Cultivate Your Evangelists! Today is a Day Late!Feb 06, 2023
You cannot advocate and ensure sustainable resources on your own.
You need community advocates. People who know and support your services. Evangelists. Are you converting your volunteers and users to evangelists? Are you cultivating your evangelists?
So, how do you turn outsiders into evangelists? Most high-impact not-for-profits create ways for many people to engage with their organization. And when they offer the right types of experiences, the best organizations convert their volunteers into passionate evangelists for the cause.
We have recommended Forces for Good before. And we recommend it again here. Researchers and authors Leslie Crutchfield and Heather Grant provide a number of suggestions taken from their studies of high-performing agencies.
Who are your ambassadors? Who promotes your organization, its programs, and its services? Who can you muster on a moment’s notice for that critical municipal budget meeting or presentation?
Have a plan and work your plan…
First, build larger communities. The best groups move beyond mere individual engagement to create larger communities of supporters. Communities are treated as ends in themselves and can be mobilized for larger social change. This fits of course with a focus on achieving your mission with community partners, not just delivering programs and services.
Be sure to follow some basic rules of engagement: communicate your mission, vision, and values. How do you do this in a planned, systematic way?
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Start by communicating your values, building a strong culture, and creating emotional “hooks” to engage and inspire others around your values.
Create meaningful experiences for volunteers -- meaningful experiences that align with the mission of your organization. Involve them in more than just volunteering or writing a check. Have them experience your work in person if you can. Cultivate evangelists.
Convert your volunteers into evangelists who will spread the word among their social networks. Cultivate high-powered super-evangelists whose values and interests align with yours and who can help create organizational momentum.
The “super-supporters” or evangelists can be a foundational element in creating community awareness and support.
Have them in place today. Before you need them tomorrow.
What are your main “pain points” dealing with board development?
What advice would be most helpful to you?
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Get in touch. We’ll address your questions and concerns in an upcoming blog post.
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