Did someone say FREE publicity? - Part 2
As I pointed out last month, donors first need to know you exist. So how do you build awareness of your wonderful mission without busting your budget? EVERYONE constantly promotes.
Join clubs and organizations. Share through speaking the valuable business, leadership, and human relations experience you've acquired over the years that any business benefits from.
If you're afraid of public speaking - conquer it. Join Toastmasters International and get comfortable in front of people: www.toastmasters.org/find. And if your skills are already quite advanced, another great speaking and networking opportunity is www.BillGoveSpeechClub.com .
Just don't pitch your organization from stage unless you've been given a clear green light to do so. Many of these groups are rather strict on this. But you'll still be generating awareness and free publicity.
Your introduction (that you write for the host) will mention what you do and who you represent. And it may be appropriate to include an example or story from your work during your talk. You will make contacts and spread the word.
This is an opinion article (i.e., essay or guest column), written by anyone outside of the newspaper or magazine, and it appears on the page opposite the publication's editorial. There's lots of competition for this space, so keep your eye on current national and area events. Comment on anything with a connection to your mission.
Here are a few tips to get your article noticed by the editor:
- Will it cause readers to say, "Hey! Did you read 'xyz' yesterday?"
- Will it generate any discussion in the community?
- Can you share a local story about a person or family you helped; or could have helped if they had just known about your mission?
- Have it signed by the most notable person you can get. A prominent supporter outside your organization can even sign it.
- Do not blatantly promote your nonprofit or an upcoming event you're planning. It's extremely unlikely it will get published.
Here's a resource: wondervoice.com. Send your article to them and they can distribute it among 500 newspapers and publications as you wish.
- Free interview on a radio station. Make it easy for them with a press release and typed questions to ask you.
- Anyone on your staff could contact their college/university alumni office. Request space for a brief article in the alumni publication. It's also an opportunity for the school to feature something wonderful a graduate is doing.
I believe you'll be thrilled with the rewards of your efforts . . . A growing number of people who know and understand the value of your mission. And more donations coming your way as your list grows. As always, outsource what you're not an expert in yourself.
Do something weekly to promote your nonprofit organization. It's analogous to caring for a plant - it needs regular watering and feeding to be healthy and growing.
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Just for fun - a quote for you
"No person was ever honored for what they received. Honor has been the reward for what they gave." (Calvin Coolidge, 1872-1933, Former President of the United States)