Every organization starts with an idea. Most nonprofits grow because someone cared, and this visionary had the guts, willpower and tenacity to build a foundation that turned the idea into a reality.
As a non-profit grows it will soon come time to take your organization to the next level, and like any organization, change is hard. Change is even harder for nonprofits than for-profit businesses. This is because in a nonprofit you have people who are committed to the mission and are volunteering at some level. Even paid employees can feel that they have exchanged a higher paying job for the mission and that they are owed something for that sacrifice.
An important element to growing is a good communication strategy. Often times, however, nonprofits can get stuck in communication rut. The following are the most common scenarios that prevent organizations from going to the next level.
1. Not receiving the service you need.
Often times a nonprofit hires an agency to do a big campaign or rebrand. There is a big budget and you are happy with the work, but after the big budget is gone things change. The agency really isn’t suited for the ongoing work, and you start to get the feeling that you are a second class client,with help from a revolving door of interns.
2. Your agency isn’t helping you be data driven.
Data is a magnificent tool that allows organizations to understand their audience better than ever before. But to tap into that data you need systems, processes and technologies that can handle these kinds of incremental activities across the donor journey and that is exactly what a mature and experienced nonprofit marketing agency can do for you. This takes time, but a good agency will help you make these shifts incrementally and help you start being more efficient and effective by using the data you are collecting.
3. Your brand is a mess.
The administrative assistant is creative. The board member’s son is studying graphic design. That loyal volunteer said she would start an Instagram account. All this free help, but the result is that everyone is doing their own thing and you have no power to direct it. The results highlight the haphazard methods you are using, and yet you are accountable to the results.
So often the importance of branding is overlooked. Fundamentally, an effective brand is the most important thing you can create for your nonprofit organization and an agency. Your brand is your nonprofit’s identity, image, and it’s what people think when they hear about and see your organization.
Why does all this matter? The right agency can get you results.
If you find yourself in any of these scenarios, take a deep breath. It is time to take control instead of being controlled by your situation. Start by getting clarity on who is responsible for the results. Then get clarity on what the results you are expected to get. If you have those two in place then you are all set to deliver the news that you will need x y and z to get those results. Start with something small that will give you the clear win you need to ask for more.
Keep reading on what to look for in your next agency.
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