GuideStar Blog

4 Steps to Launching a Team of Passionate Messengers

Casually dressed young woman sitting at a wooden table in conversation You face an uphill battle to recruit members and retain them at ever higher and more effective levels of engagement, as well as to maximize your organization’s impact. There's nothing more important than these two goals.

Yet, as time and budgets get tighter, the acquisition cycle ebbs and flows, and the communications landscape gets more distracting, driving membership and impact is harder than ever.

Did you know there’s a proven yet seldom-used method to extend your organization’s reach and impact without adding budget or hires? That method is to build your team of passionate messengers.

With the right training and motivation, your entire team could be spreading the word about the benefits of membership, helping you attract more new and returning members and increase your impact. The value of launching your messengers can be huge: it’s a real win-win, and it’s doable with limited time and expense.

Follow these four steps to successfully launch your team of messengers:

1. Design Your Pilot Campaign

  • Identify your best opportunities. Putting messengers to work on a current membership or program campaign that has a clear deadline and goal often works best.

  • Build a small team of staff, members, or volunteers who are most likely to act or have the greatest influence with the people your organization needs to engage.

2. Shape Your Program: Policies, Benchmarks, Tools, and Training

  • Design policies and guidelines to serve as the foundation of your program. These elements will help your messengers know what to expect.

  • Define benchmarks for success: what does success look like for this campaign; how will you know you’re on the right track?

  • Create tools and templates to make it easy for your messengers to share in an effective and efficient way.

  • Require hands-on training so your messengers feel comfortable with their role in the campaign.

3. Support, Thank, and Reward Your Messengers

  • Boost your messengers’ success via ongoing supports, from coaching to a private Facebook group. Whatever format and venue you select, make sure all messengers feel confident that they can get the guidance they need.

  • Thank and reward your team in a way that’s meaningful. That may be giving recognition at your next meeting, or a more concrete reward like a gift card.

4. Launch, Assess, Analyze, and Modify Accordingly

  • Launch your campaign!

  • Assess the impact of your pilot campaign and analyze the return on your investment (ROI). Take note of what’s working, what’s not working, and how the campaign’s ROI compares to that of other marketing methods.

  • Modify your campaign to focus or improve on the areas your analysis indicates.

You can learn more about how to ask, train, and support your team in the free webinar I’m hosting with Wild Apricot on July 23. I’ll walk you through this practical, productive program development process. You’ll walk away ready to launch this highly effective but underutilized approach, and on target to meet your membership and impact goals. Click here to register.

I can’t wait to work with you!

Nancy SchwartzNancy Schwartz is a consultant, trainer, and coach who guides nonprofit organizations to connect with their people and motivate them to act. She brings contagious passion and refreshing practicality to her clients, and to the field via her blog, Getting Attention. Nancy volunteers with the Interfaith Food Bank of the Oranges and her local garden club. She served on the NTEN board for two terms. Nancy enjoys gardening, cooking, hiking, and travel—solo and with her family.

Topics: Membership Organizations Recruiting Members Retaining Members
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