Guest post by Lori L. Jacobwith
Communication was the topic of the “Passion Creates Action!” session I was honored to deliver in Park City in May 2017 at the request of Park City Community Foundation.
I believe communication is THE key to a successful, well, anything. Especially nonprofit fundraising.
A number of years ago, Sarah, my friend and coworker pulled me aside after a meeting to ask, “Did you mean to take out the entire city in that meeting?”
I gave her a blank look until she repeated back a few of my comments—what I meant to be honest and helpful sounded… pushy, and like I was criticizing.
It dawned on me that my words are incredibly powerful. I realized in that moment that I hadn’t ever given much thought to how my communication was received.
Since that day, nearly twenty years ago, I’ve been a student of communication and word choice.
What we say causes what we think. And what we think causes what we say.
For example: If you believe the community should support your work, your language may sound a bit like you are begging or expecting others to help.
Rather: If you believe that your work is critical to a strong community and your job is to invite partnership or investment, your word choices will likely sound much different.
In raising money, engaging board members, building relationships, and frankly, in just about any area of your life, clear, bold, communication is the key to success.
In my coaching and training work I recommend that our focus be on communication actions that cause us to:
1. Really know key supporters
2. Share clear, even bold, messages
3. Hold yourself and others accountable for what we said we’d do
4. Continually invite participation
I’ve developed a checklist to help guide and keep you making powerful language choices.
To access checklists (and slides) shared with attendees at the Passion Creates Action session click here.
For more examples of how to allow your passion to create action:
Knowing What To Say To Get the Gift
What You Think About Impacts Your Fundraising Results
Lori L. Jacobwith is an internationally-recognized master storyteller and fundraising culture change expert. She is the founder of the coaching & training company Ignited Fundraising. Her work has helped nonprofit organizations raise $300 million from individual donors. And counting. For daily coaching tips follow Lori on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.