Stuck on What

nonprofit organizations

What we do is important. Why we do it is essential.

I read the mission statements of many, many nonprofit organizations. Most of these do life-changing work.

And yet, by the way these nonprofit organizations describe themselves, you might never know it.

That’s because they’re stuck on “what.” The “why”—if it’s present at all—is buried somewhere between paragraphs four and six.

Knowing our “why” becomes critical when we go out and seek to engage others to support us—with their time, treasure and talent.

Some people call this “fundraising.”

Principle 2 of The Eight Principles™ is Begin at the Beginning™. The first step in creating a sustainable, scalable fundraising program is to thoroughly vet your “why”. The second step is to communicate this in a way your potential investors will understand.

Now that’s a sustainable fundraising idea.

You already “get it.” So, don’t make the mistake of using words and phrases that resonate with you.

Why? (There’s that word!)

Because you’re seeking to convert others, not yourself. Moreover, when you talk among yourselves it comes out a lot more like “what” than “why.”

Better yet, focus first on “why” inside as well as outside.

Principle 5 of The Eight Principles™ is Work from the Inside Out™. But that’s a subject for a different time.

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