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10 Nonprofit Lessons From the Kid President Video


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We hope by now you’ve had the chance to see the viral “Kid President” video by SoulPancake. If you haven’t, here you go. You’re welcome. Today’s post will break down this video and glean 10 important messaging lessons you can apply to your nonprofit. Class is in session!

10 Nonprofit Lessons From The "Kid" President Video:

1. Keep it short and simple
This is the most important lesson out of the 10. If you want your nonprofit’s message to stick, it has to be short and simple.  Tangents are opportunities to lose your audience.

2. Focus on the individual
Personal messaging matters. Make sure your message reads as if you were speaking one-on-one with an audience member. When Kid President talks to you, he’s talking to you. “Yeah, you!”

3. A soft, emotional appeal is powerful and accessible
When you want others to share your message, it has to be risk free. The innocence and humor of the video makes it virtually, and socially, risk free to share. There’s no guilt in sharing. Your messaging should be the same!

4. Pose a question
Good questions pull the audience in. They beg to be answered - even better if they make listeners really think. At the start of the video, Kid President asks “are we on the same team?” It’s a simple but potent question. Are we?

5. Surprise your audience
Sticky ideas are unexpected. Make sure your messaging breaks schemas. Take something familiar and flip it on it’s head. When Kid President screams “Not cool Robert Frost” or misquotes “Don’t Stop Believing” it’s surprising as well as funny and innocent. This is messaging gold. How can your nonprofit surprise its readers? How are you exceeding expectations?

6. Have clear calls to action
Effective messaging has clear calls to action. For this video, Kid President asks us to “be awesome,” share this video, and to “like” it on YouTube. These are all tasks to be done - even if they are vague like “be awesome” or concrete like “share/like” the video. Does your nonprofit’s messaging have a clear call to action? Are you asking them to donate? Subscribe to your blog? To click on a link? Give them simple tasks.

7. Use inclusive messaging
Kid President states that “This is your time. This is my time. This is our time.” Engaging messaging is inclusive. Make sure you’re simply not preaching but your teaching and including. It’s about conversation and relationships.

8. Visualize “what if” scenarios
This is is a great way to visualize the opportunity cost of not taking action. This is the fourth step in Monroe’s Motivated Sequence. As Kid President says, “We can cry about it or we can dance about.” What would you rather do? Cry or dance?

9. Help aggregate conversation
Good messaging not only starts a conversation, it helps aggregate it. Your nonprofit should act as a community organizer. Help others talk about their own ideas and feelings surrounding your cause. Kid President does this well by sharing specific hashtags like #awesomeyear and #kidpresident. How is your nonprofit aggregating conversation?

10. Summarize your message
Good messaging summaries the idea pitched. Kid President signs off by letting all of us know that “you’ve (we've) just been pep talked!” Once you tell your audience something, it doesn’t hurt to restate it once or twice.

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