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Seven Tips For Nonprofits Looking To Leverage Influencer Marketing


In today's digital age, influencers have powerfully shaped consumer behavior and promoted brands. Nonprofit organizations can also tap into the potential of influencer marketing to raise awareness, gain support, and drive donations for their causes. By harnessing the reach and influence of these online personalities, nonprofits can expand their reach and engage with a broader audience. To help nonprofit organizations leverage influencer marketing effectively, we have gathered insights from seven members of the Forbes Nonprofit Council. Here are their expert tips:


1. Ensure They Are Genuine


When leveraging influencers, it is essential to prioritize authenticity. Seek influencers who genuinely believe in your organization's mission and can provide sincere testimonials. Genuine connections and relationships with influencers add credibility to your brand and resonate with their audience. Instead of approaching influencers with transactional intentions, focus on building long-term partnerships based on trust and shared values.

Errika Moore, an expert from the Technology Association of Georgia Education Collaborative, emphasizes the importance of cultivating authentic relationships with influencers. By establishing genuine connections, nonprofits can ensure that the support they receive is heartfelt and carries influence among the influencer's audience.


2. Find Influencers Who Believe In Your Focus


To make a genuine impact, it is crucial to identify influencers who have a personal connection to your nonprofit's focus area. Seek influencers who have experienced or have a strong affinity for the cause you champion. Their personal stories and passion will allow them to speak from the heart and resonate with their followers. Authenticity is key, as donors can easily discern when a connection is contrived or superficial.

Gloria Horsley, a representative of Open to Hope, stresses the significance of influencers who can authentically speak to the cause. Nonprofits should actively seek out influencers who understand their focus area and can genuinely connect with their audience, ensuring a more impactful message.


3. Work Through A Probationary Period


Before fully committing to an influencer partnership, it is advisable to go through a probationary period. This allows both parties to evaluate compatibility and ensure that the influencer aligns with your nonprofit's values. Encourage the influencer to engage hands-on with your organization's mission and programs, as this will showcase their genuine care and commitment. You can assess the influencer's impact through this trial period and determine if they fit your cause.

Glenn D. Banton, Sr., representing (OSD) Operation Supply Drop, suggests implementing a probationary period to mitigate risks. This allows nonprofits to assess the effectiveness of the partnership, ensure alignment with their values, and avoid potential harm to their brand.


4. Focus Messages On Specific Audiences


Tailoring your messaging to specific audiences is crucial for effective influencer marketing. Different influencers have distinct follower demographics and interests. Identify influencers who align with your nonprofit's goals and can effectively amplify your message to their respective communities. Customize your content to suit each influencer's interests and strengths. This targeted approach ensures your message resonates authentically with its followers, increasing engagement and support.

Eleanor Allen, CEO of Water For People, emphasizes aligning messages with influencers' genuine support. By catering to their interests, nonprofits can effectively engage their target audiences and leverage the influencer's reach to amplify their impact.


5. Keep Everything Transparent


Transparency is paramount in influencer marketing campaigns for nonprofits. To avoid any potential legal issues and maintain trust, it is crucial to be transparent in disclosing the partnership between the influencer and your organization. Ensure that all creative content highlights this collaboration. By providing transparent disclosure, you reinforce the authenticity of your efforts and build trust among the influencer's followers and your nonprofit's supporters.

Anisa Palmer, representing I Will Survive, Inc., stresses the significance of transparency in influencer marketing campaigns. By being open about collaboration, nonprofits can maintain ethical practices and foster credibility with their audience.


6. Have Influencers Retweet Your Messages


While having influencers speak about your efforts is beneficial, it is equally powerful if they retweet or promote your social media team's content. When influencers endorse your knowledge, expertise, or service, it adds credibility to your organization. It amplifies your message and introduces their followers to your cause, potentially expanding your reach and engagement.

Pamela Hawley, founder of UniversalGiving, highlights the impact of influencers endorsing your organization's content. By leveraging their reach and credibility, nonprofits can expand their audience, enhance their reputation, and generate more support.


7. Align With Influencers Who Share Your Vision


The alignment of vision and purpose is crucial when selecting influencers for your nonprofit. Seek influencers whose values closely resonate with your organization's mission. When your business strategies align, influence becomes less of a marketing tactic and more of an authentic, collective dialogue that reinforces natural messaging and shared beliefs. Collaborating with influencers who genuinely share your vision fosters a powerful partnership that benefits both parties.

Peggy Smith, CEO of Worldwide ERC, emphasizes the importance of finding influencers who align with your nonprofit's vision. By working with influencers who share your values, nonprofits can create a powerful narrative that inspires their audience and drives meaningful action.


In conclusion, influencer marketing holds immense potential for nonprofits to raise awareness, gain support, and drive donations. By following these expert tips from Forbes Nonprofit Council members, organizations can establish meaningful relationships with influencers, amplify their message, and genuinely connect with their target audiences. With the right strategy and authentic partnerships, nonprofits can leverage the power of influencer marketing to make a significant impact and drive positive change in their respective causes.


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