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How To Engage Brand Ambassadors for Your Nonprofit

Posted by on March 3rd, 2021
Posted in Blog, Digital, Nonprofit Communications, Nonprofit Messaging, Social Media   

In such a busy digital world, you might be wondering how to cut through the noise and reach new audiences. 

Your organization likely already has a dedicated base of supporters ready to cheer you on and help promote your great work. Think about it: those key donors, board members, and volunteers are excited by your impact and eager to share it with others. Here’s how to engage them as brand ambassadors for the benefit of your brand while giving them another great brand experience.

What are Brand Ambassadors?

Brand ambassadors can be anyone that frequently communicates about your organization’s work on your behalf. Each of these supporters has their own “network” (personal/professional connections, a social media presence), and by activating them as ambassadors, you can leverage these networks to reach audiences who don’t yet know your work.

Brand ambassadors can support your communication strategies in a variety of ways. Perhaps they’re board members who would like to crowdfund for your year-end campaign, or inspired volunteers who would like to share their passion for your work on their social media profiles.

Empowering Your Brand Ambassadors

Brand ambassadors close to your organization are likely eager to share your work with their networks, but may be unsure of how to go about it. So with a little guidance they’ll become confident representatives, helping you vastly expand your visibility.

Here’s how you can set them up for success:

Establish a goal, and how brand ambassadors can contribute: Like any effective strategy, it’s important to set goals and measures of success. Perhaps these relate to your organizational priorities for the year, or are linked to a campaign with a specific fundraising goal. For example, your goal may be to recruit 100 new volunteers or to secure 50 new donors who contribute $500 or more.

Once these are established, take them a step further – identify what tactics your brand ambassadors are expected to contribute. Do you want them to cross-share content from your social profiles? Or help with promotion of that big year-end event within their networks? Identifying these tactics is crucial for setting expectations for you and them. Be clear with them about the goals and how the actions you ask them to take will contribute to meeting them.

Develop a toolkit: Create a toolkit, or quick reference guide, for brand ambassadors to have on-hand while communicating on your behalf. This can contain key messages or soundbites, sample social media posts, brand guidelines, and directives on logo/image use to help ambassadors easily share content that is rooted in your brand and communications strategy.

Use recorded trainings: Consider hosting a recorded training where you review the toolkit and other brand ambassador expectations. This recording will serve as reference material for them throughout the year, reducing the amount of questions you’ll have to field along the way.

Stay in communication: Staying in close contact with brand ambassadors to track progress, answer questions, express encouragement, and identify new content opportunities will improve the experience and results. You can do this via text or email, and if you’re working with a larger group of ambassadors, it might be best to use a chat platform such as a closed Facebook or Slack group. If your organization already communicates with ambassadors or volunteers via an online portal, this can be a great way to check in as well.

Find What Works For You

Once you’ve created these resources, the journey doesn’t stop there. Track the impact of brand ambassadors on your goals using key metrics. For example: How did brand ambassadors affect fundraising for that campaign? Were they a source of referral traffic to your website or social posts? Tracking these metrics can help you celebrate wins and refine tactics for the future. 

How is your organization training brand ambassadors? Join us at this year’s Nonprofit Technology Conference for our session, “10 Training Tips to Transform Your Team into Content Creators” – register here!


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