Written by: Stuart Cooke, Marketing Manager at MyBaggage.com. They help people all around the world take the hassle out of travelling and moving abroad.
When your organization reaches a natural growing point it’s time for you to think about expanding overseas. This can be a very exciting time for your non-profit, however it is a big step, and it doesn’t just happen overnight. This is an ambitious goal and one that requires careful preparation and promotion.
Below, we’ve pulled together a list of six steps you can take to expand your non-profit, as well as a number of ways you can promote your brand.
Keep your mission as your main motivator
The first important thing to note when expanding your organization is that as you grow, your mission must remain your key motivator.
Why do we say this?
Well, because your mission could impact your next office location, your marketing strategies, how you leverage your donations or how you offer your goods or services.
Therefore, by ensuring that you put your mission at the forefront of everything you do, including your expansion, you can set yourself up for growing success.
Determine the proper legal structure
One of the most important things you need to do in order to expand overseas is to establish the correct legal system in your new location.
This is because tax status, tax benefits and other important legal requirements will change with each country, and you need to make sure that your organization is above board at all times.
The best way to get the proper structure in place is to familiarize yourself with the local legal requirements before making the move. You could even enlist a qualified legal professional to help if you’re feeling unsure.
They will be able to translate the differences between the locations for you and tell you what steps you need to take, so you can get your expansion off to a strong start.
Do your research before you go
As with their legal requirements, every nation has different cultures, languages and practices that you need to be aware of. Therefore, it’s important to do some research before you make the move.
You should consider looking at some of the key cultural differences and whether this will have an impact on your non-profit. You should also look at things like your organization's branding and name; for example, does the name translate OK into the local language? If not, you might need to tweak this slightly for your overseas operations.
Another important consideration needs to be how your volunteers are going to get on in your new location if you’re planning on moving some of your existing workforce over there. The same applies to you if you intend to spend more time in your new chosen location - even if it is just in the short term.
By conducting thorough research like this, you’ll be able to get your organization established and running much quicker when you arrive at your new overseas location.
Start networking in your new location
It’s a good idea to connect with local organizations, manufacturers, professionals and those working towards similar goals to you. This way, you have people to go to for advice, you can onboard talented local volunteers, and you can prove how you’re making a positive impact in the local area.
This can make your work much easier, allowing you to work in conjunction with people who have already achieved your goals or who can support you on your mission.
Review your donations
As you expand overseas, it’s likely that you’re going to need more funding. Therefore, now is the perfect time to review your donors and funding sources to see if there is a way to secure more capital and set up new ways of raising money in your new location.
You could even add extra incentives to existing donors to encourage them to raise their contributions. For example, a special title for those who help make your overseas expansion a reality.
Get a strong marketing strategy in place
Finally, when you’re entering a new market, even as a non-profit, you need to make sure you have a strong marketing strategy in place to promote your organization and drum up interest overseas.
The good news is, there are lots of simple ways you can do this and get your brand name out there. The most important and effective marketing techniques for your expansion could include:
1. Doing some marketing research: This allows you to better understand the most popular mediums used in your new location. For example, do people prefer using Facebook, reading blog content or receiving helpful emails? Then you can target them this way.
2. Start a social media campaign: With 3.6 billion people worldwide using social media, is it any wonder social media campaigns have become an integral part of marketing? Spend some time making interesting and helpful images and content to share across your platforms to let your followers know about your expansion.
3. Partner up with another organization: Today, influencer marketing and partnerships can help your brand to achieve double the exposure. If you partner with an individual or company that shares your values and wants to help (especially a local one), you can bag some free promotion via their social media accounts and online content.
4. Showcase success: Take this opportunity to showcase the success of your non-profit in your current location. This can help local people to see what great job you’re doing when you do eventually move overseas. You can do this by sharing testimonials, results and past fundraisers online.
5. Adapt your online channels: Finally, you should adapt your content, websites and social media platforms to accommodate your new overseas location. For example, you could create a dedicated webpage/social platform for your new location; this might mean translating your content into the local language and taking into account any important national and awareness days.
Of course, there are some other techniques you can employ to promote your overseas expansion but following our tips above will get you off to a good start.
Remember you are not alone! Join GivingWay’s community of nonprofit organizations to share your insights and questions with organizations similar to yours.