10 Ways to Get to Breakthrough Nonprofit Messaging

An amazing opportunity came my way this year! I was invited to New Zealand to keynote a first-time conference for charities and associations, focused solely on marketing.

So off I went — along with my husband and almost-8-year-old daughter Charlotte — to inspire and guide Kiwis striving to meet many of the same marketing goals as we are in the U.S. In addition to the keynote, I led a small group of passionate nonprofit marketers in crafting their marketing plans and elevator pitch.

Beyond the beauty of the land,the Kiwi warmth, and the thrill of exploring a place for the first time, there was a wonderful bonus for me in having (or taking?) the luxury of diving deep into thought to shape my five hours of content.

Messaging that connects is my passion. I believe strongly that your organization crafts powerful messages that do connect, you’ll do much better at motivating your community to act. So to prepare, I absorbed (or re-absorbed, in some cases) this set of 11 incredible resources, which helped me push myself way beyond what I knew already.

The process was exhilarating (it’s tough to get time out from the to-do list) both intellectually and creatively. It was like a spa for my nonprofit marketing mind and I now have many new ideas to try, fresh ways of looking at what I thought I knew cold and many conversations I want to have.

Dig into any of these resources to learn about how our wants, decisions and responses work, and how to shape your messages to meet those patterns:

  1. 2011 Edelman Trust Barometer
  2. Don’t Think of an Elephant!: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate–The Essential Guide for Progressives, George Lakoff
  3. How We Decide, Jonah Lehrer
  4. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert B. Cialdini
  5. Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath
  6. Neuromarketing (blog), Roger Dooley
  7. Numbed by Numbers (article), Paul Slovic
  8. Story Telling as Best Practice, Andy Goodman
  9. The Upside of Irrationality, Dan Ariely
  10. Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear, Dr. Frank Luntz

What should I dive into next? Please share resources that have been a spa for your nonprofit marketing mind.

Note: The book hyperlinks are partner links.

Nancy Schwartz on February 22, 2011 in Branding and Messages | 0 comments
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