The success of a nonprofit depends largely on how many outside people are receiving and responding to its message. As a board member, you have the opportunity to be instrumental in promoting that message in an engaging way. You are on the board because you care about the work of your nonprofit and want it to achieve its mission. Therefore, learning how to be a better ambassador for your nonprofit is something you should be doing. A good nonprofit ambassador can make a world of difference in how well the organization does at achieving its goals.
Be a Better Nonprofit Ambassador Using These Techniques
- Practice Your Elevator Speech: An elevator speech is a mission statement for anything (a business, a startup, a nonprofit, a person) given in about thirty seconds. That is the time it typically takes to go from one floor to the next in an elevator. Condense the mission of your nonprofit into a short, compelling speech that grabs attention and encourages the people who hear it to participate. Then, start giving that speech to every new person you meet.
- Bring Information With You: As an ambassador for your nonprofit, don’t leave home without at least a small supply of promotional materials for your nonprofit, such as brochures, DVDs, and business cards with the website’s URL on it. You never know when a subject relating to your nonprofit’s work will come up, offering you the perfect opportunity to share these materials with others.
- Make Some Contacts at Local and National News Media: Make a list of the most influential local and national news programs, radio shows, podcasts, and blogs. Then, begin contacting them. Introduce yourself, say you are on the board of your nonprofit, give your elevator speech, and ask for the contact information of the person you should talk to when there is important news pertaining to your nonprofit’s work. You will quickly compile a list of media contacts you can use to let the public know what your nonprofit is doing and how they can help it achieve its goals.
- Promote Your Nonprofit with Some Swag: If your nonprofit has bumper stickers or jacket pins that it hands out in the lobby or at events, make sure you have them, too. As a nonprofit ambassador, you should put that bumper sticker on your car and wear the pin everywhere you go. People will take notice, and some of them will be curious enough to ask you about the group, or to research it on their own.
- Start a Blog: If your board does not already have a blog, take some initiative and start one. Post articles that talk about the nonprofit and its objectives, as well as related articles that fit the message of the nonprofit. You could even start social media sites for the nonprofit on places like Facebook and Twitter, where you post links to the blog articles for extra promotion. Just be sure to get the approval of the rest of the nonprofit board before starting this kind of ambassadorial project.
RELATED: Cleaning Up Your Social Media as a Nonprofit Board Member
- Set Up Tables at Local Events: Any local event that accepts vendors is an excellent opportunity to promote your nonprofit. To be the best nonprofit ambassador you can be, try to get a table at different festivals, parades, carnivals, and farmers’ markets. Then, make your logo large and attractive and hand out literature during the event. This will also allow you to get to know the people in your area better, which can lead to all types of opportunities.
- Come Up with Ideas for Events of Your Own: Your nonprofit doesn’t have to wait for a local event to get out into the public. Suggest some events your nonprofit can sponsor to the rest of the board. Even if you only get your nonprofit’s name on a printed brochure of sponsors, people will notice it.
- Use Your Own Network: You know people. All kinds of people comprise your personal network, including your family, friends, co-workers, and the people you know from different groups you are involved in. Talk to them about your nonprofit and ask them to help get the word out about its mission to the people in their own networks (give them literature or swag if you need to). Word will get around and reach people who have the financial means to be a huge benefit to your nonprofit.
Be the Leader Your Nonprofit Needs
Follow these tried and true techniques, and you will become a better ambassador for your nonprofit in no time. In fact, the other board members will likely appreciate your initiative, and may soon start following your lead.
RELATED: Are You a Good Nonprofit Ambassador?
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