The Importance of a Brand Ambassador Program (And How to Get It Started Today)
Think of your nonprofit organization as your brand. A brand ambassador is a person who embodies your nonprofit's identity in appearance, demeanor, values and ethics. In other words, this person is a walking, talking, champion for your cause. If you don’t have a Brand Ambassador Program in place, it’s time to get one started today. This blog entry will go over some of the reasons why you need to start a Brand Ambassador Program, how it can help your organization, how to get it started, and what activities these ambassadors can take part in.
What’s My Return on Investment?
Before we go any further discussing a Brand Ambassador Program, let’s quickly talk about your return on investment (ROI). Asking about your ROI on this kind of initiative is likely to be your first question.
Here’s the deal: not only will a Brand Ambassador Program help to spread the word about your nonprofit and its mission, but this initiative will also help you create more meaningful partnerships with community members and other organizations that will allow your cause to grow into something even bigger and better than what it is today.
You can track your ROI by looking at your bottom-line numbers to see what kind of improvements are made; or, you can get a sense of success by analyzing your social media accounts. Your brand ambassadors will play a huge role in increasing your social media followers. In doing so, your marketing efforts will be much more successful when it comes to attracting more people to attend your fundraising events and other happenings.
Before you start your Brand Ambassador Program, set your goals. If you are looking to increase awareness of your nonprofit more so than your bottom-line financial figures, you will want to track social media metrics more so than monetary figures. If your focus is on raising more funds, then you will perhaps focus more on your revenue generating programs and development of corporate partners side of things more so than brand awareness.
Cultivating The Younger Generation
Your brand ambassadors can be made up of all kinds of different people. Customers, employees, business partners and influencers are some good examples. It’s also a good idea to look at the younger generation to help you get exposure in places you haven’t thought of before. In our last blog entry we talked a lot about the benefits of connecting with Generation Z. Take a look at some of those approaches and consider them as you put together your Brand Ambassador Program.
How To Get Started?
Let’s talk about some ideas to get potential brand ambassadors into your organization. Here are some ideas to get you started:
● Start out by creating some incentives. You don’t have to empty your pockets to get ambassadors on board. Let them know that there are different awards that can be won. For example, something like the “Top Fundraiser Under 25” award. Try out some other creative award names that will incentivize them with a feeling of pride.
● Make the program exclusive. An annual invite-only format will make the group feel unique.
● Accept applications each year at a set time period. It’s best to match this time period up with an ideal time that works for local schools and colleges so that they can pitch it to their students.
● Offer a special opportunity. This can be lunch with the CEO or a meet-and-greet tour of the office. Get creative to get the attention of potential ambassadors.
● Partner up where it makes sense. Don’t overthink this one. For example, doctors should connect with health-focused organizations, chefs should connect with food-centric organizations, etc. Find that natural partnership where your ambassadors are waiting for you.
● Connect with YouTube influencers. Believe it or not, many influencers are hungry for ways to differentiate themselves in a crowded market space. Reach out to those influencers who make the most sense to the kind of work your organization does. You may be able to strike a deal that will benefit both of you. This kind of unique partnership can greatly help increase your reach to potential donors!
What Does a Brand Ambassador Do?
We get the idea now that a brand ambassador is a walking, talking champion of your cause. Let’s take a look at some specific activities that they can do to promote your mission:
● Wear your brand. Remember, the brand is your nonprofit organization. Whether it be a hat, t-shirt or a pin with your organization's logo, these items can spark conversations with others at any time.
● Invite their friends. They can multiply their involvement by bringing friends to volunteer whenever needed.
● Tweet and Retweet. Have them tweet and retweet about your organization’s events and crucial updates whenever possible.
● Share on Facebook. Similar to the above-mentioned tip, be sure to get them on Facebook to share as well. Sharing a Facebook post from the nonprofit’s page will enable their friends to learn more about the cause.
● Talk to friends, family and coworkers. Your ambassadors should be continuously spreading the word about your organization whenever possible. This could be at the dinner table, parties or any social gatherings where it makes sense to spread the word. Conversations at work are also great places to share.
● Raise money. Get them involved with the idea of raising money. This could be making phone calls for donations or just being on the lookout for financial opportunities.
● Advocate with presentations. Have them work on presentations that can be utilized in different settings. These could be presentations for local community clubs or other interested parties. Regardless of the group, it’s good to have a presentation ready to go just in case a situation arises.
If you need help getting started with your Brand Ambassador Program, please reach out to us today. Our team of experienced fundraising experts is here to help! As always, thanks for reading, and stay safe!