The Best Line of Communication for Nonprofits & Foundations

There are two main ways that the right line of communication can improve your nonprofit or foundation's business.

Internally, the right kind of communication can deviate the work and projects. Project management and deadline scheduling is included in this internal line of communication.

Keeping your employees engaged and informed will prove to contain countless benefits. Employee engagement can be measured several different ways, but mostly in the results. When you have motivated, passionate and successful employees, you know that you have an engaged and informed staff. When employees are engaged and informed, they form as the company's very own brand ambassadors. 

Companies all over the place are rethinking their internal communications strategy, and connecting with their staff is one of the main issues companies (and HR professionals) face today. According to the State of the American Workforce report; only 32.2% of American workers say they are enageged at work and only one in five feel managed in a way that motivates them to do great work. 

CNBC released an article about some different ways for managers to keep their employees engaged, these include multiple factors that many big companies try to steer from in today's business landscape. These include social media, interactive displays on company content, fostering competition, promotion techniques, fluid transparency, etc.

Externally, a great line of communication will allow for an accurate and clear position for your organization in the public eye. Your message is what it's all about - and it's what gets people not only interested in what you do, but also will make people more willing to donate to your cause. 


Simon Sinek, a TED Talk speaker with a piece called "How great leaders inspire action", said "People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it." The message that you put out will not only gain awareness, legitamacy and recognition; but will also hone in on the key metrics that nonprofits should consider to gauge the success of their communication efforts:


  • Recruiting
    • Your organization is fueled and some would say dependent upon recruiting members, volunteers and donors through many tactics. Some of the most common methods are through social media to facilitate ongoing interactions and engagements. 


  • Cash, Donations and Time
    • An increase in donations and volunteer hours is a great metric to determine the effectiveness of your communication. The messages that involve call-to-actions can be measured to see what progress is being made. 


  • Brand Reputation
    • Perceptions of your organization is a huge player in how likely people are willing to support your cause. Participating in conversation with the community, educating groups of people about your cause and organization, and keeping a transparent and informative two-way dialoge for those with questions are looked upon very highly in nonprofits looking for donors and support.


  • Raising Issue Awareness
    • Going back to the TED Talk quote, messages that resonate with the public, or at least with your target market, is crucial to gaining that awareness that drives success. Educating the public in a tone as well as a language that the public can resonate with is the only way to get traction, donors and success in the nonprofit industry.

Utilizing these metrics, tie your communications effort to your fundraising initiatives to ensure that they are in sync. This will allow you to clearly communicate what exactly the call-to-action is and, using these tools and vehicles directed at your target audience, validate as well as boost your brand. 

Using stories through the mediums of communication can generate a personal connection with your cause. This can draw emotions and show the target audience the impact of their support. Keeping the audience not only engaged with the cause but also keep them coming back to hear more stories. 

Communicating with the audience through various mediums about your organization and the level of impact through their support can make the difference in the success of your mission. Nonprofits usually don't think about their marketing communications plan in their efforts, but this overlooked part of the plan is a key success driver. If you have any questions about communication methods, or if you would like to find out how to develop a successful communications strategy, click here