As a nonprofit organization, do you ever ask yourself the question, “Who is my community of support?” Many will answer our supportive community is comprised by our board members, employees and those who believe what we are doing makes an impact. For many of you out there, this might feel familiar and reflect your organization’s supporters. However, many nonprofits make the mistake of answering this question with those who are currently supporting their organizations. Communities are powerful groups. They are comprised of a diverse set of donors who unite to advance a cause. They are supporters, fans, advocates. They perhaps benefited from your services, have seen the impact your services have or in some other way believe in what you are doing. If a community is indeed this powerful, why don’t we ask ourselves the questions that will lead to the expansion of this vital group–not who is supporting us now, but who SHOULD be supporting us. We need to begin to ask this question now and to keep it in front of us.
Let’s change our thinking from who is supporting us to who should be supporting us. Ask yourself who might have an interest in the work of your organization and make plans to connect with them. Nonprofits will increasingly need resources as demand for services increase and other sources of funding disappear. By committing to asking the question “Who should be in our community?” and making plans to engage those people not currently contributing their support, your organization will position itself to consistently grow its community and gain the support your organizations will need.