Artículo Forbes

Jose Luis Castro Forbes Councils Member
Forbes Nonprofit Council| Membership (Fee-Based)

15 Effective Tips For Improving Communication With Stakeholders

diciembre 30, 2022


From employees and board members to donors and the people receiving needed products and services, stakeholders are the key driving force behind every nonprofit. That’s why communication with stakeholders should be a top priority for leaders to ensure the organization remains focused and committed to the populations being served.

While stakeholders can offer incredible insights that help mold current and new initiatives, it’s far too easy to get so caught up in the organization’s needs that absorbing these insights falls by the wayside. To help nonprofit leaders get back and remain on track when it comes to communicating with stakeholders, 15 Forbes Nonprofit Council members share useful strategies that leaders can use to improve their efforts.

1. Make Communication A Two-Way Conversation

Invite stakeholders into the conversation. We often think to communicate about our work, but communication is best if it is a conversation. Asking our stakeholders what they think, what they envision and what they see as it relates to our work is key to creating transformative partnerships. You can do this on social media, in meetings and through emails, but start with the invitation to dialogue. – Jennifer ThompsonNational Association of Social Workers New Jersey/Delaware

2. Be Empathetic

Communication is a two-way street, and the first goal is to listen to your stakeholders. To do so with an empathetic approach helps you understand where they are coming from. Having this foundation makes your communication with stakeholders more fruitful because you now have a better sense of their values, interests and expectations. – Scott DolanExcelsior College

3. Conduct A Stakeholder Analysis

Each stakeholder has interests and values. By completing a stakeholder analysis and answering the question of what each stakeholder needs to feel successful, leaders can anticipate the concerns of those they seek to influence. This proactive approach creates the impetus for leaders to engage key constituents as a matter of course rather than as a reaction to pushback. – David AdamsUrban Assembly


4. Focus On Meeting The Needs Of Stakeholders

Ensure content is about meeting stakeholders’ needs rather than the organization’s needs. Too much nonprofit communication is about «we» and «our.» However, a nonprofit’s true relevance is about the change the organization enables in the community in partnership with stakeholders. So, shift the narrative to bring in the «you» of the stakeholder as well as the voice of and impact on those served. – Betsy Chapin Taylor, FAHPAccordant

5. Implement A Consistent Communication Medium

Stakeholders include your community, board of directors, contributors, vendor partners and more. Implement a consistent, educational and results- or impact-driven communication medium such as a digital newsletter. We send one each month with 10 individual category boxes, including letters from the CEO or COO on updates, results from testimonials, news, events, podcasts and videos. These newsletters inform, engage and inspire. – Nancy PadbergCatholic Education Arizona

6. Determine Which Channel Is Ideal

Consider the best channel of communication for every situation. If you’re providing nonurgent updates, consider keeping things more informal. Save emails for announcing major campaigns or milestones and conclude by welcoming feedback. Even in these modern times, picking up the phone for a quick call almost always clears up confusion more efficiently than overwhelming someone’s inbox. – Jose Luis CastroVital Strategies

7. Keep Conversations Relevant And Engaging

What you say should be relevant. Start with a thank you if they are a current donor. If they are not a donor, start with a value statement that immediately engages the person in the conversation and tells them why you are communicating. – Gwen CooperAccessia Health

8. Be Succinct

We are in a world of information overload. If a donor wants to learn more, provide a link to places where they can find more information, including information on you and your staff. – Deidre LindMayor’s Fund for Los Angeles

9. Examine The Habits Of Stakeholders

It comes down to habits, habits, habits. We know where our stakeholders reside based on their «habits,» so be sure to share pertinent information where they will be looking. Social media and email are two platforms we know stakeholders are apt to be engaging with, so share your efforts. The odds are in your favor that they will see and notice them. – Aaron AlejandroTexas FFA Foundation

10. Be Honest

Stakeholders love to receive positive information about the progress of their investments. However, neglecting to share challenges or potential future failures can be hurtful, and these failures are just as important as positive information. Sharing challenges builds a community of potential solutions that you may have not thought about in the past and it also builds trust with your stakeholders. – Tameka WomackClayton State University

11. Take Stakeholder Communication Preferences Into Consideration

Start by identifying exactly how your stakeholders want to receive communications and what works best for them. If they say, for instance, that email is their preferred communications vehicle, then test it by making sure you send something that requires a response. That way you can be sure that your communication is reaching the stakeholder, that they are reading it and that you receive a response. – Victoria BurkhartThe More Than Giving Company

12. Add In Personalized Communication Touches

While I tend to put everything in writing, a personal phone call builds trust and a relationship. Follow up written communication with a phone call or face-to-face meeting. – Kimberly LewisGoodwill Industries of East Texas, Inc.

13. Lean Into Your Humanity

One effective tip for improving communication with stakeholders is to remember we’re all human. Share stories, make data meaningful and admit mistakes and challenges. These actions make us all more interesting and relatable, and stakeholders are more willing and interested to engage when communication is grounded in our shared humanity. – Kate Bauer-JonesFuture Forward/ Education Analytics, Inc.

14. Create A Community For Informal Communication

Stakeholders want to feel like they are part of the community. While formal communication like formal letters or emails are key, informal communication creates a more friendly and inviting atmosphere. Creating a group chat with daily videos or pictures of the organization’s positive work allows stakeholders to feel more connected to the community they are invested in serving. – Christopher Dipnarine4MyCiTy Inc.

15. Remain Consistent

Make it a priority to communicate with key stakeholders on a consistent basis by adding reminders to your calendar. I have found sending brief email and text updates to our partners and funders shows we appreciate and think about them. These correspondences only strengthen important relationships with the goal being to align on business objectives and work toward them together. – Dan MantzRobotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation

Últimos Artículos

La OPS y Vital Strategies acuerdan reforzar los enfoques basados en la evidencia para promover la salud pública en las Américas

«En un mundo cada vez más impulsado por los datos, es fundamental que aprovechemos el poder de los datos para informar las políticas de salud. La alianza entre la OPS y Vital Strategies nos permitirá fortalecer este enfoque basado en la evidencia a medida que avanzamos hacia la salud para todos», sostuvo el doctor Jarbas Barbosa, Director de la OPS.

Leer Artículo