This area concentrates on the external focus of the organisation; how you develop partnerships with other organisations and how you market your products and services. Both are crucial factors in operating as a sustainable organisation.
If you work in isolation you run the risk of missing out on opportunities such as, joint funding bids, sharing resources and keeping up to date with the latest developments in the sector. It also means you will lack vision and foresight. Poor or minimal marketing will mean that uptake of your products and services will be limited and there will will be little opportunity to celebrate your successes and demonstrate to others what you have achieved.
Organisations from all sectors are becoming increasingly aware of the need to work in partnership, sharing skills and pooling resources, as fierce competition for customers and income is becoming a daily reality.
Identifying who are your ‘natural partners’, which organisations reflect and deliver similar core values, is a good way to build up collective strength.
Effective partnership working increases your ‘reach’ to your intended beneficiaries and enables you to deliver beyond the capabilities of any one partner. It also brings access to more resources, networks, support, knowledge and information while sharing any risks. Crucially for the third sector it opens up the possibility of applying for new and diverse funding streams.
Developing a marketing strategy is vital for any business. Without one, your efforts to attract service users and customers are likely to be inefficient. The purpose of your marketing strategy should be to identify and then communicate the benefits of what your organisation has to offer.
Once you have created and implemented your strategy, you should monitor its effectiveness and make any adjustments required to maintain its success. A sustainable organisation will make sure that its products and services are reviewed and kept fresh, in line with changing needs and demands of service users and customers.
Don't forget to celebrate your successes! No one else is likely to, so shout from the roof tops and get yourself heard!
How can MERCi help your organisation?
- Sustainability benchmarking of your organisation
- Directory of sustainable goods and service providers in Greater Manchester
- Resources and tool-kits
- Ideas on how to involve your staff, volunteers, board, service users and customers
- Tailored training and workshops