6 ways to make your nonprofit message stick
In our webinar on video storytelling, "Made to Stick" by Dan and Chip Heath was highlighted as resource about nonprofit branding. My curiosity got to the best of me and I decided to picked it up. Here are a few things I learned and wanted to share about making your nonprofit’s brand and mission ‘stick’ with your constituents.
About "Made to Stick"
“Made to Stick” looks at the anatomy, of what Malcolm Gladwell characterized in The Tipping Point as a sticky idea. This idea takes root in a group and can shape and transform behavior. The lessons can easily be applied to how your nonprofit can communicate your message and make it stick to inspire your supporters to fundraise for your mission.
6 steps to SUCCES(s)
SUCCES(s) are the building blocks for crafting your sticky idea. If you can check off each of these characteristics, your message will no doubt stick with your audience.
Simple - Your idea has to be simple. This doesn’t mean you’re dumbing it down. You are simply making it as easy as possible for someone to comprehend. You’re cutting away any sort of excessive details and getting straight to the point.
Unexpected - Create curiosity with your idea. Has your nonprofit achieve unexpected results? Is there an unexpected need that is not met? Is your nonprofit looking to meet that unmet need? Is your mission something no one has ever supporter before, or are you fundraising in a new, creative way?
Concrete - Details, examples, and facts help make an idea concrete. This doesn’t mean drowning your supporters with statistics. Vivid details about conditions and individual accounts are concrete. Use photos, videos or personal testimonials to supplement your idea.
Credible - Make your supporters know you are a reliable source. If your nonprofit is helping fight hunger in Africa, a testimonial from a member of the Ghana tribe your nonprofit is aiding is a better and more credible account than a board member’s account of what your organization is doing to help. Charity Water constantly posts photos from the towns in Africa that they are providing clean water to on Instagram.
Emotional - People are people, not numbers. Humans respond better to emotions than statistics. Statistics are used to build concrete details but emotions are what really stick. Find a way for your supporters to connect emotional to your cause.
Story - Next to simple, story is probably the most important component to a sticky idea. Why? Because a good story usually encompasses many of the above characteristics. Good stories are unexpected, filled with concrete details, and should always be emotional.
The curse of knowledge
One of the main points the Heath brothers warned about was the "curse of knowledge" or the human inability to perceive a world without the knowledge we have. As an example, try remembering how you felt before you knew how to tell time. What was time? How did you measure it?
Your new donors or supporters most likely know very little about your organization and its mission. Give them all the facts and never assume anything.
How will you make your message stick?
Image Credit: familymwr 2010