Tag Archives: Nonprofit marketing

Public speaking

Best Tips on Public Speaking for Beginners

It might be fair to admit we all probably share a few common fears like flying, heights, or fear of the dark. Avoidance can be an easy solution to our fears. If we’re afraid of flying, then we are likely to drive instead of buying a ticket for an airplane or if we’re afraid of heights then taking up mountain climbing may not be our top choice of activities.

But what if avoidance isn’t an option because your fear is an activity included in your job responsibilities? Yep, we’re talking about the fear of public speaking or the more scientific term “glossophobia”. For some of us, the mere mention of this responsibility can make hearts race and palms sweat.

Public speaking can instill fear in all of us, even the most seasoned speakers. Nonprofit consulting services are a great resource to help clients through these sometimes uncomfortable situations. There are some tips and tricks to employ, though, that can ease you through these daunting events and guide you toward becoming a public speaker exhibiting knowledge and grace. And a much slower heart rate.

Preparation is Key

Public speaking comes in many forms. A best man’s toast, speaking with the media, or thanking a large group of people. Sometimes you have to make an extensive presentation or you’re doing an interview for your local radio station.

Each can contribute to the level of fear you experience, but the common denominator is preparation. You simply have to know what you are going to say. Lack of preparation will only contribute to the anxiety you are already feeling.

Now that you have prepared what you are going to say or present, remember to cut yourself some slack. We all make mistakes and most people observing will sympathize with you should this happen. That being said, it will definitely show if you are underprepared as well.

Remember that old joke “Pardon me, can you tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?” The answer is: Practice. Practice. Practice. The same applies to public speaking. It is essential that you practice what you intend to say so that you can establish your cadence, pronunciations, and inflections. Know your subject, know your audience and in time practicing will help you leave out the “you knows” and the “ums”. The more you practice, the more you will feel at ease with each word.

The Importance of Appearance

If you are on stage delivering an important speech the last thing you want to think about is your tie being too tight, or your wool sweater too scratchy. Your physical comfort will contribute to feeling relaxed so you can concentrate on your presentation rather than loosening your tie. Preparation includes more than just practicing your speech.

Pay close attention to what you are wearing and the tools around you. Before taking the stage, if you have the ability, move your shoulders up and down and jiggle your arms and hands. A few slow deep breaths can work wonders to alleviate your nerves as well.

Once you begin your presentation don’t be afraid to use your body language. If you appear stiff and immoveable then the audience will notice this rather than concentrate on your speech. Casual hand gesturing and even walking around, if the situation allows, can contribute to your connection with the audience as well.

And lastly, make eye contact. It doesn’t matter if it’s an audience of five or 500, there is no surer way to connect with people than by making eye contact. This creates an intimate, human connection and can convince an audience of the significance of your words.

Are You Still Nervous?

If you are, then let that be the driving force to help you prepare what you have to say in front of an audience. Fear and anxiety about public speaking are normal and can affect anyone, but by implementing the tips above and of course, practicing, you’ll be sure to become more and more proficient at it. If you’re looking for more assistance on public speaking, reach out to us at KM Clark Consulting. We have years of experience with public speaking and… actually enjoy it! Let us help you find a place where you can enjoy public speaking as well!

A Vital Nonprofit Resource: How to Grow and Manage Your Volunteer Base

A Vital Nonprofit Resource: How to Grow and Manage Your Volunteer Base

Within a nonprofit organization there is typically a long list of responsibilities with not as long a list of employees to cover these needs. Therefore, employees typically end up wearing multiple hats. The grants administrator might also be teaching job skills trainings and a project manager might also be working as an event coordinator for a fundraising event. Hours can be long and employees can be stretched thin at times.

For these reasons, and more, are why a volunteer base is critical to ensuring that the community’s needs are met and employees aren’t reaching burnout. Community members have an enormous wealth of skills, experience, and compassion that can be utilized to accomplish any number of tasks or goals critical to the overall function of a nonprofit organization. But how do we get them to volunteer with our organization?

Who Are They and Where Do You Find Them?

The simple answer is anyone. The more specific answer is family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, church members, etc. Most people can be a volunteer. They just have to be asked. So many people are unaware of the needs that most nonprofits have that they might not realize they have a lot to offer other than a monetary donation.

Word of mouth can move mountains in the nonprofit world. Recruit through your contacts, your staff members, and through current volunteers. Encourage everyone to spread the word about volunteer opportunities. Asking for help can be humbling on any level, but when the request benefits a community issue, particularly when aiding vulnerable or marginalized people, the reward of gaining committed volunteers is worth the effort.

Also, make the recruitment of volunteers as part of your marketing strategy. People who devote their time to your organization are a key component to building brand awareness as well the more tangible aspect of getting the work done. Utilizing social media and volunteer websites to recruit volunteers will help disseminate appeals to grow a larger volunteer base with varied skills and time commitments.

Best Practices for Managing Volunteers

Don’t let your volunteer recruitment success falter by not having a plan in place that provides training and designated task assignments. If feasible, hire a volunteer coordinator to handle all aspects of the volunteer component of your nonprofit. This staff member should be fluent regarding all programs and the unmet needs within each and be skilled in filling the gaps with a diverse group of volunteers. A volunteer coordinator should:

  • Offer a variety of volunteer assignments and post each online with detailed descriptions.
  • Try to match volunteers according to their skill sets and their personal requests.
  • Provide training about the mission of the organization as well as for instructions for each task.
  • Communicate expectations and provide a safe environment for questions or problems.
  • Encourage both temporary and long-term needs and assignments.

 

If it’s unfeasible to hire a volunteer coordinator – your nonprofit organization can still make this work. Reach out to KM Clark Consulting Group today to see how we can help find unique ways to fit this into your organization’s structure. We know you’re busy and in the long run, a robust volunteer base will help lessen the work of employees.

How to Say Thank You

Volunteers choose to embrace sometimes difficult and often thankless types of tasks for as many reasons as there are different types of assignments. They choose to devote their precious time to lending their skills as well as their muscle to help nonprofit organizations succeed in their mission.

Volunteers deserve appreciation and recognition just as much as the exemplary employees on your staff. While they are lending their time to share in the responsibilities that make a nonprofit function it is necessary to reward their efforts. Ways to say thank you can include:

  • Feature volunteers in digital marketing platforms like newsletters and on social media.
  • During organization events highlight the contributions made by volunteers and the difference their work makes.
  • Thank volunteers with personalized messages from staff members or the executive director.
  • Share the story of a community member who has been directly helped by the work of a volunteer or group of volunteers.
  • Ask community members to write personal messages to volunteers showing their appreciation.
  • Hold a volunteer recognition event and invite donors as well as community members to share in thanking all of the organization’s volunteers.

 

Now’s the Time!

The best time to start growing your volunteer base is now. Even if you start small, the key is to just start. A strong, diverse volunteer base is an integral part of a nonprofit success. If you’re still unsure where to begin, KM Clark Consulting would love to assist your team in taking those first steps. Reach out to us today to see how we can help.

Best Practices for Talking to the Media About Your Nonprofit Organization

Best Practices for Talking to the Media about Your Nonprofit Organization

How many times have you encountered the unfortunate fact that too many people don’t know you exist as a nonprofit organization working hard in your local community? You certainly know your story… the purpose of your mission, the population you serve, and your positive impact on the community. Your nonprofit lives and breathes every accomplishment, and just needs a little boost when it comes to disseminating information that can increase awareness to the general public.

In this era of rapid-fire information combined with a tech-savvy audience, you should be provided with all you need to convey your message in the communities you serve. Whether you serve a large community or small, connecting with the outlets capable of broadening your reach is paramount. Have you ever heard “out of sight out of mind” or “the squeaky wheel gets the oil”? There are a number of “phrases” we could throw out here but I think you get the idea. If you are not focusing any time and/or resources on reaching your audience then you are leaving opportunities on the table, and I assure you someone else will be there to pick them up. Not only can the media help your nonprofit reach funders, but it can also help funders feel like their dollars spent are getting the recognition they want to show the community their commitment to helping the cause.

We know this can be overwhelming, so keep reading to hear our best tips on making it simpler. If you’re looking for more, contact us for a FREE discovery call to see how we can help your nonprofit reach its media goals.

First Steps

Before you try to create relationships with local media you must know who they are. You have to identify the television and radio stations in your area as well as newspapers and other print media like magazines. Watch their news coverage and read their articles. Determine what stories they cover. Are they quick to report on local stories concerning nonprofits and their impact? Are there issues they cover that could align with your services?

The advent of online media supplies an additional layer of potential media channels capable of reporting on the programs you administer and the vulnerable people you help. These nontraditional media resources are often smaller in scope and may be more accessible to engage. Ensure building connections by following outlets on all of their social media platforms and making attempts to connect by posting comments.

Make a Personal Connection

Reporters and other members of media staff are busy serving their community, as are you, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t hear back right away. Persistence will prevail! First things first, identify your organization and the purpose of your call. Be sure to ask how you can best provide them with what they look for in a story. Maybe a human-interest story? This can help facilitate the start of a relationship. Consistent communication including press releases can help validate your role in the nonprofit community.

Ensure that you are accessible to reporters and their media organizations and can be easily contacted for stories, statements, or follow-ups. The easier you make potential communication and the more significant the content, you will have a substantially elevated personal as well as professional presence with the media in your area- both traditional and nontraditional.

Your Time to Shine!

This is your time to shine an informative, appealing spotlight on your nonprofit. But your preparation has only just begun. The media windows are small and can close rapidly therefore it is crucial that you have your message distilled with essential details to gain the most impact.

You must master the most important points you want to convey and be prepared to repeat them in order to drive home the message. Practice stating each idea plus a few bonus points to color the overall interest of the interview. Try to shake off any jitters by speaking slowly, loudly, and enunciating clearly. Your time is finite so don’t lose your thread because of the fear of public speaking or other distractions.

And do not forget to state your ask. What do you need? More funding? Donated items? Volunteers? Ask with clarity and purpose because those few seconds might be your only chance at media coverage.

Forming relationships with your local media may seem daunting at first, but your nonprofit organization can reap the rewards of community awareness by cultivating long-term, mutually beneficial connections across all channels. As in any relationship, know the players, be clear in your message, and utilize the advantages of consistent media communication.

Still, feeling uncertain? Maybe you don’t have the capacity to get this going? Whatever the case, KM Clark Consulting is here to help. No commitments, just conversation. Contact us here!

5 Ways to Improve Your Nonprofit Facebook Page

5 Ways to Improve Your Nonprofit Facebook Page

Okay, so you’ve got your nonprofit Facebook page set up. Now, what’s the best way to get more out of it?

This is a common question we ask ourselves. There are so many great ways to use a nonprofit Facebook page, but it can be tough to know where to start. Like what should you post? When should you post? You might have completed the basics like writing an overview and adding contact information, but what’s next?

Our nonprofit consulting agency wants to share with you five ways to get more value out of your nonprofit Facebook page. From reaching new partners to engaging with your community, these tips will help you make the most of your page reach.

1 – Post-Great Content

Make sure to post great content on your nonprofit Facebook page! This is the most important thing you can do in order to engage your followers and keep them updated on what’s going on. Share newsworthy stories, questions for your followers to answer, and photos/commentary on recent events. Try to stick to the original content as much as possible, rather than sharing content from other sources. That way, your followers will get more out of your page instead of someone else’s!

2 – Post Regularly

Post regularly and be interesting and relevant! Brainstorm topics if you feel like you’re running out of things to write about – it’ll make you more creative and engaging. Write everything down during brainstorming! No matter how silly you might think it is; it might just give you the creativity you need to put out something amazing. Plus, think about how much your audience will appreciate having fresh, new content to read!

3 – Ask for Support

You’re on Facebook to gain more visibility for your nonprofit and highlight its impact on the community, so why not take the opportunity to ask for help too? There are plenty of people who would be more than happy to donate their time and resources to your sustainable nonprofit. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for support! Make sure you highlight actions and/or steps that people can take to support your nonprofit. Use your page’s “About” section to mention donations and ask others to share your content. Also, make sure you learn about all of the great nonprofit Facebook tools out there. With a little bit of effort, you’re sure to see great results.

4 – Make Your Mission Clear

Let people know what your nonprofit organization is all about and why they should care. You’ve probably mentioned the mission and purpose in the “About Me” section of the page, but you should rewrite it in a more conversational tone for a post. Use active voice and concrete language to explain what the nonprofit organization does and why it matters. People need to know what you’re fighting for before they can get on board. You’re on Facebook, just talk to people!

5 – Have a Strategy

The most important thing you can do for your Facebook page creates an incredible marketing strategy. This document should include your nonprofit’s goals, how you’ll measure them, and who your target audience is – read more about defining your target audience here. And on a side note: you’ll know what actions are driving your results on Facebook and can cut down on your time! Without this information, it’ll be tough to make progress with your nonprofit Facebook page. So get to work on creating a killer strategy.

Nonprofit Consulting on All Aspects of Marketing

Do you want to learn how to run a sustainable nonprofit that is backed up by great social media marketing? Nonprofit consulting can help! At KM Clark Consulting Group we offer services that will guide you through all aspects of marketing, including Facebook. With our help, you can create a sustainable nonprofit that will make a difference in your community. Contact us today to learn more!

Why Nonprofits Should Be Writing Press Releases

Why Nonprofits Should Be Writing Press Releases

How can you get your nonprofit’s story out there when everyone is competing for attention?

We know it can be tough to stand out from the noise in today’s world. Especially when there are so many worthy causes out there trying to get the same attention. At our nonprofit consulting agency, what we have discovered is that one of the best ways to get your story out there is to write nonprofit press releases.

Now, you’re probably wondering… why a press release? The answer: a nonprofit press release is one of the most cost-effective (free if you do it yourself) and efficient ways to get your nonprofit’s story in front of as many people as possible. Plus, your audience will often view the piece as more credible than conventional advertising, and news outlets might share it on their website bringing serious attention your way.

Three Benefits of Nonprofit Press Releases

When your nonprofit does something amazing, send out a press release to share the good news! Here are three reasons why:

  • Press releases help you share your story with the world!They build credibility and a positive image for your nonprofit.They aid with search engine rankings since you receive a link to your site from another reputable source.

Writing and sending them is simple and easy, so there’s no reason not to do it! A press release is not a complex writing task. Plus, there’s a free template for just about everything online these days! Just find a good template and write your own.

Also, when you share news, editors at news sites are likely to take notice. If they publish the information, you just earned some free publicity! An online press release – which is pretty much all press releases today – will have a link back to your site.

To get the most out of your press releases, you need to be careful about how you circulate them. You can use a press release service to send them to a broad list of media contacts, but you’re likely to get better results if you cultivate your own list of media contacts and reach out personally – after you’ve built a relationship of course!

Using Press Releases Strategically

Strategically using press releases can help your sustainable nonprofit achieve success over time. Don’t be afraid to draw attention to your nonprofit organization – you don’t have to brag to get press attention either. The most important thing to remember is that a press release is for sharing REAL news. So, if you’ve just won a major marketing award or secured sponsorship from a big company, this is definitely newsworthy! Take some time to celebrate and brag about the awesome job you’re doing by getting your press release written (and submitted to local media outlets) so you can get the news out about your organization. But remember, your press release isn’t an opinion piece, it’s a news piece! So make sure you write it as such.

Staying on top of the latest news in your industry is important too! If there is a news story that relates to your cause, you can share that too! Take the time to figure out how your causes are connected and add your own unique perspective to the news stories. For example, if the state’s Department of Environmental Quality announced that they are going to monitor the air quality in your city more closely, you could share that on social media. Your cause may work with this department to improve air quality, so this piece of news may be relevant to you.

Always be on the lookout for stories that relate to your cause, and use tools like Google Alerts to make sure you never miss an opportunity.

Nonprofit Consulting for Sustainability and Strategy

At KM Clark Consulting Group, we’re passionate about helping nonprofits sustain themselves and carry out their missions. Through training, strategic planning, marketing, and partnership building, our nonprofit consulting agency can help equip your sustainable nonprofit with the tools it needs to thrive. Tools just like the nonprofit press release we mentioned above. If you have any marketing challenges, don’t hesitate to get in touch — we have the experience and skills to help your nonprofit tackle its challenges.

Why Defining Your Target Audience Is Important

Why Defining Your Nonprofit’s Target Audience is Important

Knowing your target audience or the specific group you want to affect with your messaging may seem like a simple and easy task, but it’s truly a foundational item to any organization, especially a nonprofit. After all, you want to be impactful and it’s hard to have meaningful and impactful conversations without knowing whom you’re speaking to. Right?

So let’s talk about it. Does your nonprofit organization know their target audience? Maybe you do or maybe you’re still refining who they are. If you aren’t sure yet who your target audience is… let’s take a look!

Defining your target audience

Your target audience could be multiple groups of people depending on why you are embarking on a marketing plan. Do you need more volunteers? Money? Clients? Below are examples of some typical nonprofit target audiences:

Let’s look at an example. Your organization is looking at increasing donations for the year so your board wants to create a plan around this.

Who do you think your target audience is in this circumstance?

It could be current donors or it could be potential.

But, which is your team looking to increase? Do you want current donors to give more or give more often? Or are you looking for new donors?
Can you see how creating a plan for these two similar but very different groups would not be the same? Potential donors may not know anything about your organization, so you couldn’t send them an email that jumps right into asking them to increase their donation… they don’t even know who you are yet! However, that approach might work for a current donor.

Closing

If you already know your nonprofit’s target audience or audiences… think about the following questions.

Do you know what inspires your target audience? What do they care most about? How do they like to be communicated with? How does this audience feel about your organization?

Continue to ask questions… Dig deep. Treat your audiences like a new relationship. You want to know more and more about them, taking time to understand them is key to any non profit organization!

Feeling overwhelmed trying to define your nonprofit’s target audience? KM Consulting Group can help. Contact our nonprofit consulting agency to learn how we can help.