Communicating the message. moss+ross partner and co-founder Susan Ross shares her perspective on how to communicate your nonprofit’s message.
I am a communicator as well as a fundraiser – two very important aspects of our profession. Telling stories of how the work you do changes people’s lives, and how your donors’ gifts make a difference, helps your fundraising. Once you have painted a picture of what could happen if donors invest with you, the solicitation part is much easier (and more likely to be successful).
My father was a career public relations professional. One of his favorite definitions of the field was: DO A GOOD JOB AND GET CREDIT FOR IT. That is sound advice for those of us trying to effect change in our corner of the world. As a proud graduate of the UNC School of Media and Journalism, I take very seriously the fundamentals of good communications: clear messaging, accuracy, audience awareness, and correct grammar.
moss+ross has always included communications in our development and campaign assessments for one simple reason: you need to wave your flag and be noticed or no one is going to support your good work. Getting credit puts your nonprofit on the map, raises awareness of the problems you are trying to solve, and shows that you have the answers – you just need the money.
One of the advantages of our firm’s regional focus is that everyone at moss+ross is deeply engaged in the Triangle. We understand that good fundraising has its roots in the community’s awareness, engagement, and ownership of your mission. Our clients expect us to give them good advice regarding something in the news or what we have heard around town. We become an additional set of eyes and ears, as well as an extra mouthpiece for sharing the great work being done.
Great messaging is inextricably tied to strong fundraising. Communicating clearly and boldly with your donors and with the unlimited number of prospective donors is essential!