Like with any other sector, internal communications are crucial for nonprofits. With multiple stakeholders at different levels with varying degrees of involvement, effective internal communication is important for transparency, engagement, and continued belief and participation in the mission of your nonprofit.
40 percent of communications professionals believe that internal communication is a top priority for their nonprofits. This is understandable when you see the larger context. With high donor expectations and budget constraints, it’s important for senior leaders to share their strategic plans with the organization.
But it’s equally important for team members to communicate with each other. This horizontal communication will help eliminate the constraints put up by departmental silos and enhance collaboration within the nonprofit.
Benefits of managing internal communications for nonprofits
Effectively managing internal communications in your nonprofit can benefit you in the following ways.
With internal communications, all members including your staff, volunteers, and other stakeholders will be aligned with your purpose and mission. This helps you unify your teams, create transparency, and make a significant impact centered around your mission.
Internal communications in your nonprofit can also improve your brand awareness, morale, and employee productivity. Collectively, it will help reduce risks and innovate your approach and outreach with more efficiency and speed.
The most important reason for better internal communications is that it will improve your employee engagement and increase their belief in your mission. But for it to be functional, this communication has to be two-way.
Consistent and transparent internal communications can reduce your turnover and the expenses associated with recruiting new employees. It also improves your brand equity and attracts the right talent to work with you.
When you know how to manage your internal communication, you will also be creating mission ambassadors for your nonprofit. These are your brand advocates who can inspire both your internal and external audiences.
As a non-monetary method, internal communications can motivate your staff who will in turn motivate others. With greater belief in your mission, these ambassadors can better engage with other employees and emotionally connect and present your plans to donors.
4 ways to improve internal communications in nonprofits
Using these four ways, you can build better communication networks within your organization and improve its overall productivity.
Unify your staff around your cause
Internal communications can help unite your staff around your mission. When you communicate the larger context in which you operate and your role in it, it’s easier for employees to feel engaged.
You can use the same stories that you share with your donors. Communicate your purpose in human terms and there will be greater belief in your cause.
You can also use internal communication platforms to recognize your employees and volunteers. When they realize that you appreciate them for their contributions, they will be inspired to continue working with you.
Encourage employees to talk to each other
Far too often, internal communications become a top-down approach with employees merely receiving the information. A smarter way is to encourage your staff to talk to each other about the purpose, contributions, and any problems they might have.
This horizontal communication achieves three things. It shows your employees and volunteers that you believe in transparency. Secondly, it makes it possible for employees to share their skills through mentoring or buddy arrangements.
Finally, it helps build interpersonal relations within your nonprofit. This is how you create an organization that people want to work with.
Create a knowledge-sharing culture
Employees will perform well if they have adequate resources and skills. Internal communications can help deliver the right knowledge to the right individual at the right time.
Your nonprofit would have accumulated unique knowledge and by sharing it, you’re not only proving that you value your employees. You’re also creating a system that will deliver more value.
You should also encourage employees to share their knowledge and upskill each other. It will be more effective if you have an internal system for recording and documenting this knowledge. That’s where technology can help.
Use the right technology
With the appropriate technology, you can ensure seamless communication in your nonprofit. Heycollab comes with Messaging that allows various teams to effortlessly communicate and interact within the platform.
Clients can receive email notifications whenever they’re tagged in the tool. They can respond via email if they’re unable to access the tool. This ensures that everyone is kept in the loop.
Heycollab also empowers you to create workspaces for different teams and projects. For example, you can create workspaces for fundraising, holding an event, or a volunteer drive.
This project management and communications app also comes with boards. Now you can create systems, processes, workflows, or even volunteer onboarding with these boards. It also allows you to duplicate them for other projects or workspaces.
With better internal communications in your nonprofit, there will be greater employee engagement and productivity. It will also get all employees and volunteers to believe in and stay committed to your mission.