Building strong relationships with your stakeholders is critical for any nonprofit professional. Stakeholders include your donors, volunteers, board members, staff, community partners, and the people you serve. Strong relationships help you engage with everyone that plays a part in helping your organization achieve its goals. Here are some tips and strategies to help you cultivate and maintain strong relationships in the for-impact sector:

Understand Your Stakeholders 

To build strong relationships, you need to understand your internal and external stakeholders’ interests, motivations, and needs. This means taking the time to listen to their perspectives and asking questions to understand what drives them. By understanding your stakeholders, you can tailor your approach and communication to meet their expectations and build trust. 

Communicate Regularly and Effectively 

Communication is key to building strong relationships. You need to communicate regularly and effectively with all your stakeholders. Sharing existing needs in the community and the successful outcomes of your programs and services helps build trust and credibility. This means providing updates on your organization’s progress, sharing impact stories and data, and asking for feedback.

Use a variety of communication channels, including social media, email, and newsletters, to reach different stakeholders. Use clear, concise, and compelling messages to capture their attention and inspire them to take action. 

Provide Opportunities for Involvement 

Involve your stakeholders in your organization’s work to build a sense of ownership and commitment. This can be done through stakeholder engagement events, online communities, or surveys to gather feedback and input. By involving your stakeholders, you can build a sense of community and commitment to your organization’s mission. 

Show Gratitude and Appreciation 

Everyone likes to be appreciated and recognized for their contributions. Take the time to thank your supporters. Recognize their efforts through awards, public recognition, or thank-you notes. This will help build a positive relationship and encourage them to continue supporting your organization. 

Be Responsive and Transparent 

It’s essential to be responsive and transparent with your stakeholders to demonstrate your integrity and commitment. Respond promptly to inquiries, feedback, and concerns. Be transparent about your organization’s operations, finances, and impact. These practices help create trusting relationships. 

In conclusion, building strong relationships is essential for for-impact professionals. By understanding your stakeholders, communicating effectively, providing opportunities for involvement, showing gratitude, and being transparent, you can build strong, lasting relationships that help you carry out your organization’s mission. 

Elizabeth Huisman is the Grants & Program Associate at GHACF. You may contact her at