Communication is about more than reaching people outside your organization. Some of the most vital, and most challenging, communications for nonprofits are internal. How do you get messages out to staff, volunteers, board, and other people working to fulfill your mission?
This class will cover the basics of internal communications to make sure you are clearly conveying information to the right people, in the right format, at the right time. This includes how to make sure emails are clear and succinct, policies are accurately worded, questions are anticipated and answered, and the right tone is maintained. Students will leave this class with both theoretical guidelines and practical resources—understanding how we best communicate internally as organizations, along with common practices to achieve these goals.
- Identifying types of internal stakeholders and understanding the best ways to communicate with them: adapting messages, and ways of distributing them, to the audience—not vice versa (not everyone reads every email, much less every word of every email).
- Creating clarity with communication: ensuring what you say, and how you say it, fully and clearly conveys the information you want people to know.
- Organizing and storing common files and information: making key policies, manuals, guidelines, photo libraries, and other shared resources available to everyone who needs them, in ways that are easy for everyone to understand, access, and navigate.
- Creating a crisis communication plan: setting up everyone in your organization for success when something goes wrong (how to respond, or not respond, so your organization isn't dropped into chaos).
By the end of this course, you will be able to…
- Recognize appropriate means of communication for types of messages and different audiences.
- Assess your personal approaches to internal communication.
- Evaluate internal systems for sharing frequently needed physical and electronic files.
Staff members with influence in internal systems of communication and policies/procedures—examples:
- Executive director (especially in smaller organizations)
- Communications director
- Executive assistant
- Managers/directors who need to share information with and make regular requests of other staff members (such as their direct reports)