A Post About Creativity... Get It? (It's Ironic)
As a non-profit, you’re presented with various challenges… how to get people involved, how to extract every dime out of anyone whose attention you have, how to get the most out of limited resources, time, budget, people, iron ore, etc. Old news, right? Here’s where I’m going... these challenges are begging to be solved with some creativity!
To set the stage, there are literally over 1.5 million non-profits in the United States (and that number is constantly growing). According to the 2011 World Giving Index, 65% of Americans are giving money to non-profits and 43% are volunteering their time… don’t you feel like you should have a larger slice of those pies? While your mission is likely compelling in its own right, you are in a heated competition. Competition… that doesn’t sound very non-profity? Embrace it. You’re competing for those dollars, for those volunteers, and the important first piece of the puzzle… for attention.
The first step in selling someone anything is getting people to listen to you long enough to understand what you’re talking about in the first place. That’s right; grab their attention - and it doesn’t need to be something wacky and over the top (but it can be). You can roll some creative, attention grabbing techniques into what you’re doing right now. Are you sending a newsletter? Are you making presentations? Are you hosting events? Doing an annual mailing?
If you’re thinking, “there are only so many ways we can send out this newsletter,” I’m going to present you with my challenge: be creative. It would be great if you had a fantastic marketing department like we do at BiddingForGood (the people that are responsible for this work of art), but not everyone has that luxury. If you take a stab at thinking outside the box for an e-mail, or one of your blog posts, or at a presentation, you may be surprised at how you can engage and reengage your supporters.
Here are some tips that we employ over here to keep our minds working, our message fresh, and our audience engaged:
- Use an analogy that seems like a stretch, and then bring it home
- Create some content that breaks the ice and is a talking point
- Have a company-wide brainstorm session to tackle problems (you could be pleasantly surprised where the ideas come from)
There are probably 300 other entries that can be added to this; please share any other ideas you have in the comments section. You’re likely taking at least a few days off in the coming weeks to recharge the batteries… spend some time thinking about how to revamp the same old same old, and come back to that 2012 kick-off meeting with some new, fresh, creative energy!
And Happy Holidays.