Start With Why

In 2009, Simon Sinek wrote the book with a bottom line – WHY matters. (Check out his Ted Talk for some incredible insight) Why matters because it’s inspirational.

A lot of non-profits forget or take for granted that everyone in their organization made a very conscious choice to join in the work to change the world. This is social capital that needs to be used over and over. Every organization should continually go back and state WHY they’re active in this area. Tell us WHY they’re fighting against human trafficking, WHY they’re building wells or WHY education needs to be a priority.

The most crucial piece that will differentiate your organization from another when explaining WHY is to let your people say it. Don’t stick with the party line of numbers and rhetoric – Show me PASSION! Help me understand how your team has been directly impacted by a specific issue. I’ve never walked into a non-profit organization that didn’t have multiple people with a personal story of how their lives were touched by the issue that the organization fights against. That story is important and making sure it’s personal gives a lift to the organization.

I know they’re not taking the party line because I’ve seen their faces and heard in their own words about their piece in the story. It’s real people and it’s beautiful.

Here’s an example of how an organization can share their story. We worked with the team at United Way of Greater Los Angeles. Here they talk about why Los Angeles and their mission matters.


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