We recently happened upon an article recommending that small businesses should get on TikTok.

Here at Funding for Good, our first question was: Really?

Not ready to dismiss an intriguing recommendation outright, we wanted to understand the potential benefits of TikTok for nonprofit or business leaders.

Turns out, there could be many, particularly connecting with new audiences. But doing so successfully requires authenticity.

The advice that “authenticity is key” isn’t only useful for TikTok, though. Nonprofit staff, boards, donors, volunteers, and community members are all looking for authenticity.

So how can you achieve it? Nonprofit business planning is the perfect way to start.

 

Nonprofit Business Planning as the Foundation of Authenticity

Creating a strong business plan starts with a stellar vision and mission statement. As Funding for Good has written before, your vision and mission statement should:

  • Resonate with members of your community, including those you serve
  • Inspire your audiences to learn more about your nonprofit
  • Compel people to turn that interest into action—whether that’s volunteering, donating, or spreading the word about your work

With nonprofit business planning, you transform your compelling vision and mission into concrete strategies, activities and work plans.

That’s where the authenticity comes in.

A business plan ensures your compelling words are backed by reality. Not only that, but the business planning process is designed to create buy-in and build consensus among your board and staff. The end result is a plan that you and your team believe in—and are committed to seeing through.

When you talk to others—whether it’s donors or viewers on TikTok—that commitment and authenticity will show through.

 

Not Every Tool is Right for Every Organization

Now that you’ve got the authenticity down, how do you know if TikTok is right for your organization? The answer should be directly informed by your strategic plan.

Funding for Good has worked with plenty of nonprofits whose previous strategic plans have failed. Indeed, studies show that up to two thirds of organizations report having experienced this.

While the exact dynamics will vary for each organization, in the end it comes down to the difference between planning and implementation.

  • Planning is where we come up with great ideas.
  • Implementation is where we buckle down and turn those plans into realities.

Sometimes your implementation goes off without a hitch. Sometimes your organization faces unforeseen challenges during implementation.

That’s why Funding for Good recommends that nonprofit leaders commit to long-term strategic thinking. That means viewing your nonprofit business plan not as the final product, but as a living document and touchpoint for decision-making.

So, if you’re wondering whether TikTok is right for your organization, start with your nonprofit business plan. Understand what you’re trying to achieve and who you’re trying to reach.

Maybe TikTok can help you reach your audiences, maybe it can’t. But without a business plan, you may never know.

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