Think a Mission Ambassador is Out of Your Nonprofit’s League? Think again.
How many times have you secretly envied an organization with a mission ambassador? You know, the nonprofit with enough funds to hire a big name movie star or a winning quarterback to tout their mission? Or, the organization whose founder is larger than life?
Believe it or not, your nonprofit can have a mission ambassador, too. And, lucky for you, you needn’t look further than your own back yard. Almost anyone who believes in your mission — donors, volunteers, event participants, sponsors, board members, staff, friends, and family — can act as an ambassador for your mission. And, through social media and other channels, they can extend your marketing reach with a relatively low investment of time and money for you and for them.
I can almost hear you thinking, “Wow, that’s great! But, how do I get those people to help me?” I’m glad you asked!
- Have a plan in place for your mission ambassadors. Identify an area of your work that you want them to focus on. Or, consider if there is an event series or other initiative that needs support. Document the areas in which you would like your ambassadors to help so they can quickly and easily understand their role.
- Build online support materials for your ambassador. Work with your marketing team to create hashtags or themes your mission ambassadors can use on social media. Have a ready supply of photos for them to use, and create bullet points that they can use as a starting point when they speak or write about your organization. Also, be prepared for your ambassadors to have their own photos and stories about how your mission has touched their life (after all, that’s why you chose them in the first place), and have a process in place for approvals, if needed.
- Secure your ambassadors. Start by having conversations with your donors, volunteers, event participants, sponsors, board members, and staff. Begin by talking about your mission ambassador program, and see who shows interest. Or, seek out people who you know have what it takes to be an ambassador. Give them an idea of what you’d like them to do, and see if it interests them. Maybe you know that a person is into social media, while another might prefer to speak at conferences or be a part of an event. Others might like to share their stories with donors on a one-to-one level. The thing to remember is that you don’t have to stop at one type of ambassador — depending on how you structure your program, you could use a few.
In conclusion, mission ambassadors can be a tremendous, low-cost marketing tool that can help take your organization to the next level. Just remember to have a plan in place, provide them with support, and allow whomever you chose as ambassadors to be themselves so that the messages they send are genuine.
Interested in learning about more ways to reach more people with your nonprofit’s message? Contact Cathexis Partners.
by Laura Higgins, Strategic Consultant, Cathexis Partners
Laura specializes in fundraising and community-building events, and has worked with nonprofits for more than 15 years.