A nonprofit client called about writing a brochure that provides prospective partners and donors a top-level overview of the organization.
This nonprofit does fantastic work, but it’s pretty complex. The client was thinking that a detailed chart that describes their process might be useful. I said no.
Why did I say no?
Because no one cares, at least not right away.
Many will care eventually. It’s the information they may need to move them from a prospect to a partner or donor.
But when they are just learning your name and what you do, they don’t care how you do what you do. They just care that you do it, and do it well.
When we think about engaging new audiences with an initial piece of content, we need to think about it as meeting new people.
When you’re meeting someone new, you likely give a quick snapshot of who you are – perhaps where you work, or whom you know in common, or what you’re passionate about.
You don’t give your new pal a detailed description of the daily tasks you need to complete to be who you are.
And why don’t you? Because it’s understood that there are specific tasks you need to do to be the awesome, professional, go-getter that you are. No one cares that you start each day with a shower, read the newspaper and then grab a grande vanilla latte. They just care that you’re amazing.
Too often, passionate organizations let the details of what they do overpower the impact of what they do.
Creating Calling-Card Nonprofit Content
So how do you create engaging “calling-card content” that makes a powerful first impression?
1. Keep it short.
Just like in real life, you don’t want to overpower that first conversation. Give your audience a compelling glimpse at what you do – just enough to hook their interest.
2. Make it Memorable
People remember good stories. Most of us quickly forget facts and figures. Bring your good works to life to live with storytelling. (Find out how in “Nonprofits: Your Cause is not Your Story”.)
3. Make it powerful.
Nothing is worse than a weak, timid handshake. So demonstrate your impact in big, bold statements. Prove that you’re the answer to that need or problem. Toot your own horn, for Pete’s sake.
4. Close strong.
You don’t just walk away from a conversation without a close. So ask for something. It doesn’t have to be anything that requires a big commitment, but make it easy for your audience to take the next step. Perhaps that means linking to additional content, or contacting someone for more information, or answering a few questions. It’s not desperate to ask – it shows interest.
Make it strong, make it memorable – and remember that there’s a real person on the other end.
Emily Cretella is a content diva working with many social sector organizations. She is an instructor for iMission training programs and is the founder of Cursive Content Marketing. Also check out her Pinterest board on Nonprofit Content Marketing.