Thought Leadership: Sharing is more important than ever

“I set out on my professional journey over a decade ago thinking that I could use my skills as a graphic designer to improve the way non-profits communicated their message. I never would have imagined that I would today be part of a movement to cultivate change in philanthropy, elevate the standards of an entire sector and share my experiences with so many audiences and organizations.”

I’ve always considered myself lucky to love my work, but I feel double blessed that the work I do can change and improve the lives of others. As a contributor to online publications such as the GPIC and AFP newsletters, as well as our own blog and more recently webinars for AFESAQ and workshops other organizations, I enjoy sharing my passion for worthy causes, but it also demonstrates excellence in my craft and creates a contagious effect among my peers and clients.

Sharing knowledge through thought leadership initiatives (conferences, workshops, webinars, articles) plays an important role in today’s busy world, especially for the non- profit sector.

We are often oversaturated with information being pumped to our email, phone and through other forms of media. The average North-American sees nearly 3,000 advertising messages per day! My job is to help organizations cut through the clutter to get their message heard, loud and clear. With the articles we share on our blog and through our other partners’ communication tools, I am able to insight and initiatives that non-profits can participate in, at every level. I am a firm believer that you do not have to spend a fortune to yield results. But it’s time that the sector also recognizes that you get what you pay for, so if you’re investment is too small (or zero), so too will be your results.

At Phil, we offer professional communications services to non-profit organizations. This involves an analysis of your communication needs, recommendations and the development of the required tools. Few non-profits ever really define the elements needed for their success. They consider vision and mission but give little time and attention to values, objectives, audiences, positioning or personality. We help our clients to look beyond the short-term view and insist communications be part of the day-to-day activities, not something you check off your to-do list.

It’s time for non-profits to step up their game and take a holistic approach to communications, involving strategists, communications specialists, technology and more. Above all, it’s time to exhibit leadership and put the “organize” back into non-profit organizations!

Where are your strengths? What is your specialty? As a non-profit organization or social enterprise, you likely have particular experiences that can benefit others. Here are some ideas on how YOU can be heard:

  • Start a blog
  • Start a group on Linkedin, join other groups relating to your field of work
  • Comment on blogs
  • Comment on questions people ask on Linkedin
  • Sign up for newsletters in your field and read up on how others are sharing their knowledge
  • Give a presentation
  • Record a podcast and share it across your communication channels
  • Make a statement on your social media channels to see what reactions you get and answer comments
  • Start a Pinterest board
  • Tweet
  • Optimize your Linkedin profile

Get people reading and talking about what excites you! Your online audience will pass on interesting and relevant information to their connections and group members which helps raise awareness about your organization and your cause. Very often, they’ll share links to articles, webinars, case studies, analyst reports, and eBooks. Sometimes, they’ll respond with their personal experiences and knowledge about topics related to their industry, donors, trends, and business challenges. All of these make for great conversations and will ultimately contribute to improving the sector as a whole.

I look forward to sharing my thoughts and knowledge with you, whether it be about online media or more traditional methods in print and conventional fundraising methods. In future issues of our blog we’ll discuss branding concerns and the challenges faced by non-profits: how to demonstrate value and win donor appreciation with limited staff, budget and resources.

Join me in being a catalyst of change! Start sharing your knowledge today.

Written by Kim Fuller