The Six Practices of High Impact Nonprofits ... That's the name of a new book out by Leslie Crutchfield and Heather McCleod Grant. They found that one quality that makes great nonprofits great is how they work beyond their four walls. I haven't read the book yet, but I did catch this interview on ABC with one of the authors and read the essay over at the Standford Social Innovation Review.
Point #3: Inspire Evangelists:
High-impact nonprofits build strong communities of supporters who help them achieve their larger goals. They value volunteers, donors, and advisers not only for their time, money, and guidance, but also for their evangelism. To inspire supporters’ commitment, these nonprofits create emotional experiences that help connect supporters to the group’s mission and core values. These experiences convert outsiders to evangelists, who in turn recruit others in viral marketing at its finest. High-impact nonprofits then nurture and sustain these communities of supporters over time, recognizing that they are not just means, but ends in themselves.
This is interesting to me because in one of the sessions on Social Media strategy that I attended at podcamp by Christopher Penn, he characterized different audience profiles - the one at the top of the pyramid was called "Evangelists" -- people who will talk about your product, organizations, or services to others. He also shared some tips on how social media facilitates this.
Now I'm curious to read the book (maybe I'll get a review copy) and look at how this research translates into social media tactics and how it might difference from this approach?