Every nonprofit has an important message to get out. Increasing awareness can come down to how nonprofits share that message. But, it’s not just about getting the message out. It’s also about who needs to hear your message. Who is YOUR audience?
This is tough to hear, but not every person is your nonprofit’s ideal audience. Not every person cares equally about issues like homeless pets, plastic in the ocean, or even feeding families. It can be frustrating, but it’s true. You don’t want sharing your message to be like shouting into the wind.
Getting clear on your message and your audience makes the rest so much easier. For example, once you know your audience and the message that matters to them you are ready to take that to social media platforms, an annual meeting, email marketing, or even an simple image or link in your email signature.
Every message created should be based on your ideal audience. Here is a metaphor to help you understand what I mean:
Imagine you are a kindergarten school teacher. Instead of writing lesson plans and following the guidelines, you teach your students what you think they should know. Instead of learning basic lessons appropriate for 5-year old’s, you teach them fractions and complex sentence structure. The kindergarteners will be completely confused and will likely start digging into their lunch boxes!
Know Your Audience, Know Your Message
This metaphor explains what it is like when you do not keep your audience in mind. If your audience is following your organization and your message isn’t relevant to them, they will become confused, and eventually, they will tune your message out. When you are posting on social media or sending an email, you need to think about how your audience will perceive your message. If you are looking for a few tips on how nonprofits can share their message, check out our 10 tips that all small nonprofits need to grow.
How Nonprofits Can Share Their Message
If you are working to grow your viewers, you need to know who you are speaking to. Here are some simple tips that you can follow to begin directing your message to your ideal audience. Learn more about key messages and marketing.
It seems simple, but who are you speaking to? Are you talking to donors, volunteers, or those you serve? Being able to position your messages towards your target groups is how you will communicate your nonprofit’s message. Sit down and think about who your organization interacts with regularly. This is your audience. Write down all the groups that interact with your organization.
Step into your audiences’ shoes
Take each of the groups that you wrote down and place yourself into their shoes. Think about the things that make the people in these groups unique. Here are some things to think about:
- Their hopes and dreams
- Their frustrations
- Their goals or motivations
Why do they care about your nonprofit?
After writing down your groups and adding more information about them, think about what they want or need from your organization. Remember their hopes, dreams, frustrations, and goals. How does your nonprofit help them achieve those goals? Do your volunteers want more information that addresses their frustration of finding ways to volunteer? Do your donors need more information about how they can donate and what projects they can fund? Think about the questions that these groups commonly ask about your organization.
How will you deliver this information?
After you have thought about what your audience needs from you, think about how you will deliver your message. How will you let potential volunteers know more about volunteering with your organization without them having to call? How will you give your donors more information about giving options? Here are some ideas:
- Blogs on your website (like this one!)
- Social Media Posts
- Email Marketing
- Press Release
- Newspaper Articles
Bringing It All Together
Bringing it all together can take some time. Writing for your audience at the beginning will not be easy, but you will get much better at it as time goes on. Your audience will expand, which will help you grow your organization, even with something as small as being intentional about your messaging.
This blog is an example of how to speak to your audience. We wrote this blog with YOU, a small nonprofit leader, in mind. The Fayette Community Foundation is supporting small nonprofits in our community by giving them resources to increase their growth. We have put this blog on our website. We have also shared it on social media. We will promote the blog in our April newsletter directed towards nonprofits organizations.
Speaking to your audience is as simple as following the five steps above and being intentional in your messaging. These steps are easy to complete even if you only have a one-person organization. Learn more about our tips for nonprofits in Fayette County.