The Change-Up, and the Pitch – Little Ideas for Big Impact

We’ve all been asked a lot in the last few months; change how we work, how we learn, how we do just about everything. And of course, we’ve been asked to help a lot too.

And some people are beginning to wonder if we’ve blown right past donor fatigue and on to something completely different – a general apathy and lack of empathy

And if you only read the headlines, you could think that’s the case. But if you look at what is happening right around you – neighbors helping neighbors, nonprofits stepping up like never before, and a million small acts of grace that don’t create clicks or headlines, you’ll see another story.

And that’s why I think we’re not dealing with Donor Fatigue, but Messaging Fatigue.

How many times in the last few months have you seen or heard ANY of the following:

  • “These Unprecedented Times”
  • People doing everyday things, but in slow motion
  • “Out of an Abundance of Caution”
  • A slow piano version of a song you kinda remember
  • “A New Normal”

And if retail and mass media have fallen into these ruts, imagine how your messaging might be getting received.

So just like a pitcher changes up his pitches, nit just throwing fastball after fastball, but mixing in the occasional sinker, slider or curveball, you need to change up your approach. And changing things up and rising above the chatter are not impossible goals. A few tips include:

  • Stick to your mission, not current events
  • Focus in individual stories and impacts
  • Be honest and direct

Most important, now is a perfect opportunity to work on “hub and spoke” content marketing. Develop a larger story such as a case study, a profile, eBook or other longer work, and set it up as a content hub on your website. Then tell small parts of that story on separate channels. A short video, a Tweet, an Instagram story. Tailor the message to the channel, but have it all link back to your larger hub story and your appeal. Like spokes on a wheel, these smaller stories will support the hub and provide structure for your digital presence.

So while people may be more asked upon than ever before, that doesn’t make the need or importance of your mission any less immediate. It just means you need to find a way around their messaging fatigue to the heart of the matter,