Are Your Communications Strategic at Your Not-for-Profit Organization?
Many not-for-profit organizations are cause-driven and attract staff with lots of passion. With so much work to do, can you be sure that your employees are all on the same page and working together to achieve the organizational priorities? Taking a strategic approach to internal communications can have a dramatic effect that rallies teams to work more effectively together and to share a common understanding of priorities.
Who are your stakeholders?
If your organization is member-based, there is probably an expectation that you understand their different requirements and that you will deliver on them.
If your organization is non-member-based, you may have an even more challenging job of knowing who your stakeholders and donors are and what they expect. Successful interactions hang on the ability to set appropriate expectations and then to fulfill them.
Not effectively engaging employees and stakeholders can lead an organization down a perilous path and possibly to a state of irrelevance. This is where strategic communications come in.
A key area of expertise that is often missing at not-for-profits is the ability to strategically direct internal and external communications. The challenge is to harness this function and translate it into a framework that can be implemented by leadership and operations employees alike.
Where do you begin?
It starts with a review of the strategic plan to determine what is needed to achieve its objectives. Those requirements are then viewed through a communications lens and translated to staff in operational terms with associated timelines, then reinforced with frequent updates and discussion.
External communications provide the opportunity to share plans, progress and achievements with members and donors. Keeping communication channels open helps your organization build relationships with your stakeholders and strengthen the impact of your work, both in the here and now and into the future.
“Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.” Peter Drucker
The Business Sherpa Group is well positioned to provide the expertise to establish a strategic communications framework, to coach leaders on how they can engage their team, show employees how to take next steps, and to support the process together. Find out how communications can engage your stakeholders, meet their expectations, and create a robust foundation capable of sharing successful outcomes.
About the Author
Dyna Vink is a senior communications, marketing and change management professional with a proven track record in delivering measurable results through imaginative solutions. She has over 20 years of experience in leading a wide range of initiatives in the areas of strategic communications, marketing, communications for change, and stakeholder engagement.