Winning Celebrity Endorsements: Strategies for Success

Every nonprofit desires a brand ambassador — an endorser with an audience, a following, a tribe. But how do you find that celebrity endorsement? The answer is easier than you might think.

How to find a famous fan

Well-known and popular endorsers will sharpen your brand identity building credibility — and they may even open up a whole new audience receptive to your message. It pays to know who is passionate about what you do.

This past January, one of our clients struck gold.

Gather the team — and wonder aloud

Prison Fellowship team members came to our offices for annual meetings around the time of the Miss America pageant this past January.

We were all amazed — and excited — to learn that Laura Kaeppeler, the newly crowned Miss America, had stated mentoring children of incarcerated parents as her platform.

Dare to dream big — and get ready to work hard

After a fruitful strategic brainstorming session with our Client Services team, Prison Fellowship set out to build bridges with Miss Kaeppeler, starting in-house with a former Miss America who serves on their board.

It took time and perseverance to make connections, but last week, Miss America visited Angel Tree campers in Florida where Prison Fellowship honored her with an award for her service on behalf of the children of prisoners.

Make connections count — and you’ll find your fans

I realize providential connections like Prison Fellowship’s to Miss America don’t occur very often. But it happens more and more as our hyper-connected world broadens our social circles.

Here’s how you can find your famous fan

Do this with your team today:

  • Make a wish list of potential celebrity endorsers — dream big! Who’s making headlines in your community? Who’s talking about the kind of work you do?

  • Assess each celebrity based on your ministry’s criteria, taking into account the demographic and values of your donor base. 

The fact that they’re famous doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be a good representative of your brand – or to your constituents.

  • Research their passions — follow them on Twitter and Facebook, visit their web page — and you’ll find out quickly what you have in common.

And then introduce them to your brand. Build bridges. You are doing something in your community or around the world that this celebrity will be excited about.

Your Miss America is waiting. She just hasn’t met you yet.