Generally speaking, humans respond better when connecting with other humans. That’s just part of our human nature. Regardless of whether we’re interacting in a social setting or in a business setting, we want to engage with real people.
As nonprofit marketers, it’s important to keep this tenet in mind when engaging with constituents, donors, volunteers, advocates, and sponsors. In this blog post, we’ve outlined 5 simple ways to humanize your nonprofit brand to help you better connect with your community.
1. Tell compelling stories.
Storytelling plays a vital role in the human experience. Some of our earliest recollections include hearing stories that have become permanently etched into our memories. We pass those stories down through generations, and they eventually take on a life of their own. Based on their service-oriented causes and missions, nonprofits and charitable organizations have a treasure trove of powerful stories to tell. Dig deep into your story arsenal and share your most compelling narratives. This will make your nonprofit brand more relatable and inspire your community to take action on behalf of your cause.
2. Engage in conversations on social media.
Pardon the cliché, but for digital marketers, social media is the gift that just keeps on giving. Among the many gifts bestowed upon us by social media is the ability to engage in conversations with our online communities. From direct replies on Twitter, to fundraising campaigns on Facebook, to event announcements on LinkedIn, to photo sharing on Instagram, social media makes it possible to build rapport with your community. Nonprofit marketers can take advantage of this by engaging in meaningful social media conversations with community members on a daily basis.
3. Share images and videos of real people.
What better way to express your nonprofit’s humanity than with faces and voices of actual people? Show off images of your employees working hard to fulfill your nonprofit's mission. Don't be shy about flaunting photos of your volunteers in action. As you share your nonprofit stories, be sure to include video testimonials of real people whose lives have been changed by your outstanding work. And always, always, always take plenty of photos and video footage at your events so your visual content can be shared through social media, blog posts, email newsletters, annual reports, and more.
4. Embrace your unique brand personality and voice.
Whenever you write content for any of your nonprofit marketing channels—whether it's a blog post, email copy, social media messages, a video script, etc.—use a consistent voice and tone. By doing this, you create a consistent brand experience for your community and help them to distinguish your unique voice from other organizations. Is your nonprofit’s personality passionate, humorous, thoughtful, or scholastic? It’s fully up to you to define the brand personality and voice that matches your organization’s cause and mission. The key is to always come across as a real, authentic person whose sole purpose is to help solve your audiences’ problems.
5. Own up to your failures.
The human experience is never devoid of failure. Arguably, failure is an inevitable path to success. And there's always room for growth when we learn from our mistakes. But before we can do this, we first have to own our failures and mistakes. When crises occur in your nonprofit organization (and they surely will), choose to handle them with transparency and accountability. In turn, your community will respect your integrity and reward you with their loyalty. Perfection is never a requirement for trust, but authenticity always will be. [Tweet this]
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