Who doesn’t know your organization, but should?
The goal of raising awareness is often about something beyond awareness. It’s about engagement. Getting people—donors, volunteers, activists, and more—to engage with your mission.
But getting people to engage with you is about a lot more than just putting your name in front of them. In Big Duck’s market research tool, the Brandraising Benchmark, we measure levels of awareness, mission affinity, and donor likelihood for nonprofits among a sample of Americans.
We’ve conducted the Benchmark for several years, and in that time, have noticed some interesting trends.
For those national organizations that most would consider “household names”, we see high levels of awareness, which is not surprising. What is surprising is that even for those organizations that have almost universal awareness, not even half of respondents say they are very or extremely likely to donate to them in the future. In other words, engagement isn’t always a given, even if you are an organization that people are highly aware of.
So what does it take to get people to engage? The Benchmark data suggests that mission affinity—or finding an organization’s mission important—plays an important role. For some organizations with below average awareness, the likelihood of future donations was still above average when mission affinity was above average. In other words, even though most respondents didn’t necessarily know the organization existed, they found their mission to be important and that corresponded to higher likelihood that they might donate in the future.
These findings highlight the importance of focusing on raising awareness among those people who don’t know you, but should. This means thinking about the people who are likely to be aligned with, and excited by, your mission.
In order to do this, you have to think beyond demographics. You need to know about psychographics—or details about a person’s lifestyle and behaviors. What are their values or motivations? What causes do they care about? What behaviors or life experiences connect them to your work? What is their mindset?
Use psychographics to build a more detailed profile of the people you need to reach—one that focuses on why someone might be inclined to engage with you. Having this will help to create more specific, effective strategies for finding and reaching the people who don’t know you, but should.