To effectively promote their mission and drive positive change, nonprofits require support from individuals who share their passion. One effective way to cultivate this support is by building an engaged online community. However, successfully building such a community requires a thoughtful approach and consistent effort. Nonprofits must define their goals, select the right platform, create valuable content, encourage member engagement, celebrate community members, leverage influencers, and monitor and evaluate their progress. By following these steps, nonprofits can create an online community that effectively supports their mission and generates meaningful impact in their area of focus.
Why do you wish to establish a non-profit online community?
It's important to consider the strategic goals of your organization and evaluate how an online community could be beneficial. Here are some possible goals to consider:
- Increase donation rates
- Recruit more volunteers
- Improve volunteer retention
- Enhance brand awareness
- Increase prospects for sponsorship and collaboration
- Promote collaboration and knowledge-sharing
- Find and support your organization's community champions.
1. Choose a Platform That Is Right for Your Organization
The digital world provides numerous platforms to create an online community, and once you establish your community strategy, you can explore software to assist you. Although the software requirements may vary depending on your organization, there are specific functionalities that every excellent community management platform should offer to enhance engagement and create a positive user experience.
2. Know about your Community Mission Statement
Once you have established your objectives, you can draft a mission statement for your community that outlines its purpose and goals. The Foundation serves as a crucial aspect of your community, and you should refer to it when making any decisions. It assists in setting targets for the future and identifying the necessary operational strategies to achieve them.
3. Setting up your community
The community manager is responsible for overseeing, engaging, and expanding the community, and their main objective is to create a lively and engaging space where people can interact. Apart from ensuring user safety, it is essential to understand and enforce the community rules. Set clear guidelines on how members should interact with each other, specify acceptable behavior, and outline the consequences for breaking the rules. Before launching the online community, gather and create content to generate interest. Additionally, you may consider inviting specific members to participate in discussions to generate interest and activity before the official launch.
4. Focus on engagement
Once you have established an online community, the next step is to nurture it through engagement. Engagement refers to how your audience interacts with your content, and it is essential to keep them inspired by the mission of your nonprofit beyond likes and comments. Encourage community involvement by fostering thought-provoking conversations, which can be facilitated by a designated community manager responsible for moderating discussions and enforcing community guidelines. This will help to create a sense of community among members.
5. Activate Community Champions
It is crucial to acknowledge and appreciate people when establishing an online community. Your community champions are individuals who actively advocate for your cause. Look out for volunteers who take initiative, exhibit strong leadership skills, and consistently offer solutions to problems. These community champions and influencers provide valuable feedback and suggestions for improvement. Therefore, it is essential to thank them for their contributions to the progress of your organization.
6. KPI tracking
Establishing a successful online community requires significant effort, which is why measuring your progress is critical. This enables you to identify which strategies are yielding results and where to focus your efforts. To achieve this, you need to set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are specific to your organization. For example, as you are building an online community, you may want to assess the effectiveness of your content strategy and determine if you are sharing valuable content. You can also track the level of engagement your community has with your social media platforms to evaluate your success.
An Important Resource for Your Nonprofit Organization
Creating a successful online community can be instrumental in achieving your organization’s goals by allowing you to connect with people on a personal level. Your community serves as an audience that represents your cause. To establish an online community for your nonprofit, select a platform that aligns with your needs. Develop a mission statement that conveys your values in a way that your target audience can easily comprehend. Also, engage and empower your community champions. Lastly, monitor your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track your progress.
Schedule a demonstration today to learn about NbliK, a comprehensive community management platform that enables organizations of any size or industry to establish, handle and expand fully customized private communities.