If you want people to listen to your nonprofit’s messages, you need to make them feel something—joy, sadness, anger. They need to get emotionally connected. This is a special challenge for nonprofits. To get people’s attention, you have to say something interesting. And yet, we often recoil at that thought, lest it cause controversy or anger. Instead, we create safe, sound and happy messages that don’t move people to action. People don’t pay attention because we don’t give them anything to pay attention to. To find new supporters and keep your current ones, you need to do or say something interesting and let go of the fear of offending. How can you do that?
The goal is not to convince people to care about your organization, but to have a strong message that attracts like-minded people to you. And if you are doing or saying something different, someone is not going to like it—and that’s OK. The like-minded people will love it. That is the foundation of the concept of “courageous communication.” If you are a risk-averse nonprofit, this may seem especially daunting. Here’s how your organization can become more courageous communicators and attract the attention you need and deserve.
1. Let go of relationships that don’t work.
We’ve all had personal, familial, professional or romantic relationships that didn’t feel quite right. It’s the same way with our audiences. Do you spend copious amounts of time and money on people who don’t and won’t care about you? Do you beat your head against the wall because your marketing doesn’t get more involvement or investment from these groups? Maybe it’s time to let them go. Some audiences aren’t worth your time, energy or money.
You can’t convince people to care and you waste a lot of time and money on relationships that don’t work....
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