5 Tips for Building Influence and Community Awareness at Your Nonprofits

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15 July 2021

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A social change agency can be a dynamic and creative planning powerhouse. It can help nonprofits understand how to get from here to there by learning the tactics of engaging people. Plans can then be developed and executed, and funds sourced to reach more ambitious goals. But a lot of agencies struggle with the idea of what exactly a social change agency does. This article offers some tips for developing an effective social change agenda and creating an effective social change agency .

A trusted advisor is someone who can provide the leadership necessary for a nonprofit to adopt a certain strategy or take certain actions. Trustworthy advisors work well with nonprofits because they can offer the expertise needed to implement certain strategies that will strengthen and grow the organization. Below are some key characteristics that a trustworthy advisor should have.

There's no "one size fits all" approach to nonprofit leadership. While many think that nonprofit leadership can be taught, the reality is that each nonprofit is unique and the processes and dynamics of individual organizations vary greatly. No public relations firm or PR agency can simply apply a template to any nonprofit and expect a successful outcome. In fact, a professional and respected social change agency should have an experienced, respected, and trusted advisor to conduct client meetings and facilitate communications regarding the agency and its activities.

A credible public relations specialist has the ability to draw on a variety of different expertise to address issues and potential issues facing a nonprofit. An effective planner also has the ability to build influence. A good planner will know which tactics to use and how to build influence by building coalitions with other nonprofit leaders and staff. A credible public relations specialist can also develop strategic planning strategies.

Strategies for a nonprofit's strategic planning often take into account member involvement, nonprofit objectives, the priorities of the board, priorities for funding and staff growth, and various methods of communication. A social change agency should engage in strategic planning through involvement and engagement of members of the community. Many nonprofits fail to take the time to engage their communities in the process of planning and strategy formulation. A professional and respected PR agency understands that engaging and developing members of the community is essential. Planning and strategy development should include an emphasis on relationships and building coalitions rather than simply reaching out to the local media.

A competent public relations specialist will not just engage the media, but will utilize strategic planning to build coalitions and advocate for social change. The first job of a PR agency is to educate the community about the nonprofit's work and its cause. Then, when the time comes to engage in messaging and fundraising, the PR agency will ensure that the message is consistent with the purpose of the nonprofit.

For example, while some nonprofits focus on social justice, others focus on issues like environment protection or animal welfare. These are two very different issues, but both have real and measurable consequences for people in the community. A PR agency might work to educate the general public about these two causes through public communications and promotional strategies. When the time comes to engage in fundraising, the PR agency will ensure that the message is consistent with the cause, focusing on the need and power, not political affiliation or animal rights.

Thought Leadership Training and Engagement. A successful social change initiative is one that combines effective communication, strategic planning and thought leadership training. Effective communication will build influence, build support and ensure that the community is aware of the activities and goals of the organization. Strategic planning will allow for adequate resources and enable the planning and execution of programs and initiatives. Thought leadership training will ensure that your team can effectively communicate with the community, allowing your nonprofit to create lasting positive effects for the future.

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