Board Governance: How do we engage our stakeholders?

Engaging Stakeholders

In a not for profit context, a stakeholder is any individual, group or organization who has an interest in your mission. Common stakeholders include:

  • Donors
  • Funders
  • Lenders
  • Clients/Customers
  • Employees/Board of Directors
  • Volunteers
  • National/International Affiliations
  • Local leaders/Government
  • Public at large

Through communication, engagement is the process of connecting people to your vision and mission. This is important as it allows you to grow your reputation and profile in the community, maintain and grow beneficial relationships, and grow financial support, all which help you achieve your mission.

There are four steps to engaging your stakeholders:

  1. Identify who your stakeholders are and why they are important. You may need to prioritize this list if you don’t have sufficient resources to cover every group.
  2. Build a communication strategy that considers the type and number of stakeholders, the information you want to communicate and how often you would like to communicate. Consistency is key to effective engagement.
  3. Determine your communication methods – in person, email, newsletters, social media etc. Note that different stakeholders will have different needs and preferences.
  4. Communicate!

There are many tools available to track your activities, and help ensure that you are fully complaint with Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL). If you are not sure how your stakeholders would like to be engaged by your organization, ask!

Other articles on Board Governance to read:

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