all know from the recent financial meltdown, governing boards were blamed for taking their eye off the ball. What are you doing to be sure your board knows its role and its responsibilities when it comes to fundraising and financial oversight?  Prospective board members should be clear on the requirements of their role. They need to know the hours of the commitment, the dollars they will be expected to give or raise, and how they can help you propel the mission.  They also need to feel comfortable with nonprofit financial statements, which can look very different than corporate ones.  New board members should have an orientation to remind them of their roles and help them with tools in the areas where they are the least comfortable (i.e. making an “ask” for your organization). Even experienced board members need refreshers, especially if you have an important event coming up or a major campaign.

Board members need to see the goalposts.

Board members need more than the annual report. They need specifics.  If you’re holding an auction, what is your fundraising goal? What happens if you don’t meet it?  What are your most important programs? What outcomes will determine your success?

Board members need to learn about your brand.

Board members are obviously committed volunteers, but sometimes they are connected to your organization through only one pathway (i.e. a child with a disease that you are trying to cure, a son at your school, as a professional member of your association, etc.)   They need to be briefed on the big picture about your brand promise to all of your “customers,” including the experience you promote for your donors, your staff and your other volunteers.  They need to be able to easily talk about your “elevator pitch” and connect it to their own experience with your organization.   Give them talking points. Let them practice on one another.  This way, your board members can be better—and more comfortable—cheerleaders.

Board members need recognition.

Board members need more than their names on the masthead. They need to be publicly thanked when they do a good job of supporting your mission. When involved board members receive thanks and recognition—whether it’s for a report well-researched or getting out more volunteers for your walkathon—then other volunteers are more inclined to give you their time, talents and money.

Engaging boards can be a challenge, but it’s one worth the effort. When they are part of a team with staff, the winner is your mission.  Do you have a good story to share about supporting boards? Please share it!

Help Volunteers Support Your Brand

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Volunteers are the hard currency of nonprofit work. They are the grassroots organizers, the field operatives, the advocates in the community, the donors and board leaders.  And yet they often get the least amount of training and support when it comes to communicating what you do and who you are. At the DC Cares Philanthropy Summit I attended this week, Nicky Goren, Acting CEO for the Corporation for National and Community Service commented (and I paraphrase) that a large donor will be paired with an executive, but a volunteer will be managed by an intern.   We both have nothing against interns, I’m sure, but I agree that we do often under-support volunteers.

Volunteers Need to Know Your “Elevator Pitch”

One of the most important tools you can give a volunteer is a firm understanding of your mission priorities.  This can often be called talking points or an “elevator pitch.” (For details, see my post on brand consistency). You also want to convey the key aspects of your brand values. Hopefully someone who volunteers for you already has some sense of these or they wouldn’t have given of their time, but it’s worth conveying the kind of tone and face you want for the organization.

Miscommunication Undermines Mission

The way information is communicated about your organization, as well as the content of that information, contributes to how your nonprofit brand is perceived.  Years of good work in the community can be eclipsed very quickly by a few misspoken words, or a freelance opinion from a volunteer who doesn’t know the full picture.  Not speaking on an issue can also damage the organization’s reputation.   A situation at The Horace Mann School, and independent school in New York, is a case in point.  The school dismissed an English teacher after he wrote a satirical novel set in a school much like that of his (former) employer.  Some faculty and parents objected strongly to the dismissal.  The teacher sued the school.  The New York Times published a story on the situation, and called the board, the alumni association and the head of school’s office for quotes. All refused.  The story included the following stinging notation: “Horace Mann officials, including Head of School Thomas M. Kelly, declined to comment for this article. Many parents of current students, members of the alumni council and current teachers did not return phone calls requesting interviews about the dispute stirred by Mr. Trees. The school’s motto is ‘Great is the truth and it prevails.’ ”

I use this story to illustrate the fact that “no comment” can have just as negative an impact on your brand as misinformation.  Volunteers and board members should be briefed periodically by the executive or Board Chair on key initiatives, goals and successes, but also failures or challenges.  When volunteers and board members are familiar with your story and how you communicate it, they do a better job of supporting your organization. And by being in regular contact with communications staff, they know who to go to if they have questions when something more critical arises.

Brief Volunteers on Key Messages

Regular communication with board members, donors and volunteers, in good times and difficult ones, is essential to helping them support your brand in the community.  Be sure to give new volunteers a short orientation to be sure they understand your core values, your core mission areas, and your strategic goals for the year.  When board members, volunteers and donors are on the same page, they can help move the mission forward by communicating with stakeholders and engaging new donors and volunteers.  When these same individuals are in the dark, or not well prepared to describe your work, your impact will suffer. (I once overheard a parent involved with an organization pitch it by saying they were having trouble filling spots for their program–probably not the message they wanted in the community!)

In these economic times, volunteers are more essential than ever in helping nonprofits deliver on their mission.  Make sure you have a branding and communications plan that supports them in their work.

If you have a great way of briefing new volunteers, please share it!

Measuring Impact

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As the snursechool year draws to a close, it’s common for many organizations that run on this calendar to assess how they’ve done.   Specifically, board and staff may do self-evaluations, and boards evaluate the executive, the one staff member for whom they are responsible.  But these assessments are just part of the picture of how an organization measures its effectiveness or shortfalls.

How are You Assessing Your Impact?

One of the tools now being used by the nonprofit and public sector worlds, and which has been around in the for-profit sector since its inception, is the concept of ROI, or Return on Investment.

What’s the definition of “Investment”? For nonprofits, foundations and public sector organizations, the investment is a simple equation:  Investment = Volunteer Time + Donor Dollars + Staff Time + Goods or Services Provided.  All of these combined reflect your investment in the communities you serve.

What about “Return”?  Some organizations measure impact by number of people served.  Some calculate the value of the volunteer hours they expend in a community if they had been paid in real dollars.  Some groups measure impact against a set of goals or outcomes determined at the start of a project or year.  But for the independent sector, this is always a tricky equation, because ultimately you are trying to change human lives.  And sometimes that impact can’t be easily measured.  And so you also need to find stories about the communities you have served, the families helped, the habitats rescued.  You need to find a way to merge hard data and benchmarks with a more nuanced picture of your impact and responsiveness to need.

Why Measuring Impact Matters

It’s a daunting task, yet public and nonprofit sector organizations must try.  One reason is that the accounting scandals of the recent past, the Congress’s response with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the country’s current economic crisis and the IRS’s new Form 990 have brought with them an enhanced focus on transparency and accountability.  Donors, volunteers and staff are all looking at these measures, too, to make important decisions about their own investments of time and money.  Now all nonprofits and federal sector agencies must find a way to demonstrate more tangibly how their work affects their outcomes.

Back in 2005, The Panel on the Nonprofit Sector (established by Independent Sector) made recommendations that as a best practice, charitable organizations should design procedures for measuring and evaluating their program accomplishments based on specific goals and objectives. Today the need for measuring outcomes becomes even more urgent.

Looking Towards the Future

Just last month, President Obama signed the landmark Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which will enable millions of Americans to serve one to two years in a wide range of nonprofits. With this kind of influx of human capital “investment,” nonprofits will need to think boldly about how to measure the impact they have not only on the communities they serve, but also on the very individuals who are being added to their volunteer ranks.   In other words, they will need a way to track the “multiplier effect” of what these individuals learn inside their organizations but also bring back to other groups and communities when they leave.

How does your organization measure its mission impact or ROI?  Please share your benchmarking and evaluation ideas and stories.

© 2009 Amy DeLouise

Volunteers and Brand Consistency

The board and other supporters are the voice of your nonprofit brand in the community. Properly trained, these volunteers are your marketing secret weapon. But they need tools to become effective and prepared.
Here are four steps you can take to ensure your volunteers are a positive force for your brand.
1. Teach the Message.Board members, donors and programmatic or “field” volunteers should each have an “elevator pitch” for your organization, so named because it should only take about as long as a trip in an elevator. The pitch includes your mission and vision for the world, who you reach, why you care, and what change you are making in your community.
2.Connect the Message. It is also essential that the pitch include the volunteer’s own personal connection to the cause.They should include a personal story or anecdote of why they care so passionately about your organization and cause.
3. Practice the Message.Even experienced staff, volunteers and board members can get off message. That’s because they are so involved in the day-to-day work of the organization. Provide regular opportunities for everyone to practice their brand message and hone it in a friendly atmosphere. I’ve done trainings where board members practice giving the pitch to one another, and you’d be surprised how even the most experienced among them have a hard time getting the pitch down to something under 90 seconds. One pitfall that leads to too lengthy a description, is board members often try to describe “how” rather than “who.”
4. Live the Message. Once they’ve practiced their pitch, volunteers and board members should be encouraged to introduce the nonprofit to people they know, through family, work and play.These individuals may become future donors, volunteers or board leaders.
With these four steps, you are on your way to ensuring your volunteers extend your brand effectively into the communities you serve.