Here’s something I’ve learned: People won’t give if they don’t know that there’s a need. And they won’t know that there’s a need unless we tell them (in a way that they understand).
So here’s the question, what are you doing now that will help raise awareness about your organization – and about the difference you hope to make in the community?
There are plenty of options out there for getting the word out – there are most likely Rotary or Kiwanis meetings in your community that you could speak at, newspapers that you could write to, editors and reporters you could talk to, blogs, Twitter, houses of worship, etc.). But how do you choose the right ones to focus on? The ones that will help you reach the people you are trying to reach?
Here are four things to think about as you are choosing where to focus your efforts:
- What action are you hoping people will take? Hint: any communication you develop should have some call to action. This could include an appeal to volunteer, an invitation to sign up to receive updates from your organization, or perhaps an appeal to join a prayer team. Asking for a donation will generally not be a productive first step.
- Make a list of all of the different potential avenues you are considering using. List out the pros and cons for each. Will it help reach the people you are hoping to? How likely is the group / readership / etc. to take the action you are hoping that they will take?
- Select three to five strategies to start with – depending on your resources and how much time each of them will take. Being focused will help you get results faster.
- Finally, decide who will take which actions – and when the actions should be completed by. Otherwise, chances are you’ll end up three months down the road with nothing happening (have you been there too, or is this just my experience?)
Here’s a bonus tip: Having an email list is becoming more important. What better source of potential advocates, volunteers and donors than a list of people who’ve raise their hand and said ‘we’d like you to tell us more?’ Regular and appropriate communications (that are reader-centered) will go a long way in helping you advance your efforts.
Congratulations – now you have a simple awareness strategy to help you get started!