How to Promote Social Good in Your Community
Nonprofits are in the business of social good. But have you ever considered that you can also promote social good beyond your mission? You might be asking yourself why you should do anything else beyond your charitable work. The answer is simple. By seeking to promote social good in your community beyond your mission, you create goodwill.
We live in a world that sometimes seems to be about what people can get from one another. For charities, fundraisers understand that they walk a fine line in the relationships with donors. In other words, they need to ask. That's their job. But they don't want to ask donors for financial contributions every time they have interactions with them. Savvy nonprofit leaders have to consider how to combat donor fatigue and also extend their brand more broadly in social good. Thus, by going beyond your mission, you demonstrate to your community that you care about it — and not merely your particular interests.
So, how can you, as a nonprofit leader, seek to extend yourself more broadly into your community? Let’s take a look at some of the immediate solutions you can start today to be a better nonprofit citizen for social good.
1. Become a Nonprofit Steward of the Planet for Global Social Good
By now, we all know that carbon in our atmosphere is creating a greenhouse effect. And that's having a devastating impact on climate. Thus, the first place to begin to promote social good in your community is by being a good steward of our planet. The reality is that if we have humans and animals in distress, and losing their lives because of the effects of climate change, there might not be a mission for your nonprofit other than saving life on the planet. Learn about ideas for green living, and become a green nonprofit.
2. In a Highly Socially Wired World, Promote Others
Never has the world been smaller. A tweet or post that we put up today gets seen around the world within seconds. Therefore, something you can easily do to go beyond your mission is to give shoutouts to the people in your community doing social good. In other words, share the love. Because of all of the negativity, your nonprofit can stand as a leader for spreading good news. For example, tell your social media team to post one story a week of a community hero who deserves a shoutout.
3. Host an Event for a Community Champion
Some years ago, at our social enterprise, we had a great guy named Uriel. The first day back in the office after Hurricane Irma, I learned the news of his passing that weekend. The news affected us, but we decided to give someone on our team each year an award in his memory. Just as we do in remembrance of Uriel, you can help spread social good beyond your mission by having an annual event in honor or memory of someone special. What's more, you don't have to give it to someone on your team. You can offer it to a donor — or anyone in your community — who embodies qualities and values you want to honor.
4. Speak to Social Good Changemakers in Your Community
Nonprofit leaders have to make themselves known in their communities. And that's why many create speaker’s bureaus or have events where they invite donors, volunteers and supporters. But to go beyond your mission is also to learn about others. Therefore, think about ways that you can create a seat for yourself at the community table. For instance, attend community events and meet-ups for social good — meet people where they are. You can also seek to interview people every month who make a difference in your community through a podcast or livestream. It's not only a way to get to know people, but also build meaningful relationships.
5. Support a Singular Issue That Resonates With Your Community
Earlier I mentioned climate change, but the reality is that every community also has its own interests. Some towns in the U.S. care about manufacturing jobs. Others are more attuned to social justice issues. And still, others have a lot of community discussion surrounding human rights. Whatever the critical social good topic in your community, consider taking a stand that complements your mission. For instance, perhaps your community cares about income inequality because it's a big city and displacing many people. Take a stand and become an advocate as a nonprofit that supports people in economic need. While you have to be careful not to be political, nonprofits can advocate for issues concerning social good.
All of these ideas can help you make more friends in your community for social good.
Wayne Elsey is the founder and CEO of Elsey Enterprises. Among his various independent brands, he is also the founder and CEO of Funds2Orgs, a social enterprise that helps nonprofits, schools, churches, civic groups, individuals and others raise funds, while helping to support micro-enterprise (small business) opportunities in developing nations and the environment.
You can learn more about Wayne and obtain free resources, including his books on his blog, Not Your Father’s Charity.