Friday, June 22, 2012

Advocacy: Five Ways To Highlight Your Mission

It's easy for nonprofit managers to lose focus of their mission with the day-to-day concerns of running an organization, but that doesn't mean it's alright for advocacy to be thrown aside.

The truth of the matter is that it is crucial that constituents, donors, and anybody else you meet are constantly aware of what your mission is. Thanks to things like social media (and the Internet in general), there are many different sources organizations can use you promote their cause.

So now that you have the means to get the word out, what's the best way to go about doing it? Dalya F. Massachi wrote in her book, "Writing to Make a Difference," that nonprofits shouldn't be afraid to repeatedly highlight their mission to an audience. She provided the following five tips to do just that:

  • Highlight the outstanding strengths of your mission, not of the organization, of the mission. Continually remind people of what is innovative about your mission. Show that you play a special and essential role in your field.
  • Describe how your work embodies your guiding principles. Back away from practical specifics and take a bit of a philosophical approach. Ask yourself what fundamental values or concerns lead your readers to your organization and its mission.
  • Evoke a vision of what your community will be like once your organization has fulfilled its mission. Mission is not only about short-term results. It is also about your long-term vision.
  • Connect the dots over time. Show donors how they create an ongoing story for accomplishing your mission.
  • Use your mission and vision as overarching themes. Over time, organizations often develop programs, products and services that can be quite diverse. If this describes your organization, help readers keep track of how your mission and vision provide the unifying theme for your various projects.

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