Have Your Say

Nancy Schwartz (http://www.nancyschwartz.com) is a favorite of mine. She gets that nonprofits need to speak with their audience and not just to it.  One of the most valuable things she does is the Taggies.  And you have a chance to vote for the best tag lines in the sector. 

Simply go to http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/vote-tagline-awards and cast your vote.

It takes, says Nancy, a mere 8 minutes.  And, as she notes, “[b]y participating in the voting non profit professionals will have a chance to reflect on what works and what doesn't work in nonprofit messaging, and consider how their own organization's taglines holds up. Voting doubles as a tutorial and a chance to participate in a fun project that will help nonprofits in all fields.”

As a group, nonprofits do a pretty poor job of explaining to others the importance of what we do.  We’re good at telling others about our activities but we tend to do so from our perspective.

The other day, I was in a workshop where we were role-playing an ask.  I was the prospect and what struck me was how every single person doing the solicitation “pitched” what they wanted to do.  Not one person thought to ask what I was interested in, what I might want to support.  Indeed, so focused were the askers on what they needed no one gave a thought to what might in it for me, the donor.

Now asks are quite different from taglines and other marketing pieces.  Those are pushing out and giving the audience information.  An ask and all the steps leading to (and from) that ask should be activities that pull the prospect toward you.

But even as you are pushing information to someone, you should have a clear understanding of who that audience is and what will resonate with them.

Start by taking a look at the taglines (and VOTE!) and think about what works for you. Which of these make you want to learn more and get more involved with that organization.  Then think about how you tell your story to various audiences.  How could you fix what you say?

Janet Levine is a consultant, trainer and author who works with nonprofit and educational organizations helping them to increase their fundraising capacity.  Learn more at http://janetlevineconsulting.com