The very best way to help people understand and find meaning in the work of your organization is to provide them with first-hand experiences; many of our greatest donors come as a result of volunteering with the organization. Another great way to give people this first-hand experience is to provide them a guided tour of your nonprofit.
Think through various program staff members that have been great advocates for your work. Who is always coming to you with an exciting new story or wants to show off a new idea? Find a few people in your organization who are excited about the work they are doing and ask them if they’d be willing to participate in a regular tour of your organization.
Choose just a couple of areas to highlight and plan on highlighting each of them for 20 minutes or so. Your tour should not last much longer than an hour and a half. Start the tour with some historical context of your organization and an overview of what your nonprofit does. This is a great chance for your chief development officer or one of your target major gifts people to say a few words. The rest of the tour should be given by program staff and program directors. A great way to close a tour is to have a few minutes for an update and Q & A with your CEO or Executive Director.
Set up these tours as a regular monthly occurrence. Let your board members and executive team members know that you are doing this. When you start a tour program you can get a little bit of pushback about a regular commitment. But it will be much more difficult to book everyone’s time if you do not have a regular schedule. It will also be much more difficult to get your board and staff to understand the need to invite their friends. It will take a few months to get them in the habit of inviting their friends and co-workers.