It is one of the most dreaded requests from a board of directors or management team to a nonprofit communications director:

“Could you go raise some awareness? If we could raise awareness, all of our problems would be solved!”

They want me to raise awareness


And what does “raising awareness” really mean? Surely not a massive, multimedia advertising campaign like corporate America would do, because you don’t have that budget (OK, let’s be honest, any budget).

And surely not a door-to-door canvassing campaign like politicians do, because you don’t have an army of volunteers (at least not right now . . .).

So what does “raising awareness” really mean for small and medium-sized nonprofits?

When someone at your nonprofit asks you to raise awareness, what do you think they are really expecting you to do?

What have you actually done in response to that kind of general request?

Please share your experiences in the comments!

I’m working on a new webinar where I’ll share a bunch of ideas on raising awareness on a budget, but in the meantime, I’d love to hear what “raising awareness” looks like at your nonprofit.