Why it’s important to improve internal communications for charities
For charities and non-profits, both internal communication and external communications are critical for the enterprise. External communications with donors and stakeholders are essential to the work of brand ambassadorship, as is conveying and promoting the organization’s values and message to external audiences that can provide the resources and funding needed to fulfil the organization’s mission.
Internal communications for charities and non-profits is also a must.
Internal communication enables not for profit organizations and charities to undertake the important work of organizational alignment — that is, keeping staff and volunteers on the same page when it comes to their understanding and communication of their mission and values. This level of alignment through internal communication empowers staff and volunteers to better execute the work of brand ambassadorship.
Communicating effectively at an internal level is also essential for co-ordination, in operational matters. An effective internal communications strategy enables charities and non-profits to communicate their knowledge and deliver the resources that staff and volunteers require to execute the day to day tasks and ongoing projects needed to deliver on their brand promise.
With staff and volunteers of many non-profit organizations and charities now working from home, on the road, or dispersed geographically, internal communications become even more critical for co-ordinating activities, motivating staff, and creating a sense of shared purpose.
However, internal communication can prove challenging for many.
We have outlined below, recommendations for charities and not for profits looking to improve their internal communications strategy and deployment.
Develop an internal communications strategy
Companies need both external and internal communications strategies. Many organizations in the non profit/ charity sector will already have a comprehensive external communications strategy in place, for disseminating their brand and message, and ensuring that all external communications are conducted in alignment with their values.
A strategy for internal communications needs to consider the analogue and digital tools available to staff and volunteers, and the nature of the materials and knowledge needed to inform staff of their duties and responsibilities, as well as motivating staff and volunteers to perform these activities to the best of their abilities.
An internal communications strategy should also focus on how internal communication can best be deployed to inform staff and volunteers about the objectives that the organization hopes to achieve by enacting its mission. To communicate effectively, the internal communications strategy needs to detail how critical information, tools, and knowledge should be disseminated through the organization, either with digital communications tools or via face-to-face contact.
Assign formal responsibility for internal communications
Non profit leaders advise assigning full or part-time staff specifically to the task of internal communication. These internal communications officers may be drawn from board members, trustees, experienced staff members, or retired workers, who will have a greater understanding of the role of brand ambassadorship, and the motivations behind the brand’s external and internal communications. They should also connect with the non-profit organization’s human resources team and activities and be given advance notice of important information they need to share with external audiences.
Equip project leaders and line managers with the required tools and knowledge
Experienced leaders of non profit organizations and charities observe that the role of line managers and project leaders can be key to effective internal communication. These people should therefore be properly equipped with the tools and knowledge they require to filter down key information from within the higher levels of the organization, and to lead change within the teams of staff and volunteers under their watch.
Give your staff and volunteers a voice
As those given day to day responsibility to safeguard and communicate an organization’s values and mission, staff and volunteers should be given an active role to play in the internal communications process.
This means creating lines of internal communication for feedback, knowledge sharing, and the development of new initiatives. This also puts the onus on the business to empower their staff and volunteers with the tools and platforms they will need to communicate internally.
Choose the right digital tools for your internal communications
Charities and non-profit organizations require a set of comprehensive and consistent digital communications tools, for both external communications and internal communications.
To ensure a stable communications experience for external audiences as well as internal members, they cannot afford to rely on a mismatched set of tools such as email clients, video conferencing software, and collaboration systems, spread across multiple platforms. It’s better — and more cost effective — to have a single communications platform which acts as a digital workplace for the organization’s entire ecosystem.
At Claromentis, our intranet software for charities and non-profit organizations connects each and every one of your stakeholders to one collaborative space — from your part-time volunteers through to the board members and trustees alike. With streamlined business processes, enhanced collaboration, and increased knowledge sharing, our external and internal communications software takes care of the day-to-day running of your non-profit so that you can focus on what matters most – making a positive difference.
With our intranet news application, you can keep stakeholders, charity staff and volunteers up-to-date with all the important information they require. Using our built-in permissions framework, you can target specific content to teams or individuals so that they only receive knowledge and resources relevant to their role.
To find out more about how Claromentis can help improve internal communications at your charity or non-profit, book a demo with our experts.