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Do You Believe? The New, Improved Minute Message Model

Posted by on October 17th, 2018
Posted in Blog, Nonprofit Communications    Tags: , , ,

Photo of a slide from a Mission Minded presentation

If you know Mission Minded you probably know our Minute Message Model. Clients tells us again and again it galvanizes their community with focused, unique messages that everyone wants to use.

And, because one of our lived values at Mission Minded is to improve, always, we knew the Minute Message Model could be made better yet. Our goal? To make it even easier for the nonprofits, foundations and education organizations we serve to know when and how to use their new messages.

Formerly, we labeled each message in our Minute Message Model with its own time-ticking name. There was a One Minute Message, several Two Minute Messages, a bunch of Five Minute Messages and a long list of Ten Minute Messages.

It’s an elegant system, but we wanted an even easier tool for teaching our clients the best practices of nonprofit communications.

Our objective is always to create messages that are distinctive and easy to remember – for the speaker and for the reader/listener. When clients work with us they emerge knowing how to create messages that:

  • Are brief
  • Say the most important thing first

In fact, that’s what our Minute Message Model has always done. So to simplify, we’ve renamed each message type to make it as easy to understand and remember as the messages themselves.

  • A Belief Message (formerly the One Minute Message) shares a high-level vision about what your organization believes. It helps listeners or readers see the bigger picture of your work and makes it easier for them to engage in understanding what’s possible. It’s purpose is to hook the audience into wanting to know more.
  • A Problem Message (formerly the Two Minute Message) is just that: a problem that your organization solves. It’s not about what you do, it’s about the problem giving rise to the need for your work.
  • An Impact Message (formerly the Five Minute Message) is a story demonstrating that you actually make an impact. If you try to do this with facts, figures and pie charts instead of a story, you miss the chance to make an emotional connection with your audience. And to be effective your story must demonstrate how the positive outcome is directly a result of your work.
  • A Detail Message (formerly the Ten Minute Message) where many nonprofits often START the conversation, is what we teach should come last. Only after someone understands what you BELIEVE, what PROBLEMS you uniquely solve, and hears about your IMPACT, might they actually care about the programmatic details of your work.

We’re thrilled with the reception this simplified approach is getting and assure our former clients their One Minute Message is still exactly right for them – it simply has a new name.

Want to know more? We’ll be teaching the new, improved Minute Message Model at a few upcoming conferences across the country – come see for yourself!


Sarah R. Moore, our Director of Brand Strategy, joined Mission Minded from a career that has spanned both the private and nonprofit sector.

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