Aug 13, 2015
It's no surprise that it's easier for nonprofits to get support if they come off as approachable. If donors think that an organization is more personable, they're more likely to feel welcome and comfortable attaching themselves to it. If an organization is able to do this from its online presence, as well, it may even increase the number of donations it accepts online.
Companies have tried to be more personable for quite some time now, with some successfully forming a personality with their brand. Nonprofits have a leg up on a lot of companies, because a large part of becoming more personable is to have a cause that people like to support. Here's a list of ways to make your brand more personable.
Provide a back story
Similar to how a director or writer would introduce a hero in a story, you should let your audience know about how your nonprofit organization started. If the founder has been involved in the organization's mission for years, you could start with an anecdote. From there, you can let donors know what led to the organization's current state. You can touch on rebrandings, mergers relocations and many more things that are common in the nonprofit industry. It may be a good idea to frame this story as if you were talking about an individual to make it more relatable.
Take an interest in donors
If you take the first step and show a genuine interest in your donors, they may return the favor by learning more about your organization. You can take learning more about them in a lot of different directions. If your organization has a regular program that includes mailing and distributing to current and prospective donors, you could consider adding a section that profiles them. By including a story that focuses on donors and why they support your cause, you're showing that you not only care to find out more about them, but want to share what you learned.
Another strategy could be to hold contests where donors submit stories about your cause to win a prize. For example, if your organization supports impoverished youth, you may get submitted essays about someone's hardships when once lived in poverty. This could also work as a great way to promote your organization, because people may want to get involved once they come across some of these anecdotes.
Develop a mascot
Many companies have a problem finding the right face for their brand. By default, many go with the CEO or founder. But some have been able to create mascots that were well-received by the public. In some cases, people grew to be far more familiar with the character than the actual company. Donors could become familiar with it through the appearances on the organization's website, in online videos or even an occasional commercial.
But remember to use caution, developing the right mascot can completely change the tone of your organization. If it's lighthearted, your company will be viewed the same. If the mascot was a misfire and comes off negatively, that could also affect the organization negatively.
If people agree with your cause, they will want to be a part of it. It's the nonprofit's responsibility to make sure donors can gain easy access to the organization once they get that urge to support. Otherwise, you risk losing out on an immeasurable amount of donations that could've gone a long way.