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Using Your Newsletter to Create an Ambassador Corps

Microphone, photo by Bjorn Hermans.A special section in your newsletter can help empower supporters to spread the word and be ambassadors for your organization. Photo by Bjorn Hermans.I was recently asked by the Sumac communications team what a non-profit organization should include in its newsletter. There are so many important stories to tell about your organization, it can sometimes be difficult to know where to start. But there’s one piece I recommend you add to your newsletter right away – an Ambassador’s Corner.

Most donors and supporters want to do more than give money. They know their donation is important to your cause, but they also want to get involved and feel like part of a community taking action together. Then your cause truly becomes their cause too.

So a dedicated section in your newsletter that gives supporters simple ways to spread the word and help your organization may be just what they need. This is not another “ask” competing with your fundraising requests.  Rather, it’s a way to give your supporters the connection they want and help them feel like part of the family.

Don’t underestimate the value of an engaged supporter base that regularly takes small steps to promote your cause. This keeps your supporters involved, and gives them a reason to talk about you with their network. It will help you maintain your relationship with them and even deepen it over time.

According to a recent report on the Dynamics of Cause Engagement, so-called “slacktivists” are twice as likely to volunteer and to participate in other events as non “slacktivists”. In other words, people who participate in your simple online activities may be a lot more likely to participate in your other campaigns too. (Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide and The Centre for Social Impact Communication at Georgetown released the report in November 2011.)

In your Ambassador’s Corner, you can ask supporters to:

  • Share key messages and information with friends, families and colleagues to increase awareness
  • Watch a video success story you are sharing and forward the link to their network
  • Participate in a cause marketing partnership you are running and spread the word about the campaign
  • Read your blog post or discussion on facebook about an important issue and share their own experiences and ideas
  • Include, on their blog or website, a button with a link to your campaign page, or website home page
  • Submit short quotations or videos about why they support your cause
  • Complete a supporter survey and tell you what information and tools will help them be super ambassadors for your organization

These are just a few ideas to get you started with your Ambassador’s Corner. But there are many more ways to engage your supporters.

If you track participation in these activities, you will be able to show that you have ambassadors who will support future partnerships. That can be very powerful when you are developing corporate support and building relationships with potential funders. So creating an Ambassador’s Corner in your newsletter can have many benefits for your supporters and your organization.

For bonus points, give your ambassadors a special group name connected to your cause – just like you would do with donor groups and giving clubs. You may even want to create a small volunteer committee of your most eager ambassadors. They can take on the task of creating content and engaging others to participate in your ambassadors group.

What has your experience been? Have you had success with creating a group of committed ambassadors for your non-profit organization? Please tell us about it in the comments. Share your experiences and your ideas of simple activities for ambassadors who want to promote the causes that are near to their heart.

Or share your challenges and we can brainstorm together.


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    Response: Arthur Falcone
    Using Your Newsletter to Create an Ambassador Corps - Public Relations for Nonprofits - Karen Luttrell Communications

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