Nonprofit marketing – from the inside out
“How can an organization effectively engage consumers when it is unable to engage its own staff members and volunteers?”
For me, this statement nicely sums up the point of Sybil F. Stershic’s new book, Share of Mind, Share of Heart: Marketing Tools of Engagement for Nonprofits.
There are dozens of books out there on marketing your nonprofit to attract new supporters, advance an advocacy agenda or keep the donors you have. But this is the first book that I’ve read that specifically targets marketing “from the inside-out.” That is, this book focuses on the people who work or volunteer for you.
Sybil reminds us that “people’s passion for the mission should not be taken for granted” something I repeatedly tell fundraisers who feel frustrated with their board members.
Behind every interaction with your “customers” (read donors, clients, constituents), there is a responsible person inside your organization. In most cases it may be a staff member, but it can also be a board member or another volunteer.
You might have the best marketing collateral, a really astute marketing strategy, or the most creative branding on paper. But unless each and every person in your organization both understands and cares about their role in advancing that strategy, you really aren’t going to get very far.
You’ve experienced this. Maybe it was the grouchy receptionist. Or the data entry volunteer who doesn’t take the time to spell donor names correctly because he just doesn’t understand how critically important his actions are for your future success.
The 3 Rs Foundation
Sybil walks you through her formula for gaining employee and volunteer commitment and improving their engagement. It’s build around her 3 Rs:
- Respect – ensuring people have the necessary tools and support to do their work
- Recognition – honoring people when they do the right things
- Reinforcement – continually doing the internal marketing to support a mission-based, customer focused culture, for both new and continuing employees and volunteers
You’ll find examples of how real nonprofit organizations have employed these internal strategies.
And, at the end of each chapter, Sybil provides you with “Action Starter Notes,” a set of questions and activities to help you get started designing or improving your own internal marketing program.
There is a lot packed into this compact book. While you’ve heard it said that “marketing is everyone’s job,” Sybil actually shows you how to make that happen.