Over this past summer, I was able to meet and hear from some of Williamson County’s amazing non-profit CEOs at the Williamson Inc. Non-Profit Roundtable. We gathered in the morning to discuss our organizations and challenges we were facing. We then brainstormed solutions and ideas to mitigate our struggles. The non-profits in attendance included High Hopes, Graceworks Ministries, One Generation Away, and the Girls Scouts of Middle Tennessee. Many had similar hurdles such as finding a venue large enough or creating a detailed database compatible with their emails at a low price. Most of the initial struggles discussed were not applicable to Threads of Care, as we are still in our initial growth phase; however, the information and solutions will become very important in the future.
Following our brainstorm discussion, we moved on to a question-and-answer session with a Non-Profit Management representative. Together we explored a myriad of topics, which are too good not to share.
The first topic was the events. They are an opportunity to tell a story to the donors and spark meaningful and strategic conversation via calculated seating. Threads of Care isn’t hosting large functions, but the theme of doing research prior to meeting people and planning discussions to flow in your direction while still being authentic and charismatic should be second nature. Knowing your audience, what they want, and what you want, are all critical pieces of information that should be running through your brain before you meet someone.
The second and arguably the most impactful topic was thank you’s. Nonprofits couldn’t exist without the donations of generous people, and we must thank them and inform them how their gift has positively affected the community. The thank you’s should be prompt and personal. The greeting and thank you should be followed by more ways to get involved, the next event, and contact information. For example:
Dear Mr. Smith,
It was a pleasure meeting you at the event. I enjoyed our conversation regarding topic one and your ideas about topic two. Thank you for your continued support of the organization. Your donations are truly appreciated and felt by the community you are serving.
Our next event is date and time at location. We will be doing a and b and would love to see you there. In the meantime, please check out our website along with our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.
If you have any questions or want more information, don’t hesitate to contact me at email or phone.
Thank you again,
Social media is always a great way to share information. Video has a 95% retention rate compared to text and images at 10%. Videos are a great way to get a story out and spread your messages. You can have people give a testimony of how your organization has helped them, or why they got involved. You can do a promotional video for your next event, or a recap of your previous one. Statistics and data can be reported in this engaging way. No matter how you share the information, just be sure to get it out!
The final topic was how to retain membership. Some organizations kept past board members involved via a “Legacy Newsletter” or a “Legacy Council” that met twice a year to discuss where the organization was going. Once again, this topic wasn’t applicable to Threads of Care currently, but they are good things to keep in mind as we move forward.
All of the knowledge I gained from this experience was priceless. Threads of Care will be able to use this information to grow and help even more teens in need. The fantastic and impactful people I met that morning inspired me, and I am grateful for their help and support. I have attached their information, so please check them out!