October 28, 2020 |
Everyone in the nonprofit sphere knows the power of storytelling. Bringing a human element to your communication is a surefire way to increase and deepen engagement, and now many nonprofits are taking this to the next level with relational organizing. With unlimited information available almost anywhere they look, more and more people, especially the younger generations, are relying on relatable, “human” sources for information, rather than exclusively depending on branded marketing. Word-of-mouth marketing is a low-cost method of increasing your supporter base by leveraging your existing supporters, and it's something that organizations of all sizes and missions can do.
What is relational organizing?
Relational organizing is the process by which an organization empowers its supporters to work on its behalf by bringing in their existing personal networks. Relational organizing is an effective strategy that nonprofits can implement to benefit from organic relationships that exist between supporters and their communities.
Why is relational organizing important now?
In the new normal that we live in, particularly regarding isolation due to social distancing and quarantine orders, people are looking for two things: a sense of community and opportunities to help make a positive difference. Especially during times of crisis, we look to one another to gain clarity, comfort, and community. With more of us at home, people are searching for digital relationships and avenues to take action more than ever.
What are ways nonprofits can engage in relational organizing?
Build digital community
Social media platforms, chatrooms, and forums have become areas in which digital community spaces are created and meaningful, organic conversations occur. Because people can no longer meet like-minded supporters at events, now is an opportune time for nonprofit organizations to engage in digital community building and management. How can your nonprofit bring in more people? There are multiple channels – like Facebook groups, Slack, WhatsApp, Discord, and more – that organizations can take advantage of to create a sense of digital community among their supporters.
These days, there are a variety of methods available for peer-to-peer engagement. From remote phone banking to social media advocacy and fundraising, nonprofits should take advantage of the wide array of communication channels available and encourage supporters to share content where they are engaging with their community. Rather than simply asking supporters to post your content, consider how you can work to build a “network effect,” in which people are talking and sharing things with one another.
Using community-sourced content is a strategic way to actively engage your audience and save resources on content generation. This type of content can also be a good place to encourage collaborations with featured ambassadors or influencers. Do Big Things defines an influencer as someone who has at least a thousand of people in their network. Collaborating with ambassadors and influencers can help nonprofits more intimately connect with their audiences.
For more in-depth information on relational organizing and strategies your nonprofit can implement, be sure to watch our webinar “Communicate Through It: How to Fundraise in Ongoing Crises” to hear from experts you can trust.
EveryAction 360 is equipped with a robust suite of digital tools your organization can quickly and easily leverage to immediately engage in relational organizing. From features like social network integrations to advocacy, from targeted email to mobile messaging, and more, see how your nonprofit build and strengthen its community by getting a demo today.