Is your nonprofit outreach falling flat? It may not be your message, but rather who is delivering it that is the problem. Think about who might be a more relatable, believable messenger for your nonprofit's outreach. It might not be who you think.
There's no denying we're in an age of unprecedented level of skepticism about traditional sources of information. People don't put much stock in the words of marketers, politicians, government representatives, companies, or even charities. Instead, we tend to trust people we perceive as like us-or at least those who seem not to have selfish motives for their opinions. That's why you trust that random hotel reviewer from San Francisco more than the Westin website.
This means that you can have the best message in the world, but if you're the only one saying it, that may not be enough. When you are planning your outreach and fundraising appeals—whether via direct mail, email or on your nonprofit website—think about changing the messenger for bigger impact—and better results.
So who are messengers that wield more influence than you when it comes to your organization? Whom should you tap to talk about you?
Here are ten ideas for different messengers:
- People who have been helped by your organization.
- Front lines staff (as opposed to official spokespeople).
- People with first-hand experience living with your issue.
- Third-party rating agencies or charity watchdogs.
- Kids who care about your issue.
- Local leaders.
The bottom line: Make sure you're not the only one saying your work is great!
Editor's note: This article was originally published on July 12, 2012 and has been updated.