By Derrick Feldmann, CEO of Achieve
The term “influencer” has been used in marketing and advertising for years. Influencers are individuals that effectively persuade other individuals to purchase, participate or engage in a product or activity. Companies work with influencers for product launches and spreading messages through networks, social media and other local public relations tactics.
The concept of influencers is actually not foreign to nonprofits. Organizations typically use influencers to help raise funds for capital campaigns or to get participants to special events. Through volunteers and their networks, nonprofits gain support and spread their name in new social circles.
But today’s nonprofit influencer is different.
Today’s nonprofit influencer has new technology tools like social media to support and leverage their thoughts and ideas.
Today’s nonprofit influencer doesn’t have a formal title such as “Ambassador”. The influencer is not listed in an annual report or on the website.
Today’s nonprofit influencer works behind the scenes, within social media platforms, and in local coffee shops to spread messages and build connections between the organization and the potential constituents.
Today’s nonprofit influencer works on behalf of the organization because of their deep understanding of the nonprofit’s needs, personal interest, and/or ability to get involved in crafting a project or solution. Give the influencer a specific challenge and let them spread and communicate it through their network.
Today’s nonprofit influencer wants to spread messages for you that are not manufactured in an office. They want to tell friends and family about the importance of the cause. Give the influencer a concept wrapped in a story to share.
Today’s nonprofit influencer is going to use multiple channels and expect that the organization’s website will continue the story and support the interest they create from their network. Give the influencer specific links for their network to take action.
Today’s nonprofit influencer is ready to spread messages beyond donation requests. They are excited about clear opportunities to involve others and will expect specific calls to action to engage their network. Give the influencer graduated levels of engagement/volunteerism for their network to plug in.
As your organization looks to involve influencers in peer fundraising, capital campaigns, and even that next special event, make sure and review what nonprofit influencers need. If you are not up for the task, don’t waste the influencer’s time. They probably won’t help in the future.