How to Work with Influencers to Gain Awareness for Your Nonprofit

These days, we hear a lot about influencers. They seem to be everywhere. You might even follow some on your favorite social media channels.

Working with the right influencers can help you increase awareness for your nonprofit’s mission or even for specific campaigns that ultimately support your mission.

Let’s consider a few points about how your nonprofit can work with influencers:

What are influencers?
Influencers (also called content creators) are typically experts involving a specific interest. They often have an audience that they communicate with (usually via social media channels) to inform, educate, inspire, and/or motivate to take some kind of action.

How can influencers help nonprofits?
Influencers can help you get the word out about your organization’s presence, mission, and work. Because influencers usually have a following of people with a specific interest, working with them can help you extend your reach to new people within a target audience.

How can a nonprofit work with influencers?
In general, working effectively with influencers involves:

  • Identifying the target audience for your mission or campaign
  • Pinpointing a short list of potential influencers that align with your mission and values and have strong engagement with your target audience
  • Confirming that there is potential for a long-term partnership with the influencers (versus just a one-time engagement)
  • Establishing a written agreement with influencers that outlines the terms of your work together, including the purpose of your partnership, your expectations, any guidelines influencers will need to follow, and any compensation you will provide.

It can be helpful to work with a social media services company that specializes in partnering with influencers. They can help you to find and establish effective relationships with influencers who align with your nonprofit’s values and goals.

Working with influencers: a real-world nonprofit story
I recently sat down with Olivia Laura, social media manager at It Gets Better Project, and Tiffany Rivers, senior director of social media at Media Cause, for my recent podcast for NonProfit PRO to talk about their success with the It Gets Better Project’s 50 States, 50 Grants, 5000 Voices campaign. With this campaign, It Gets Better Project worked with Media Cause to develop relationships with influencers on TikTok that helped the nonprofit to:

  • Distribute $500,000 in grants across almost all 50 states via corporate funding from American Eagle.
  • Drive more than 104 million views of the campaign’s hashtag on TikTok.
  • Increase profile views for the It Gets Better TikTok page by 1000%.

“It was a hashtag-based campaign, called #FavoriteTeacher,” Laura said. “We had some influencers create videos on their own channels using the hashtag and they told some stories about a teacher that really impacted them during their life. So, a lot of them were funny, some of them were really sweet and inspiring. And then we had our own landing page on the TikTok Discover page.”

You can listen to the podcast, How to Use Influencers to Gain Awareness on Social Media, to learn more about this nonprofit success story.

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