07 — We will mobilize a coalition of passionate, active supporters

We realize that creating change requires educating and connecting with people outside of our organization. We will not perform our work in a silo, because our ideas must inspire those who share our values to take action and help us build a movement.

Whether you are focused on advocacy, direct relief, systems change, education, conservation, or behavior change, you must build an audience of engaged supporters. Over time — and with proper nurturing — you will build a thriving community of donors, volunteers, advocates, and staff who share your vision and align with your values.

It’s often incorrectly assumed that building a coalition of supporters is a tactic best fit for grassroots advocacy organizations and political campaigns. And, of course, it is crucial in both of these scenarios. But every cause requires activating supporters, and the social impact space is ripe with opportunities to do so even outside of traditional use cases.

Ultimately, you are planting the seed for your vision of a better future and working to create positive change.

Change — especially transformational change — does not occur in a silo. Your coalition may be a small group of policymakers, a broad group of citizens who believe in your cause, or a combination of both. Building stronger support, both broadly and pointedly, will strengthen your seat at the table within your niche.

Any functional community maintains an equal exchange of energy where no side gives more than it takes. Once equilibrium is established, a harmonious relationship then allows for a sustainable, thriving community. You must ask your community to take actions: to share your ideas for a better future, to advocate on your behalf, to join and shape the conversation, and yes, to volunteer, donate, or become a member.

But you must also reciprocate this investment of time and energy by transforming it into impact and progress towards your mission. And most importantly, you must ensure that you consistently share your progress and success to reassure your community that their efforts have paid off.

This is your supporters’ return on investment, the product that they purchase, the realization of mutualistic symbiosis between your organization and its supporters.

A comprehensive digital media strategy and platform enables you to reach your supporters where they spend their time: their inbox, their social channels, and other digital experiences.

The pre-information-era charity sees their audience as a group of people they must appeal to for support. The future-thinking social impact leader knows that building a coalition means building a community, and that a community requires shared values, clear and consistent communication, and an equal exchange of energy.

08 — We will craft a distribution strategy