Getting to Aha!
Without clear organizational goals, you can't shape the right fundraising campaigns or target audiences. And there's no way to create aha! messages if you don't know whom you're talking to. If this is your situation, your problems are bigger than "so what, who cares" messages. Get on it!
2. Build understanding and support of leadership and colleagues — you need their insights and reach. The two most cited barriers to aha! messages (lack of focus and lack of expertise) underscore the "so what, who cares" message crisis.
Refusing to spend the time and money to learn how to craft and test messages strongly undermines your fundraising goals. Aha! messages are an investment your leadership has to make to succeed.
But here's what you're up against: Fundraisers like you plus marketers and executive directors are most focused on messages, with individuals in those roles comprising 78 percent of survey respondents. Make sure you involve the rest of your colleagues in aha! message development from the beginning.
Cross-organizational participation is even more vital once your messages are ready to roll. Your colleagues are your primary on-the-ground messengers via their workday conversations and communications. And they're a valuable ongoing source of insight on audiences' perspectives. Bring them on in, today!
3. Start with your tagline — less is more. It's always harder to write something shorter than longer, and your tagline is as short as it gets. It is the absolute essence of your messages. Moreover, your tagline development process builds the insights you need to craft a potent positioning statement, key messages or talking points, and your elevator pitch outline.
In the end, relevance is the be-all and end-all of aha! messages. When aiming to increase relevance, it's imperative to go beyond delivering a relevant fundraising message here and there. The real challenge is to consistently deliver memorable and motivating messages that pierce the "so what." Aha!