Using Accreditation as a Marketing Tool – Part 2

Earning national accreditation is a stellar accomplishment – your agency has devoted a great deal of time, effort and resources into making this achievement happen. So what happens next? This past May, we published ‘Using Accreditation as a Marketing Tool’ that discussed ways in which your nonprofit can best promote its accredited status and get the most from its accreditation investment.

Here, in our second segment on this topic, we share additional ideas centered on outreach that will help your agency to maximize your accreditation investment and to Prepare for Greatness! ™

Above all your core message should be: Our agency became accredited because of our commitment to providing our clients with the best services possible. Building on this sentiment, performing accreditation outreach will be key in increasing additional opportunities for your nonprofit in areas that include grant funding, contact acquisition, state or federal funding and new clients, just to name a few.

  1. Share your news with those you serve!
    • Share that you have earned accreditation personally when interacting with clients.
    • If you are able to email clients, send out a celebratory email sharing the news!
    • Update all organizational signage at the entrances to your buildings (and elsewhere, where applicable) to reflect your accreditation.
  2. Share your news internally with staff, board members, donors, volunteers and organizations your nonprofit collaborates with to serve others.
    • For staff and board members, donors and volunteers, consider sending out an e-blast announcing the good news and what this means for your agency and its clients.
    • For partner organizations, an e-blast is an effective way to communicate this achievement. However, for greater impact, why not have the executive director personally call partner leadership to share the news? This one-on-one call will highlight the value of earning such an accomplishment.
  3. Share your news with local and state public officials and public agencies who should know about your nonprofit and how you serve their constituents.
    • Consider an official letter from your board chair and/or executive director sharing your accreditation news. An email may get lost in the shuffle and/or not passed on by preliminary email reviewers to those at the top that you want to receive it.
  4. Share your news with as many local news outlets as you can.
    • Distribute a news release tailored to the source you are sending it to. Consider your target audience: potential clients of your services and their families, potential donors, the community?
    • If funds allow, wire services such as PR Newswire or Business Wire can distribute your release to specific audiences and/or geographical areas.
  5. Announce your achievement via company website, social media and email.
    • On your nonprofit’s website, be sure that the accrediting body’s logo is prominently displayed with a direct link to their website.
    • For social media:
      • Include your accreditation in all profile sections for outlets including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
      • Post your accreditation achievement as a status on all relevant social media.
      • Follow your accrediting body on all relevant social media outlets.
    • For all company-related emails, be sure to include the accrediting body’s seal or the fact that your nonprofit is nationally accredited in all outgoing email signatures.
    • Further, why not reference your agency’s accreditation when posting job descriptions on internet job sites? This helps the public to become more aware of your credibility as an exceptional nonprofit organization.

Timeliness is essential to get the most from promoting your accreditation. We recommend these suggestions be implemented within two weeks of earning (re)accreditation.

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