4 Great Ways to Cultivate Lasting Stakeholder Engagement With Content
Stakeholder engagement is critical to any nonprofit's long-term success and sustainability, and most nonprofits have many different stakeholders to keep interested and informed through their content and marketing efforts.
From board members, employees, and major corporate partners, to individual donors, past and present volunteers, and beneficiaries, keeping each of these stakeholder groups actively engaged with your organization requires simultaneously coordinating their many different needs, interests, and content and communication preferences.
Fortunately, building and managing a stakeholder engagement strategy doesn’t need to be a daunting task. Follow these four best practices to guide your stakeholder content and marketing efforts to build meaningful connections with your relevant stakeholders.
1. Create personas for each stakeholder group and use those personas to guide content creation
As part of your fundraising strategy, you may have created Ideal Donor Profiles outlining relevant information about the people most likely to be interested in donating to your organization. You can use this same approach to create Ideal Stakeholder Profiles for each major group of stakeholders you plan on connecting with via your content and outreach efforts.
One way to start making Ideal Stakeholder Profiles is to consider your existing stakeholder groups (donors, board members, volunteers, etc.) and answer the following questions about them:
What about my mission appeals to this group of people?
Why do they want to help achieve my goals?
How do I want this stakeholder to engage with my organization?
How have I had the greatest success motivating this stakeholder in the past, and why?
What methods of communication (social media, email, web, etc.) do this group of people use most?
- Is there a particular type of content from our organization that they currently engage with most often?
Use the answers to these questions to draft Ideal Stakeholder Profiles that outline what each relevant stakeholder wants from your organization. Then, use these insights about their unique motivations, interests, and current communication and content preferences to plan the best way to engage with each stakeholder group.
2. Share engaging, regular content with your stakeholders on LinkedIn
With your Ideal Stakeholder Profiles in hand, you can begin to plan outreach efforts to your stakeholders. And one of the best ways to reach them is by sharing content on LinkedIn.
Once you’ve set up a complete Company Page for your organization, start posting regular updates about your nonprofit, keeping your stakeholder’s interests in mind when planning and writing posts. Aim for a consistent posting cadence and try to mix up the nature of your content to keep it fresh and engaging. Be sure to engage with stakeholders that like, comment on, and share your nonprofit’s LinkedIn posts, which can start impactful conversations. Also, consider reaching out to major stakeholders who don’t already follow your page with a personalized invitation to do so.
LinkedIn can be a great place to connect with potential donors, too. According to The Donor Engagement Report, 98% of LinkedIn members donate to nonprofits at least once a year, and 42% of survey respondents use LinkedIn to research organizations they may be interested in supporting. LinkedIn Sales Navigator can help you easily map your organization’s network, source warm introductions, and build meaningful connections with prospective donors that can make an impact.
3. Weave stakeholder’s impact into your content
A great way to engage stakeholders through content is to focus on the impact of supporter contributions. By focusing on the difference volunteers, donors, board members, etc. are making, you’ll spotlight your stakeholders’ impact and produce compelling, human-centric content at the same time.
One way to create content like this is to treat your ongoing correspondence — whether it’s a newsletter, an email, a blog, or a LinkedIn post — as an opportunity to follow your nonprofit’s evolving journey. Then, you can make your donors, employees, volunteers, and board members characters in that story.
For example, you could interview a volunteer and a beneficiary after an event hosted by your nonprofit. Detail what the volunteer did to help, how the event helped the beneficiary, and how your donors made this interaction possible with their contributions. By creating a narrative that demonstrates your nonprofit’s commitment to what your stakeholders followed you for, you’ll show them why they should stay for the next chapter.
4. Connect stakeholders to each other to foster a community
Ultimately, most stakeholder engagement tactics are different ways to nurture an active community around your nonprofit. As the people working to support your nonprofit, your stakeholders are the pillars of this community. You can strengthen that community by connecting these stakeholders around their shared values, interests, and goals.
Try to proactively emphasize the communal nature of your nonprofit whenever possible in your content and outreach efforts. Consider hosting meet-and-greets between employees, volunteers, and board members, taking photos to share on your organization’s LinkedIn Page. Post content about members of the community and why they care about the cause. Encourage stakeholders to write about their own experiences with the organization, then share them from your Page and encourage your employees to engage.
The more you can bring together the people who care about the work you do, the longer they’ll want to stick around.