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Building Engagement

How important is engagement amongst your audience and fans? For a nonprofit, and especially one that is a festival or an event, it can be critical. The audience and fans are the lifeblood of the organization. Building engagement among all your constituencies is a way to accelerate interest and knowledge about the organization, which can lead to improving resources. Below are some ideas on how to get started.

Develop the plan

An overall plan is needed and should include identifying the types of constituents for your organization and how they get involved. Constituents can include vendors, event participants, nonprofits, organizations, companies, volunteers, retail customers, and overall fans. The plan should include tracking the constituents through the system, the various messages, the communications tool(s) used, and the time line for the message. It is important to remember that the communications tools and platforms should vary and relate to the constituent type and demographics.

The Website as Your Hub

Having your website as the hub of all communications and information makes sense as that is where everyone goes to find out anything about your festival or organization. Having different opportunities to engage people is important and can include purchasing merchandise, viewing photos or videos, donating to the organization, learning about programs, and joining mailing lists.

Capture Data

Determine what data you want to obtain and build a plan on how to obtain the data. Is it audience information? Demographic data? Emails for email marketing plans? Cell numbers for text messaging? By knowing how you want to communicate allows you to determine what data you need.

In addition, it is important to know how the data is stored. If you are capturing data from your website, is it in a database that you can use in the future for communications or tracking giving or retail purchases? The overall plan can help you track data and determine where it is permanently stored. Even with a variety of platforms, this data should be on one main platform such as a database. The database becomes a major foundation for the infrastructure of your organization and very often is one of the last items that organization consider or obtain.

Communicate – Implement the Plan

Develop the communications tools and determine what to say. Communications can be on hard copy or paper, such as flyers or newsletters mailed to people. It can be an email marketing campaign. Social media can help engage fans even more and help you understand how people are connected to each other. Social media is now a great way to engage people instantly and build excitement in a new way.

With good communications, you can build loyalty which leads to improving your volunteer and financial resources.

With a strong engagement plan, your organization can grow and succeed and be able to thrive. Know your audience, determine what data you need, and have resources to build the various platforms for communication. All boats rise with the tide and is important to have each step in the engagement process developed and utilized as it will help your organization or festival and event overall.

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