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Nonprofits face many marketing challenges: fundraising efforts, donor retention, time management, to name a few. But one challenge that has affected way too many nonprofits is one that can be overcome when given the right amount of attention.
What challenge is that? Creating remarkable content and a memorable message.
Think that having an inspiring cause is enough? Think again. We know that what you stand for is uniquely special, but there are a lot of uniquely special nonprofits in our world competing against each other—and everyone else in the marketplace—for a share of the world’s attention.
Hence the reason for stellar communication.
But many nonprofits openly admit to having poor communication.
In fact, 84% of nonprofits “characterize their messages as difficult to remember” and 26% even describe their messages as confusing (Schwartz).
Survey respondents commented that the messages were “superficially inspiring”, “lacked clarity”, and were “always about us, not about the people we’re communicating with”.
How can we overcome those traps we so easily fall into when composing our message?
Kick superficiality to the curb.
In everything you do, remember why you are different. Superficiality comes from overuse. “We need your help.” “You can make a difference.” Kick these phrases to the curb! Why does your nonprofit specifically need support and who are you asking for it from? Let these questions guide you in crafting the right message with the right tone.
Clarity is key.
KISS (Keep it simple, stupid). Catchiness comes from succinctness, not over-complication. Even the most intricate of causes, back-stories, events, etc. can be summarized and still stimulate interest. Whatever message you are writing, be sure to pass it around and get several pairs of eyes on it before it’s released. Whittle it down to the absolute essentials without completely stripping it of meaning. It’s a delicate balance to strike, but an important one.
It’s not me it’s you.
Remember that girl from last year’s holiday party who just would not stop talking about me, me, me? Yea, you might sound like that. Not that you’re not great, you are. But remember that you’re speaking to an audience that needs to know what’s in it for them. How is my next move going to benefit my future? Let them know what their involvement has accomplished in the past and what it will do for them in the years to come. Remind them why repeated efforts are so valuable to your nonprofit, but also to their happiness and long-term contribution to society.
Most importantly, have FUN writing your message. Whatever emotion you put into it your audience is sure to feel. Your genuine attitude will surely spur creative communication and action-provoking inspiration.