This article is about charities networking, why it’s important and an example of bad networking.
Charities are networking all the time, especially their employees and volunteers, but they just don’t know it. Read on to discover why charities should take networking seriously and how they can make it work for them in the short term.
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Charities network all the time
How many times has someone told you they work for a charity? But not gone on to tell you what the charity does. The first thing I noticed is how sheepishly charity people are when they announced they work for a charity. I have been told that this is because charities feel uncomfortable talking about the money they need to continue their good work. But they desperately need the income.
I suppose this is similar to an accountant and not wanting to mention they are an accountant if a naughty accountant has been spread over the front pages of the press. They do not want to be tarred with the same brush.
The solution is the answer
The perfect way for charities to feel more comfortable and promote the organisation they work for is to talk about the fantastic outcomes they achieve for their stakeholders. I have never met a charity that doesn’t do fantastic work, the issue is some of them do not realise just what they’re doing for society.
This issue affects a lot of businesses too. They get so wrapped up in the process of achieving their aims that they forget to check that the aims of been achieved. If they do check, they forget to celebrate the fact they had achieved them. Talking about solutions is very attractive to people who have got money to spend.
It is not a begging bowl
Charities should not see themselves as holding out a begging bowl when they are networking all looking for donors. They should talk about the outcomes they achieve to an audience who really want those things to happen. People that donate to charities are similar to business decision makers, those that want the outcomes you provide will let you know that they want to invest with you once you’ve told them just what they are.
However, apart from the administration of their organisation, charities often get into little spats which lead them to break up. Many times this has resulted in two charities that provide the same outcome having two sets of administration in order to achieve this. This drives me absolutely barmy, if they are so keen to achieve something for society they should be putting their differences aside and ensuring every penny possible goes to the cause they feel so strongly about. Surely if they are that passionate about a particular subject they should put their differences aside!
Wrap up: People who are trying to raise attention for a cause should celebrate the outcomes that they achieve. It will still generate the emotional response that you desire and will lead to more engagement with donors.
Top tip: When promoting any event that a charity delivers remember to talk about the goods that the money generated will do rather then the process of doing.