The second necessary step in designing a successful nonprofit strategy is knowing your beneficiaries


Last week I started a series of blog posts on building a strong and successful strategy for your nonprofit and I started with mentioning the first necessary step you will need to examine before kicking off with your strategy. If you haven’t read that post, I recommend that you visit the article HERE before continuing with this one. Having familiarity with the first article will help you understand this one even much better.

This week we are looking at the second step to take when designing your nonprofit strategy, and that step in designing and building a strong and successful strategy for your nonprofit is clearly knowing, stating, and understanding who your beneficiaries are.

Some organizations talk about beneficiaries, others refer to participants, others to clients, service users or partners. Here we will refer to beneficiaries as the people whom your nonprofit seeks to benefit.

The reason why many nonprofit strategies fail is because too often nonprofits and funders ignore the constituents who matter most, the intended beneficiaries of their work. In bypassing the beneficiary as a source of information and experience, we deprive ourselves of insights into how we might serve them better, and effectively meet their needs on a timely manner.

Hearing from the beneficiaries you seek to serve is an important practice for planning, implementing, and evaluating your nonprofit’s programs and services. Therefore, when it comes to designing an effective strategy for your nonprofit or any project your nonprofit looks into launching it is very important to be clear about who you are referring to or who your service or product will benefit.

Knowing who the beneficiaries are can be more complex than you might first anticipate, and is fundamental to consider carefully who they are if you are going to involve them effectively.

How you define your beneficiaries will shape how you allocate resources and spend your time. Through the process of defining who you exist for, you will successfully provide direction for your nonprofit strategy. If beneficiaries feel that they have been listened to, the benefits to them as individuals will be long lasting. Listening to beneficiaries is both the right and the smart thing to do.

With that been said, it is important for you to understand that, as part of the process of defining the problem, identifying the beneficiaries whose lives you intended to improve through the solution you eventually develop is critical for the success of your nonprofit.

A strong intended-impact statement identifies both the beneficiaries of a nonprofit’s activities and the benefits the organization will provide—that is, the change in behavior, knowledge, or status quo its programs are designed to effect.

Your problem statement should reflect a deep understanding of your beneficiaries’ motivations, needs, interests, and circumstances ―an understanding that comes from putting yourself in their shoes, sometimes called “cognitive empathy.” Once you have a full understanding of your beneficiaries and their needs that avoids assumptions to the best of your ability in meeting their needs.

Therefore, the second step to take in designing an effective strategy for your nonprofit is to identify your beneficiaries clearly. By doing so, you will be able to address their needs more effectively and on a constituent manner while using resources efficiently. You can’t appeal to everyone, and some groups are inherently more important than others.

Always remember, Charities exist for their beneficiaries. Have a heart for a rich understanding of your beneficiaries; you can simply do that by implementing the following simple steps.
  1. Interviews - talk with your beneficiaries to understand their views
  2. Observation - observe the beneficiaries’ daily
  3. Life Research - read articles, interviews, and social science research about your beneficiaries
In order to have a deeper insight on this matter, I advise you to read THE IMPORTANCE OF KNOWING YOUR TARGET GROUPS IN SOLVING SOCIAL PROBLEMS SUCCESSFULLY, a blog post that I wrote with the intention of helping people like you see how you can segment and understand your beneficiaries better. You may also like to read THE POWER BEHIND LISTENING TO YOUR BENEFICIARIES to give you a better view of the benefits of listening to your beneficiaries. You need to learn who you’re targeting specifically, and which groups to prioritize.

If you are interested in the entire series please visit the NONPROFIT STRATEGY category.

I hope this post will help you learn more and more on the matters of developing an effective strategy for your nonprofit organizations or program. If might have any further questions you would like me to answer don't hesitate to contact me Here

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About The Author:

Rumishael Ulomi (RyChris), the Publisher and Creator of RYCHRIS JOURNAL is a Christian Believer, Singer, Entrepreneur, and an Independent Social Sector Consultant residing in Moshi, Tanzania interested in helping others thrive and grow. LEARN MORE HERE
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