I recently did an interview with a nonprofit organization here in Colorado and we discussed how to build solid organizational and stakeholder partnerships.
One of the problems they identified was their need to mobilize a LOT of volunteers, supporters, and business partnerships in order to succeed. They have done some outreach but need to figure out how to become more effective at building partnerships more efficiently.
One solution we discussed was to identify potential partners that are in alignment with their organization’s key services or resources – what we called their “pillars”.
Pillars allow you to identify specific opportunities to find alignment between your purpose and those who have some sort of direct connection to what your organization does.
Pillars can help you generate ideal target audiences, identify where you should be focusing outreach efforts, and help you attract better stakeholders and supporters.
To identify your organization’s pillars, first look at your mission statement and the services that you offer. What is it you do for your community and what do you want to accomplish within your organization?
From there, take a look at the audience personas of your supporters and those who use your services. How do you describe what you do to these people? Ideally, you should be able, to sum up, what you offer in 1-2 sentences. Each sentence that you write then becomes a pillar of your organization.
With your pillars in place, you can start to identify traits and keywords of like-minded audiences to try and target with your outreach.
For instance, if your organization provides housing for veterans, you can do searches for veteran-owned construction companies, who will be more likely to want to partner with you or support your cause because they are already interested in similar topics or opportunities.
What are your organization’s pillars? Drop us a line to let us know. Never thought about pillars before? Don’t worry, we can help you identify your pillars and create some ideal audiences with whom to connect.