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Your Organization’s Story: In Ten Minutes

“Tell me about your organization.” This command often strikes fear and freeze in the minds of nonprofit staff and board. Not quite sure how to summarize all the good done by their organization they begin a recitation of programs, facts and figures. Instead, we recommend your begin with a high-level overview—your One Minute Message—driven by a deeply held value of your organization. Next, you should introduce the problem you exist to solve—a Two Minute Message. And then you should share an anecdote—a Five Minute Message—that illustrates the impact of your work. Those programmatic details you... +Read More

Your Organization’s Story: In Five Minutes

With your One Minute Message and your Two Minute Messages developed, you’re well prepared to give an arresting introduction and explain why your organization is needed. Used effectively, these messages give you a greater chance at keeping your listener interested. Now it’s time to paint a picture of the impact of your work. What happens as a result of your efforts? Many nonprofits see the right answer to this question as an invitation to spew facts, figures, and statistics. It’s been said before that a pie chart never made anyone march on Washington, and a statistic never made anyone cry. We... +Read More

Your Organization’s Story: In Two Minutes

As part of our series on the Minute Message Model, we recently shared an easy way to write your organization’s One Minute Message. That’s our term for the pitch you should use any time you are introducing your organization in person, print, or digital communications. If things go well, your One Minute Message will be so compelling and intriguing that your listeners or readers want to know more. So what do you say next? Simon Sinek’s fabulous TED Talk is a great introduction to what we call Two Minute Messages. Your Two Minute Messages should focus on the “why” of your organization. Every... +Read More

Your Organization’s Story: In One Minute

Most of us know how frustrating it is to miss an opportunity to hook someone on our organization. If you’ve ever felt like you haven’t communicated clearly about the organization you love when you had the chance, this post is for you. Being prepared to make a strong connection with would-be supporters means having powerful key messages memorized and ready to roll off your tongue. At Mission Minded, we think of messaging as a practice of prioritization. You don’t always know how much time you’ll have to talk about your work when you get the chance, so you better make sure you’re ready to say... +Read More

Your Case for Support: Good Design Will Make it Stronger

In my last post, I relayed the importance of injecting emotion into your next capital campaign. Emotion, after all, is a key element in our equation for a great case for support. Rationale + Urgency + Emotion = Great Case Once you’ve written a great case statement, your next job is to make sure it isn’t a chore to read. At Mission Minded, we make sure every case brochure we design passes the “I’m too busy to read” test. For us, that means imagining that a prospective donor never actually reads the text. We picture her flipping through the brochure, looking at the headlines, the call-out... +Read More