How to communicate the importance of change to a nonprofit audience

Today's online world is a constant barrage of promotional voices and images and the public has to sift through everything when surfing the Internet. Nonprofits working on their online presence to attract new donors must understand that they are competing with a lot of other marketing and advocacy efforts on the Web. Prospective donors have to see why this nonprofit message is stronger than the last and why it deserves support over all the others. Increasing the number of people who fill out online donation forms isn't easy in this digital world, but communicating change and hope for a better community is the first step.

Why some messages of change don't work
Donors and supporters know that nonprofit organizations need funds to pay employees, manage fundraising events, etc. Many understand that money essentially keeps the charity afloat. Though this makes perfect sense, it may not always strike a chord with everyone. It can be hard for people to see the importance of something if it doesn't directly relate to them or personally affect them. Because of this, potential donors often don't even know that nonprofits are even advocating for their support. In an article for npENGAGE, nonprofit expert Michael Reardon says there are not enough persuasive messages for audiences to listen to. A generic message may hit home for longtime supporters, volunteers or employees, but it most likely will not sink in with the broader scope of audiences.

How to fix the problem
It's important to look closely at the audiences engaging with the nonprofit online and focus advocacy efforts on what is important to them. Not everyone is as loyal to the organization as employees and leaders would like them to be. Asking how people will listen, why they might pay attention and what they will respond to is a great start to better understanding nonprofit cause advocacy.

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