Empower Others to HelpOctober 6th, 2011 by geofflivingston
One of the biggest mistakes nonprofits and fundraisers make is going at it alone. Part of building effective communities in networked media is letting other people become a part of your effort and helping out. But to do that, you and/or your organization have to empower them.
Will another person be as effective as you or your development director? Maybe, but unlikely.
Will other persons collectively be more effective than you in social media-based fundraising? If you cultivate and empower your online ambassadors, this outcome is a real possibility.
To play off of Spock, the power of the many outweighs the power of few (or the one). Team-based fundraising can significantly extend an organization’s reach well beyond the house file. For the individual fundraiser, friend networks also go beyond your electronic address book.
How much work does it take? There’s no question that this is real relationship development and cultivation. But in comparison, the networks of 150 people are much more powerful than a single person’s large social media account–if they act on your behalf.
Cultivate Your Influencers
If you have core supporters and friends who are as passionate about your cause as you are, why wouldn’t you want them to advocate on your behalf.
These influencers aren’t usually the people with biggest blog or Twitter account. Rather, they are the people with the most passion and willingness to advocate for you. This is the heart of true word of mouth and grassroots marketing.
The work here becomes about providing the means, and making it easy for them. Provide easy access to logos, stories, updates, widgets and messages.
It’s about giving them the latitude to be them as they fundraise, and not over-controlling their outreach. They know best how to interact with their friends.
And it comes down to quid pro quo. People want to be recognized for their efforts. Acknowledge them. Give them shout outs. Help them out when it’s their turn. Let them know how their efforts are positively impacting your ability to fundraise. Even have friendly competitions among your ambassadors to make it fun, and reward them.