Communication is key for almost every profession out there. And rightfully so. If you can’t communicate what you are doing to the world, your boss, your community, your family, or even yourself, then how do you know you are doing something productive?
Whole companies dedicate large amounts of staff to their communication teams to relate to the outside world. In a nonprofit, it is generally one staff member that controls the organization’s image to the community, along with the CEO, President, and Board Members.
But what about you? You have a position within a nonprofit or community organization, and chances are you have to communicate regularly with people outside of your organization. So how important is what you do on a communicative level?
Well, it is very important. On a personal level, your communication with friends and family are probably just fine – texts, Facebook, touching base once a month. However, when it comes to professional nonprofit communication – keeping your organization on the connected to those donors, community partners, officials, or program officers can be the difference between landing that donation or grant – and closing your doors.
My advice? Since most of the world’s business is now done via email, make sure you take this form of communication very seriously. If you recieve an email from someone that is reaching out to you for any reason, make sure you get back to them within the hour. No, you do not have to write a complete essay if the response will warrant it. Yet a simple “I read your email, and I will get back to you when things settle down” will do the job. Then when you can, hopefully that day, reply to your sender and give them the time and attention they deserve.
People know you check your email. How? Because we are consuming 3x the amount of information than we did in 1960, and a lot of that comes from constantly checking/replying emails. So, don’t risk putting somebody off by putting their email off until 2 days later. Its polite, its easy, and it might be the difference in how you come off as a nonprofit professional. And for the sector, we need more good vibes stemming from competent and professional people to the outside community.