It may seem like stating the obvious, but raising awareness of your charity relies on you knowing what your community wants from you. Once you have identified your stakeholders and started looking at who they are, you need to continue to follow, what is ultimately part of the 12 step process I have identified, to be effective in growing the reach of your cause.
There is a real danger these days that charities go where the funding is and not necessarily the need, which means ultimately raising awareness is a lost cause. This happens because of the way funding can be accessible through grants and foundations in particular. They decide they want to give money to an organisation who is prepared to undertake services in a particular area/way. Their motivation is often personal or connected to their charter, rather than assessing actual need. Whilst charities take up these opportunities for many reasons, they can’t lose sight of the basic need which is driven by the community.
What do you they want? What do they need? What are their problems? For example, if they are a parent of teenagers, they will be interested in, developing good study habits, avoiding drugs, learning to drive, etc. Brainstorm as much as you can about each of the personas. Ultimately if you can start to address these, you will be building a relationship with your audiences. They don’t always have to directly relate to your core activities, in fact, it is better to diversify the conversation, or it will it get boring fast.
If you have been following my blogs regularly you will have gleamed that this is part of the second phase or step 7 in the process of raising awareness of your charity or not-for-profit. To be successful you must commit to systematically completing every step. Keep in mind, to be in tune with what people want means constantly reviewing it because things change very quickly for some groups.
Don’t forget, each audience you organisation has will have a different response to what they want. Noting these down will greatly assist you when you get to the final steps of the process, where it becomes all about giving away your expertise in the form of content. Knowing what people want, will help you deliver effective content which will engage your audience and enable its growth.