Asking… And Then Listening | npENGAGE

Asking… And Then Listening

By on Nov 5, 2010


I got to thinking the other day about how many times I’ve been asked for my opinion or assistance from the nonprofit organizations I support. Outside of donation asks, I can only think of enough instances to fit on one hand. I’m a loyal supporter, donor, and volunteer to various organizations but rarely am I asked for much more than my money.

What about what I can bring to the table regarding volunteerism? Or how about ideas for expanding an organization’s web presence and social networks? The point is, these organizations have me on the hook. I’m passionate about them and donate when I can. I’m willing to do more but I need the opportunities to do so.

No one knows your mission better than you do. Don’t assume people are going to come to you. ASK how your supporters want to be involved. Are they willing to volunteer? Do you have the right opportunities posted to get them interested? Do they have skills or talents that can be put to use?

Another way to get our supporters involved is to ask what they think about your web presence. Is it providing them the information and interaction they need? What can be improved upon? You won’t know until you ask and if you ask – you’ll get answers! And those answers will lead to better traffic and value to your website.

What does your organization do? How often do you engage your supporters outside of monetary asks?


Frank Barry, formerly worked at Blackbaud helping nonprofits use the Internet for digital communication, social media, and fundraising. He’s worked with a diverse group of organizations including LIVESTRONG, United Methodist Church, American Heart Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters, ChildFund Int’l, InTouch Ministries, Heifer Int’l, University of Notre Dame and University of Richmond. Along with writing for industry publications like Mashable and Social Media Today, Frank facilitates discussions, presents solo sessions and organizes panels for industry conferences such as NTC, SXSW, BBCon and numerous others. When he’s out and about he enjoys talking to interesting people about how they are changing the world – check out his interviews. Say Hi on Twitter – @franswaa or Google+

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *