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Expanding Engagement Through the Power of Influencers

A challenge that nonprofits face every day is: How do we reach and inspire new supporters?

40M-reachA powerful way to increase your organization’s reach is to develop an influencer engagement plan. This means actively recruiting people who will act as message catalysts and speak passionately about the work your organization does with their friends, family, and colleagues -- their social network. These “influencers” can not only reach a huge new audience, but speak to the cause personally, in a way that their peers are 70% more likely to find trustworthy that your (or any) organization according to BzzAgent.

5% of list has reach of 34M

We recently surveyed 90 nonprofit organizations, representing a combined 20 million supporters, and found quite a few surprising things about the true power of influencers. With an average list of 72,000 socially matched email addresses, it was determined that the top 5% most highly-networked* of an organization’s supporters on average reach over 34 million people on social media or 85% of the network’s total reach. This is 200 times greater than the number of people sitting in the organization’s CRM.

See the infographic: The Amazing Network Reach of Nonprofits

Influencers are everywhere - so where do you begin? We suggest starting with the people who already have a relationship with your organization: your supporters and donors. Starting with this universe, you can then narrow down a particular “ask” to people that have a high Klout score, many social connections, speak about issues relevant to your nonprofit’s cause, and maybe have taken action on your behalf or donated in the past.


Influencers aren’t just celebrities. Influencers can also be professionals whose words carry weight because of their domain expertise, “advocates” who speak passionately about your cause without prompting, or what we call “citizen influencers” -- people with a Klout score over 40 and/or 500+ social connections. These citizen influencers often speak up about issues important to them online and advocate for issues outside of their immediate profession. To engage these citizen influencers, sometimes all you need to do is ask (and thank them!).

If you want to learn more about how to identify and engage your nonprofit organization’s influencers with the power of social data, download our free quick guide “How to Identify and Engage Your Influencers” today.

* Highly-networked is defined here as having the largest number of social fans and followers according to Attentively’s social matching service.

roz.png-356×280-pixels-2The preceding is a guest post by Roz Lemieux, CEO of, an engagement marketing platform, and partner at Fission Strategy. Prior to co-founding Fission, Roz served as the Executive Director of the New Organizing Institute (NOI) – the premiere training institute for tech-enabled grassroots organizers. Roz was a member of the team through the 2004 and 2006 election cycles. 

Topics: Fundraising