This ‘Who We Are’ Engages Big Time (MAMA Case Study)

Nonprofit Message Impact

When my friend and colleague Stephanie Bowen announced her new job at MAMA (Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action), I was thrilled for her, but didn’t really probe what MAMA was about. Knowing her search had been focused on development organizations working with women, I figured MAMA fit into that category and left it at that.

But last week, after jealously Facebook-following Stephanie’s work-related travel adventure in India, I had to know more. Naturally, I went right to the Who We Are page on MAMA’s website…

Here’s the thing: Most development organizations struggle with building understanding of, and engagement in, their work and impact—far more than orgs focused on U.S. or other first world causes. That’s because the developing world can feel very far away and unknown (just look at how many folks don’t know the number of countries in Africa). Plus, because of the range and depth of challenges faced there, we’re frequently happy to keep it at arms length.

As a result, organizations like MAMA have a tougher time than most in communicating to drive action. But MAMA excels at it. Here’s how MAMA does it:

  1. Shapes messages that link directly to wants and concerns shared worldwide, beginning with the name/acronym—can’t get better than the mother image
  2. Describes its work and impact in clear, succinct and memorable language—[We] deliver vital health information to new and expectant mothers through mobile phones. No UN gobbledygook speak here!
  3. Shows how and why MAMA’s approach works via quick-to-digest, easy-to-share graphics, like this one.

Now I know what MAMA’s all about, and I won’t forget it. Better yet, I’m tempted to support its work because I get it! Great work MAMA team.

How do you bring what’s unfamiliar or hard to grasp to prospects and supporters? It’s a vital skill for motivating action.
I’d love to hear your methods.
Please share them here.

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Nancy Schwartz on November 18, 2014 in Branding and Messages | 0 comments
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