Do you know what happens when you assume? I know your nonprofit has great things in store, but I often see nonprofits like you draw conclusions about its audience that drive them into a hole. When you make assumptions about your nonprofit you lose donors, remain stagnant or go under. If you’re able to quit making these assumptions right now, your nonprofit will be on its way to furthering its impact. Here are five assumptions you should immediately throw in the trash:
- People know your nonprofit exists. There are an abundance of nonprofits, organizations and causes in your scope of influence (and elsewhere) that are competing for space. Most likely, there are many people who have never even heard your nonprofit’s name. Don’t stop advertising, expanding, reaching out and talking because when you do, your name can be forgotten or not even heard. Trust me, your voice is worth being heard.
- People know and care about your mission. If not everyone knows your nonprofit exists, then not everyone knows your mission. Even those who do know your nonprofit exists may not know your mission. Make sure you tell it through email, social media, video and more. Don’t leave your mission statement sitting on your website’s about page, say it just as much as you do your nonprofit’s name.
- Donors give because they care about your mission. Many donors give simply because they feel like they have to give in order to be a good person. But the most powerful giving comes from those who care about your mission. How do you get them to care? Tell stories of the impact your nonprofit is making. Relentlessly share the passion behind your mission. If you have a donor who has already been giving, but out of guilt, and turn them into someone who gives because they care about your mission, they will most likely give more and will continue to give for the rest of their lives. Gaining those kind of donors will bring much growth and sustenance to your nonprofit.
- Just because you have a website and use social media, people will support you. Yes, those things are key to reaching people, but just because you have them doesn’t mean you are utilizing them to their fullest potential. Make sure your online platforms are easy to use, understandable and tell your story. Couple these marketing forms with events and giveaways. Don’t constrict yourself to solely the internet, get outside and interact with the community in real life.
- Your nonprofit is a priority in your volunteers’ lives. Volunteers are normal people like anyone else; they have jobs, families and other priorities. Most likely, those other influencers will take precedent over volunteering at your nonprofit. In order to make your nonprofit a higher priority in your volunteers’ lives you must invest in their lives and give them purpose for serving. Make sure your donors are thriving in their positions and receiving thanks for their work. Put yourself in their position and imagine what would keep you volunteering for the long haul.
It takes hard work to build a thriving nonprofit. Don’t let your own assumptions get in the way of your nonprofit’s success.