You are at a cocktail party, meeting new people. The question you both desire and dread comes right at you: ” What do you do?”
Without looking, answer these questions about your organization:
- Why does your organization exist?
- Who does it serve?
- How do you communicate?
- What do you do?
How’d you do?
Could you answer automatically?
Did you have to take a second and think about it?
Ask your board members to take the same quiz ; I bet you will be surprised at what you hear.
While it is only 4 questions, not being to able to quickly summarize your work with short and impactful words maybe one of the biggest hurdles to your success.
” If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” Albert Einstein
To be a successful advocate, fundraiser and changemaker for your organization, it is critical to be able to quickly and succinctly explain to everyone else what it is you do, and why.
A clear message message is critical to just about everything your organization in just about every way: it introducing your work, attracting interest and volunteers, recruiting board members and of course, raising funds to support your mission.
Clarity about your mission is crucial to defining your strategy: you must know who you are and what you want to be able to do. That allows you to decide how to plan the activities and programming essential to your success and longevity.
Creating a short, sweet and powerful message about who you are and what you do can be challenging; what words can convey the importance of what you do?
One way to begin this is to identify 3 areas of focus:
- Your message/mission: what your organization does to help others.
- Your goals: how you focus your work
- Your communication: who you will tell
Then ask these questions:
- Why was this organization founded?
- What makes us different, better, than others?
- What is something outstanding that you have done: what is a proud achievement?
- Why would it benefit someone to work with you?
- How do you want people to feel about working with you?
As you answer these questions you will create a list of words that you can use in your speech and conversation about your organization and work.
Keep your message short and simple, the simpler the better; easier to remember and repeat.
Crafting a shared purpose and message, you can immediately create a word of mouth message that can be easily shared. When the message is repeated across channels and among your staff, clients, members, board, donors and supporters, it becomes your brand.
Confirm Your Identity
Brand identification is critical among the competition, both within your field and outside of it, allowing instant recognition. Invest the time and effort to get this right, so the next time someone asks you what you do, you will be totally prepared to easily and comfortably shared your passion and commitment.
Know who you are what you do, why you do it and for whom. Be polished and memorable and who knows, at the next cocktail party you might just find your next donor.
Want some help crafting that short yet powerful paragraph? Do call, we’d love to hear from you. 310 828 6979
image credit: http://www.montetaylor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/What-do-you-do.jpg