I had the opportunity to serve as a communication resource for NASSCOM Foundation’s partner NGOs who gathered at Bangalore today, December 2, 2011 to learn more about marketing and communication pointers to improve reach, get donor commitment and enhance image. The event held at Thomson Reuters office invited marketing and communication professionals from organizations to serve as subject matter experts for NGOs invited for the day.
Called ‘BRing the Change Week’ the event runs from November 28 till December 3, 2011. If you haven’t figured, the ‘BR’ in’ Bring’ refers to Business Responsibility. The Foundation is involving the IT-BPO industry through volunteering – in one mega event spanning the country.
After the initial table top discussions (I preempted the needs of NGOs assigned to me by sending a questionnaire in advance to solicit inputs on their work and specific challenges) each group had to share their top three take-aways. By asking each NGO to talk about their next project and how they envisaged communicating, I guided the group with recommendations on making their communication stick.
The learning shared by representatives from partner NGOs ranged from their understanding of the communication process to better ways to use social media effectively. Some were impressed by the quality of the discussions and vowed to stay connected with the corporate resources. Other inputs people took away were about tools and templates to implement, tips on preparing an ‘elevator pitch’ and ideas to blend the power of communities with fund raising.
Personally, I felt there is limited understanding of the impact communication makes and even less investment by NGOs to grasp basics of this key function.
Overall, based on the NGOs who participated and their expectations from this workshop it is evident that opportunities exist to leverage communication to their advantage.