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Take it on Social: Leveraging Your Nonprofit’s Internal Communication

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As easy as it may seem, getting success on social media needs a carefully crafted plan. One part of this complex puzzle is creating high-quality content that is varied and gives the audience a complete picture of what your organization stands for. But besides all those videos, tweets and posts that focus on your mission, impact and fundraising goals, how else can you convey your purpose and values? 

Internal communication is a big part of this puzzle. As much as your donors want to read your reports and learn about your goals, they’d like to know your daily buzz. It’s true that people will only notice content that may be interesting to them. In certain instances, it can be a post from an employee, feedback or testimonial from a partner organization or also a one-liner from your volunteer.

The internal communication plan should be in tandem with your external communication and overall strategy.

During Covid-19 and beyond

As per the latest data from Pew Research, (which incorporates responses from over 9,200 Americans) around 71% of people now get at least some of their news input from social media platforms. Most of us now rely on Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn to learn what’s happening around us. Feeds from friends and acquaintances often catch our eye if their interest aligns with ours. This trend makes it imperative for your nonprofit to be seen and heard on social platforms. With lots going around on social media every nanosecond, you need to socialize your organization’s internal communication to rally your cause.

Another crucial aspect that may be directly linked to your social media strategy is your employees themselves. The pandemic has led us to make various shifts in less than two years. Since everyone nowadays is working from home or has adapted to a virtual model – socializing on digital platforms can steer your employees positively. Change is a big disrupter. With employees working remotely – nonprofits need to navigate this change delicately. 

Internal communication on social platforms can keep the morale high for your team members.

The strategy

Like your social media strategy, taking your organization’s communication to the digital platforms needs direction. The best plan will empower your nonprofit to adopt a consistent voice. Make sure you have the following cards in place to move forward. 

  1. Every single employee must know your organization’s overarching mission and specific goals. This starts with employees higher up the rank. Annual reports and other marketing material, a solid onboarding, meet and greet with other team members and connecting on social platforms, can give your employees a clear line of sight. 
  2. The individual role they have to play in achieving collective objectives. Educate and assign goals set in a specific timeframe. Ensure that conversations on social media are meaningful and lead to an action that changes something or takes everyone closer to the big purpose. 

FitzPatrick and Klavs Valskov have written this amazing guide to devising an internal communications strategy. They recommend teams start by identifying their needs – something your nonprofit wants to achieve (in one or five years) and then matching those needs versus your budget. 

Here is an effective model suggested by FitzPatrick that you can easily adapt for smaller or larger teams. 

Tips for socializing your nonprofit’s internal communication
  • Assign a dedicated team – Taking your nonprofit’s internal communications public is a call that may involve your HR team and senior management. Involve everyone required and be open to suggestions and ideas. 
  • Allot specific slots in your content calendar and plan the type of content you intend to share. Schedule your posts to level up your social media strategy with Hopeful, and set up your nonprofit for success. 
  • Encourage your employees to share and post. Even if you think a volunteer has joined you for less than two weeks but is helping with a high-priority campaign, then it’s probably a good idea to make an official announcement. 
  • Don’t hesitate to share stories. People like to hear them all the time. Remember to twist your stories and make them engaging by giving your donors a picture walk.  
  • Use the power of employee advocacy by going above and beyond. One great example of this would be to promote employee and peer-to-peer fundraisers.
  • Make it fun. As much as it is about work, bringing your internal communication to social media is also about promoting employee friendships, creating trust, and spreading positivity. Encourage employees to celebrate their milestones, work anniversaries and personal achievements.
  • Get prepared for a crisis. The pandemic has shown that everyone on your staff list should be prepared for disruption or change. Have a change strategy in place so that when a crisis arises, your employees are ready to work together as a team, know the way forward and channel coherent messages on all digital assets. 
  • Don’t forget to measure progress. Social media strategy and high-flying your internal communication tie back to how you measure growth and interpret the metrics. From likes to comments and more, there are various social media metrics that give a deep insight into how far you are at achieving your goal. As a smart nonprofit marketer, it is not something you want to leave amiss! 

Still have more questions? Reach out to us on Twitter at @HopefulCompany or follow us on LinkedIn.


Written by – Tasneem Jariwala for Hopeful Inc.

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