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ASU Lodestar Center Blog

The top eight goals to consider for your nonprofit communications team

A nonprofit organization's communication team must be skilled communicators to achieve the broader goals and objectives of the nonprofit organization. Communication teams at nonprofits convey information to the public sector, private sector, the media, communities, organization’s staff, and other responders.

The primary goal of a nonprofit communication team is to raise awareness of the work of the nonprofit organization so that it can secure volunteers and funding to continue its mission. 

Nonprofit communication teams serve to empower their communities, governments, donors, and the public at large with information regarding the impact and influence of their organization’s work. This is necessary to ensure government authorization, active community engagement, and positive feedback from the media and society.

Communication teams are responsible for developing proposals and requests for funding for donors. This process occurs in collaboration with the management team to present a clear and concise plan of an organization's achievements and plans. Nonprofits rely on donor funding for their operations. Donors require concise plans and objectives for funding projects.

Let’s explore eight important goals that every nonprofit organization’s communication team should be invested in:

1. Brand management

Communication teams build brand awareness through tailored advertising, social media engagement, and local groups on the ground. Brand awareness is key to raising awareness of goals and work that the nonprofit organization is doing in local communities. There are several free marketing tools for small businesses that a nonprofit can use to manage their brand without having to break the bank. 

Brand management can enhance community engagement and improve donor-funding requests. Both local communities and the broader society tend to be brand aware. People engage more in attractive brands as compared to unattractive brands.

2. Conflict resolution

Nonprofit organizations may sometimes find themselves at odds with local communities due to different cultures and beliefs. Respective communication teams undertake the obligation of understanding the local community’s wishes and preferences and aligning them with the goals of the nonprofit organization. While this situation is not common, nonprofits need to be aware of cultural or other norms when developing a communication strategy. 

Additionally, communication teams may need to hold meetings with local communities before undertaking their goals physically. Ensuring that your nonprofit organization is aligned with the needs of your community means that you will be able to build relationships and secure more funding in the long run while also accomplishing your mission. 

3. Recruitment and talent management

Nonprofits do require specific talents to undertake challenging work in areas such as health, diplomacy, and technology. In order to have a strong, successful nonprofit, you need volunteers who are willing to share their time and knowledge about their areas of expertise. 

Communication teams can tailor attractive propositions to interested candidates in order to reduce competition for talent with other groups such as the private sector, public sector, and other nonprofit organizations. 

In addition, communication teams serve to retain existing talent through encouraging openness; organizing extended trips, conferences, and many others. One way to accomplish this is to build a strong online presence with a website to engage donors and volunteers. 

4. Effective internal communication

To harness volunteer engagement, talents and improved productivity, effective internal communication is essential. Communication teams build internal communication channels that are engaging, effective and open. One of the biggest obstacles facing nonprofit organizations is retaining volunteers and preventing burnout. 

A strong communication team can help build a strong volunteer base while also improving morale for all volunteers in the organization. This improves workflow and reports in an organization. Therefore, a nonprofit can focus more on the community they are serving as opposed to solving internal bottlenecks and challenges.

5. Donor management

Communication teams tend to be the first line of communication with consumers that need assistance or help. Therefore, communication teams are essential in assisting the donor to overcome challenges that he or she faces with products or services related to a nonprofit. 

Proper donor management leads to positive feedback from donors, who are then more likely to recommend the product or service to other potential donors in a particular location. A strong communication team can have a substantial impact on attracting more donors and improving the financial standing across your organization. 

6. Problem solving

In addition to donor management, communication teams may be required to troubleshoot or help the donor solve his query. Therefore, communication teams require a great understanding of the inner workings of the product and should be ready to offer an acceptable solution. This leads to positive feedback and more referrals from donors.

Since your communication team is the front-facing team that builds the online presence of your organization, team members must be able to think through problems your organization is facing and build a strategy around your goals. 

7. Nonprofit reputation management

A good name is a key to ensuring donor funding and positive community engagement. Managing reputation involves building a good name based on the objectives and successes of an organization. Status is also key to weathering crises and improving overall perception.

A lot of time and energy goes into creating a positive online reputation for each nonprofit, but this is essential to keep volunteers and donors interested in the cause. The team should monitor various channels including the organization's website, social media, and other outreach methods to ensure the nonprofit maintains a positive online reputation. 

8. Government relations and legislation

For nonprofits working in strict environments such as the health sector, maintaining positive ties with legislative agencies is essential for future authorizations to operate within certain jurisdictions. 

Communication teams also track bills, laws and other rules to ensure that the nonprofit organization works within the law. Communication teams also lobby for favorable operating conditions from the government.

A strong communication team = nonprofit success!

The success of any communication team is dependent on how it is linked to a nonprofit organization’s strategy. Communication teams must be ready and willing to engage in different subsets of the nonprofit to promote and ensure the survival of the nonprofit.

As your nonprofit continues to grow, stay focused on the above eight goals for your communication team. Your communication team must consist of dedicated and knowledgeable experts who focus on ways to improve your nonprofit's standing in your community. A strong online presence will not only help you attract more donors, but you will also see a growth of donors for the long-term success of your mission!

Chris is a Digital Media Strategy Consultant in Orlando, FL where he helps national brands and nonprofits reach their goals. He focuses on helping organizations drive qualified traffic and build a strong online brand through Internet marketing and conversion optimization.

Learn more: Enroll in our Nonprofit Marketing and Strategic Communications certificate program

Get the training you need to lead and manage marketing and communication strategies for nonprofits. You will gain knowledge and skills in marketing, communication, public relations and social media for the nonprofit sector. Learn more about this online program from the ASU Lodestar Center's Nonprofit Management Institute.


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