By Molly Ritvo
An engaged, involved community is a vibrant and thriving one. To help keep your community thriving, we have some tips to keep engagement alive in your organization:
1. Thank your members!
No matter how small or large, every donation needs to be recognized and thanked. Your members won’t keep supporting your organization if they aren’t thanked the first time and every time. A good rule of thumb is that a donor should be thanked in multiple ways by multiple people, as well as told how their donation was used before being asked for another gift. And, because donations can be monetary as well as time, a thank you for volunteering, like the thank you for a monetary contribution, can have a big impact when it comes to community building.
2. Create a board of directors focused on fundraising.
Is your board of directors focused on fundraising? In order for your organization to thrive financially, your board needs to focus on revenue. It’s too easy for a board to get caught up in the tactical issues of your organization; yet, without a commitment to board fundraising, your bottom line revenue will suffer. Learn how to create a board of directors focused on fundraising here.
3. Build a Culture of New Member Celebrations.
New membership programs must be built into the fabric of your organization. From hosting monthly new member lunches to creating new member mentor opportunities with existing members, there are many options on how you can celebrate new members. When new members feel appreciated and welcomed, they will want to stay engaged with your organization and they will also spread the word to their friends and colleagues about how welcoming your community is. And keep the member celebrations continuing! Continue to find opportunities (beyond the typical life-cycle and recognition events) to recognize and celebrate all your members as often as possible.
4. Develop Social Media Ambassadors.
This is an online strategy for building your brand awareness. Start by actively building Facebook presence. Then hunt around on social media to see which tech-savvy members of your community are active on Facebook. Ask them to re-post and share your messages. This will increase your visibility on Facebook. And then do the same thing on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. And don’t forget to thank your ambassadors (see #1)!
5. Be creative.
The world of engaging your members is constantly changing. Get creative in your programming to attract new members. Ramp up your social media and inbound marketing efforts. Create some great content such as recent sermons, book reviews, community recipes, life cycle pieces, and relevant articles that demonstrate your value, your uniqueness and your commitment to your community. And finally, make sure your database is up-to-date and that you have a program in place to gently nudge each person at least once a month.
Molly Ritvo is Partnership Development & Digital Marketing Associate at Jvillage Network.