CommBuild

last person joined: 15 days ago 

Focused on building and sustaining online and offline communities for nonprofits and other mission-driven organizations.
The CommBuild group is focused on building and sustaining online and offline communities for nonprofits and other mission-driven organizations. Anyone interested in community building, whether you are formally in a community management job or not, is welcome to join the group.

Short link: http://community.nten.org/commbuild

Topic: Are you comfortable being a brand ambassador for your nonprofit?

1.  Are you comfortable being a brand ambassador for your nonprofit?

Posted Jan 11, 2017 10:57

Happy 2017!

I thought I'd start my year with some group engagement.

I'm curious about your comfort level with playing Ambassador for your nonprofit/community.

The more people I speak with the more I realize this depends a lot on the type of person you are (which affects the type of community manager you are).

Does anyone shy away and prefer to lead from behind?

Cheers~

Talya





2.  RE: Are you comfortable being a brand ambassador for your nonprofit?

Posted Jan 11, 2017 12:05
This is an interesting one.  I'm a new community manager at a nonprofit.  I come in with community building/managing experience, but am not yet a subject matter expert on all things "animal welfare".

I strongly believe in the mission and am the personality type who isn't afraid to share that, but if I were to be asked pointed questions, I definitely won't be able to answer them yet and am still learning who the go-to's are.

I think once I get more knowledge I will feel even more comfortable being on the forefront, but for now, I find myself leading from within the org as we define the community strategy.  I will need to be more outward as the journey progresses.

Thanks for starting the thought process on this, because it's something worth thinking about.

Aimee Charlton
Digital Community Outreach Manager
Best Friends Animal Society®
801.369.0204

Together, we can Save Them All®.





3.  RE: Are you comfortable being a brand ambassador for your nonprofit?

Posted Jan 12, 2017 21:24

Interesting post! 

I've definitely noticed that the degree to which I act as a brand ambassador changes depending on the organization. For instance, where I currently work, we're a bit lucky in that we have fairly firm policies as to who our organization's spokespersons are. As a result, my "ambassadorship" is a bit limited, but given the topics we work on, I'm quite comfortable with that (sometimes leading from behind is a good thing!). I'm in 100% agreement with you Aimee on the importance of being comfortable when acting in the capacity of brand ambassador. 

For a few other organizations that I volunteer with, I'm in a more of an active role speaking about the org, mainly as those organizing groups are a bit smaller, and I'm a bit more comfortable in that role than some of my colleagues. 

Cheers,
Praan



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Praan Misir
Information and Database Management Officer
Canadian Race Relations Foundation
Toronto, ON
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4.  RE: Are you comfortable being a brand ambassador for your nonprofit?

Posted Jan 13, 2017 09:39
Love the feedback Aimee and Praan!

Putting our ideas together, it sounds like staff/volunteers at a nonprofit may be interested/recruited to be Ambassadors if:

1. They're comfortable with getting out in front (not shying away/lead from behind)
2. They're comfortable with their knowledge of the topic/nonprofit mission

and from your responses I can't help but add (at least) one more:

3. They're comfortable with the amount of time it may take them to do the work (this may be extra on top of their workload, or extra in their time off)

Could we make this list longer...?
Talya


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Talya Rotem
Digital Community Manager
SmartSAVER
Toronto, ON
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5.  RE: Are you comfortable being a brand ambassador for your nonprofit?

Posted Jan 13, 2017 10:59
Could we make this list longer...?

4. They are willing to ask lots of questions, including tough questions, of senior staff, about the mission and operations of the organization, so that they are prepared to answer those same questions when they come from the public. 

May not seem like a big deal, but I've made many a senior staff person squirm with my questions. I explain carefully, and often, more than once, that I'm asking these hard questions now so that I'm prepared for such later - but they still squirm. 

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Jayne Cravens Consultant Portland, OR www.coyotecommunications.com
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6.  RE: Are you comfortable being a brand ambassador for your nonprofit?

Posted Jan 13, 2017 16:31
Love your addition Jayne!

And I think your suggestion is a big deal - making sure Ambassadors aren't just passive but willing to put themselves at the front because they are comfortable with the answers they've been given about everyone's commitment to the mission, activities, etc.

And so our list continues to grow...

1. They're comfortable with getting out in front (not shying away/lead from behind)
2. They're comfortable with their knowledge of the topic/nonprofit mission
3. They're comfortable with the amount of time it may take them to do the work (this may be extra on top of their workload, or extra in their time off)
4. They are willing to ask lots of questions, including tough questions, of senior staff, about the mission and operations of the organization, so that they are prepared to answer those same questions when they come from the public.

Do I hear a 5?
Talya

BTW Jayne - You don't by chance remember me from way back when I was social media person with girl guides of Canada? I remember how supportive you were in sharing content. 

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Talya Rotem
Digital Community Manager
SmartSAVER
Toronto, ON
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7.  RE: Are you comfortable being a brand ambassador for your nonprofit?

Posted Jan 24, 2017 19:38
Hey all,

I am happy to toss in my two cents...I run the Community Ambassador program for Oregon Food Bank. You all have already done a great job getting this list going but a few things I might add:
*The location of the event, will it be indoors or outdoors. That will determine if some staff/volunteers will staff it.
*Who is the main contact that the staff/volunteer could get in contact with. I have found it effective to introduce through email the contact for the request and the staff/volunteer who is going. This allows the staff/volunteer to ask questions that I might not have thought of and it really helps insure that they are the most comfortable for the event.
*Who is the audience, some staff/volunteers will jump at the chance to work with some specific audiences.
*If they are a volunteer, they must be willing to submit to a background check. Because these volunteers might be going to a school we background check all of them.
*A willingness to say "I don't know, but let me put you in contact with someone who does know" and then provide my contact info.

Honestly in my opinion these kinds of staff/volunteers are like gold...pretty dang hard to find, but once you do find them oh gosh they can be a game changer.

I hope this helps:)

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Kyle Hummel
Oregon Food Bank
Beaverton, OR
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8.  RE: Are you comfortable being a brand ambassador for your nonprofit?

Posted Jan 26, 2017 10:17
Cool Kyle!

I love that you've added the human element to ambassadorships - putting the volunteer at the centre so that they are supported and identified as the right choice for the position.

Looks like we have a really nice list (in no particular order):

Staff/volunteers at a nonprofit may be interested/recruited to be Ambassadors if have:

Feel Comfortable:
1. They're comfortable with getting out in front (not shying away/lead from behind)

2. They're comfortable with their knowledge of the topic/nonprofit mission
3. They're comfortable with the amount of time it may take them to do the work (this may be extra on top of their workload, or extra in their time off)
4. Comfortable with: who is the audience (some staff/volunteers will jump at the chance to work with some specific audiences.

Feel Part of the Team / Supported:
1. They are willing to ask lots of questions, including tough questions, of senior staff, about the mission and operations of the organization, so that they are prepared to answer those same questions when they come from the public.
2. Know the event location and details (indoors, outdoors, online).
3. Know who the main contact is for the staff/volunteer to get in contact with. 

Agree to special requirements/eligibility:
1. Sometimes, must be willing to submit to a background check (i.e. going into a school to volunteer).

Thanks everyone for chiming in!
Talya


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Talya Rotem
Digital Community Manager
SmartSAVER
Toronto, ON
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9.  RE: Are you comfortable being a brand ambassador for your nonprofit?

Posted Jan 27, 2017 13:07
Thanks for pulling it all together - great thread :)

--
Christina Lizaso, M.N.O.
I build Communities of Purpose
Specializing in healthcare digital community building & communications.

Find me on Twitter @btrfly12
Also find me on LinkedIn
or even by phone (214) 733-0832

co-founder & co-moderator, #gyncsm community for GYN cancers
believer in the patient voice
Get empowered in your health -> ePatient101.com online classes





10.  RE: Are you comfortable being a brand ambassador for your nonprofit?

Posted Mar 17, 2017 11:08
An interesting counterpoint for the list compiled here is a list from the point of view of the organization.

6 Key Characteristics of a Successful Brand Ambassador

Which type of referrals are your brand ambassadors driving for your business?
It's critical for you to vet and qualify ambassadors — the supporters you’re entrusting to generate referrals — before enlisting them to sing your praises.

1. Knowledge of (and Appreciation for) Marketing
Appreciate the importance of authenticity in modern marketing, and grasp the role that digital marketing and social media play in driving high-quality referrals.

2. An Established Online Presence
They should have a well-established online presence and a highly-engaged network.

3. A High Level of Professionalism
If someone embarrassed themselves or your brand, you’d never hire them, right? The same standards should be applied to your brand ambassadors.

4. Natural Leadership Skills
Exude confidence and positivity — traits that draw you in and make you want to listen.

5. A Passion for Building and Growing Relationships
They exist to foster strong, loyal relationships between your customers and your brand.

6. The Ability to Gather Feedback and Provide Innovative Insight
No loyalty program is perfect. Neither is any particular product or service. Inevitably, brand ambassadors will gather feedback based on their experience with your product or services, as well as their conversations with your customers and competitors. This information can provide critical intelligence that helps you improve your referral marketing program (and, more broadly, your business).

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Ariel Jensen-Vargas
Masters of Public Administration candidate, specializing in Nonprofit Administration
Marxe School of Public and International Affairs (until recently the Baruch School of Public Affairs)
https://www.linkedin.com/in/webmamma
Queens, NY
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11.  RE: Are you comfortable being a brand ambassador for your nonprofit?

Posted Mar 21, 2017 09:08

Love this alternate view point Ariel,
The org list complements the individual list in that each side needs to be ready to trust in the success of the ambassador program.
Have you seen this in action?
Cheers~

Talya 



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Talya Rotem
Digital Community Manager
SmartSAVER
Toronto, ON
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