“Many nonprofits have a carefully worded positioning, and -- by golly -- they’re going to hammer home those exact words at every possible opportunity. Even if they make little sense to donors. Even if it’s something no mentally healthy person would ever say out loud.
“It seems with many organizations, the harder they work to articulate their position, the more awkward and un-human it sounds. But the harder (and/or more expensive) it was to do it, the more committed they are to it -- meaning they repeat a robotic phrase over and over as if to emphasize their status as a non-human organization.”
In his Donor Power Blog post last Wednesday, Merkle/Domain Creative Director Jeff Brooks advised fundraisers take a “positioning reality-check” by recording people outside of their organization saying its tag line or positioning statement out loud and pay attention to the following three things:
“1. Do people make funny faces when they say it? That’s a sign that it makes them feel stupid, weird, or unnatural to say it. It’s not in normal language.
2. Do they stumble over the words? That’s a sign that it’s not well articulated and not enough like normal speech.
3. When you listen to the recording, does it start to sound ridiculous or false? These qualities may not be obvious when you see it on paper, but they’ll stand out as you hear it repeated.”
— May 9: “How to Position Yourself As Human” (www.donorpowerblog.com)