A guest post by Harry Lopez
If you run a nonprofit organisation, consider your local community to be the heart of your cause. The people surrounding your doorstep are those who will bring the biggest positive impact to the recognition and success of your organisation.
Nonprofits are an integral part of society. They are the voice of the people they serve, heal, protect, shelter, educate, support, rescue and nurture. Often it is nonprofits who offer life-saving aid and life-changing support and opportunities for disadvantaged people. They are the voice of the heartbroken, the struggling and those in need.
So how exactly can nonprofits support local communities?
Be an active part of the community
To support your local community, you must first be an active part of it. So get involved in the social club, run a stall at the summer fair, donate new art equipment to the local schools, and help to serve tea and coffee at the village hall.
Loyalty is extremely important when it comes to keeping your followers repeatedly donating and supporting your nonprofit. Making a positive impact in your community will not only help you to continue spreading kindness, but it will also improve your brand recognition and help to increase the visibility of your cause.
After all, the more people you can reach, the more donations you can receive, and the bigger impact you can have for your community and the lives of those who are loyal to your organisation.
Be the voice of change
Often, it is nonprofits who pave the road to change. From wildlife conservation, environmental protection, ending child marriage to promoting equality and social justice, it is because of their positive impact on their communities and people world-wide that these organisations are remembered and admired.
Whatever your cause is, brainstorm ways you can directly help the people around you in line with your brand values. Be there for important events that matter to your people, and become their voice and advocate. By doing so you will inevitably start conversations and begin to build relationships with the people around you.
In time you will gain their trust and respect, and help to strengthen the overall fabric of your community.
Give back to your warriors
You need people who are passionate about your cause to make your organisation successful. Whilst you may aspire to eventually have a worldwide following, the best place to start is with the people on your doorstep. You may be surprised just how many of your neighbours resonate with your cause. Most people are empathetic and so long as you act with integrity and goodwill, they will be glad to help if they can.
Make sure you give back to your warriors, those who are loyal to your cause and shout about it from the rooftops. Show them how much you appreciate them by supporting them with acts of kindness. There are many ways you can give back to your community, from simply publishing an appreciation post on your social media pages, to gifting a loyal donor their weekly food shop.
Be there for your people
Be your community’s hero, the people they turn to when they need a helping hand. Giving back shows that you care and are willing to spend money raised to help further the lives of everyone in your local community.
Work on gaining the trust and respect of the people around you by recognising a need and finding a creative solution. This can be as small as organising a group of volunteers to go litter picking, or as dramatic as collecting donations of clothing, home supplies and food for a local family who have suffered a house fire.
If one of your local supporters has lost a loved one, make it your business to know about it and send them a card and some flowers. These acts of kindness build your integrity as a brand and grow the trust and loyalty of your donors.
Become a community hub
If you are looking to boost your brand’s impact and get to know the people of your community better, why not host a monthly or weekly meeting? You may be able to hire the village hall or community centre for a couple of hours to invite everyone to come and have a cup of coffee and chat about what they feel is important to their community. Discussion can be open ended, or planned if there is a specific campaign you are planning and would like opinions on.
You may find some people come to enjoy the relationships they build at your meetings, and soon you will have created a mini society of loyal followers for your cause.
Harry Lopez is a financial advisor who specialises in giving unbiased advice to nonprofit start-ups. Harry works closely with many entrepreneurs to ensure their businesses are environmentally friendly and will positively impact the lives of everyone they reach.