Be a Source and an Outlet – Little Ideas for Big Impact

Four rowboats, one with a pair of oars, tied up to dock in Maine

 

The rug has been pulled out from almost everyone. People feel like they’re overwhelmed with info and not receiving enough all at the same time. And so the question becomes; how do you as a nonprofit offer clear communication, and encourage people to continue their support?

While there isn’t one pat answer, there are a lot of lessons being learned in real time during the current situation:

  1. Have a Place – It’s incumbent upon you to have one page, site or social media account to act as a hub for any emergency communication. Don’t flood emails with every change, make sure your constituents know where the resource is and keep it up to date. For an example see here 
  2. Be A Source – If your organization has a direct impact on relief or support efforts, make sure you’re offering clear, concise reporting, either through original content, or by replaying news from partners or credible sources. Here’s a great example
  3. Make a Clear Ask – Of course you need to continue fundraising, but with everything else, it may be best to make the ask simple, with a clear idea of why the need is critical, and where funds will help, like the Ryan Banks Academy has done
  4. Be an Outlet – If your organization is not “on the front lines” then keep in contact with your supporters, but offer them an alternative to constant news coverage. Two examples are the Some Good News YouTube channel started by John Krasinski, and the Georgia Aquarium & a local shelter teaming up
  5. Take a Breath – We are all in uncharted territory right now, and it can be easy to want to act now and rush something out to fill what seems like an emergency need. But don’t let the immediacy of the situation break down your normal development and review process. Work on shortening the timeline, not the process

Take a breath, trust your instincts and tell your story. 

And stay safe and healthy

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