Leveraged networks are a powerful tool for expanding your organization’s capacity. You can formalize your organization’s access to specialized information, experience, skills, and support from a broader range of people by being intentional about formalizing and leveraging relationships with people in your eco-system.
As you identify your strategic objectives, you have a wider range of people “under the tent” to turn to to help you achieve your end goals. Ultimately, this allows you to achieve things that you otherwise could not.
What Are Leveraged Networks
A leveraged network is a structured relationship with a micro-group of people within your broader network that is strategically utilized to expand your capacity, influence, or impact.
Types of Leveraged Networks
There are four basic types of structured relationships to consider in a leveraged network.
- Volunteers: People who offer their time, skills, and services to support your programs and operations. They can be leveraged to increase your programmatic impact.
- Advisors: People who offer their expertise and brand to support your organization. They can be leveraged to increase your strategic capacity, as well as to expand your brand awareness.
- Junior Board/ Young Professionals Board: People who offer their time, skills and services to help increase awareness and resources.
- Ambassadors: People who agree to help spread raise awareness about your organization, ask for donations on your behalf, and/or increase your access to/ connection with constituents/ clients/ program participants.
Although not structured relationships, you may also want to consider the people in your world who serve as Connectors, i.e., people who actively bridge relationships between other people in your ecosystem.
Each of these structured relationships can be leveraged in a different way to help move the work of your organization forward.
Want to go deeper?
Check out this visualization to give you a better understanding of leveraged networks and how they can apply to your organization.
You can also listen to my mini-training on the Nonprofit Mastermind Podcast, where I walk through leveraged networks – what they are, why they matter so much, and how to set them up to benefit your organization.
Finally, get a step-by-step guide to creating your own leveraged network with my Leveraged Network Toolkit, inside the Nonprofit Leadership Resource Hub.