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How will your non-profit organisation move mountains?

Posted: April 22, 2015

We live in a world that is fast becoming more competitive than it’s ever been. An increase of the global population from 3 billion to 7,3 billion over the last fifty years has lead to a decrease in the moral fibre of our human society.

The result is a capitalistic, materially motivated rat race increasing the gap between the haves and the have-nots by fifty fold, ensuing in an explosion of social causes – each desperately trying to plug the holes of this debilitating gap.

And because cause related organisation’s are at the mercy of a constant inflow of capital, the greatest fight within the NPO and CSI sector has to be the fight for a share of a decreasing corporate spend.

So how do we increase our chances of gaining ‘market share’ in an over-traded pocket? What strategy will unlock mountains of financial support and more for your social cause?

The answer is Brand Purpose.

In a world ruled by the head, we have forgotten about the power of the heart. We have become so obsessed with logic that we have forgotten about magic. When in fact at the heart of every social cause lies a touch of magic. A golden nugget that inspired its founder to take that brave step, drop everything he or she was doing and take up that/their cause in the first place.

It’s this little kernel that inspired a greater dream. And it all began with a deeper belief.

I call this tiny gem Brand Purpose: The unconscious essence that exists within every brand, whether for profit or not.

And even though its founder may have been inspired by this unconscious purpose to such a degree that a fully functioning organisation exists today, he or she most probably never consciously articulated exactly what that purpose was.

So today, many years later, the organisation finds itself very clear on What it does (its cause), with absolutely no direction on Why it does what it does (its purpose). I see this in businesses, many very successful, that I get to engage with across South Africa every day. Most of these organisations are crystal clear on What it is they do, but they are equally in the dark as to Why they do what they do.

And while most of these businesses may be doing well, they lack that little insight that may just take them from good to great.

Finding clarity around Why you do what you do may be the most powerful, yet commonly overlooked insight in our world today. It should form the foundation of everything we do, including how and what we communicate.

So take good time, start digging deep and find that golden nugget at the heart of your brand. Find the greater purpose of your organisation.

Start asking why you do what you do. Ask it enough times until you have absolute clarity, to a point that you become immovable and this newfound belief will begin to direct everything you do from there.

Make it a single word.

The average person will see about 300 pieces of advertising, check their cellphone 110 times and spend at least 100 minutes every single day online.

It’s this increase in clutter that gives us all the more reason to return to simplicity.

So once you have gone on your journey to uncover what lies at the heart of your cause, distil that essence down to ONE SINGLE WORD.

This might sound over simplified at first, but if chosen correctly, this ONE WORD will become your holy grail – an endless stream of inspiration from which everything in future will flow.

We live in a stormy world of complexity. A world that is in dire need of consistency. And the brand with the most consistent voice over time is the one most likely to be heard above the hurricane of noise out there.

Place your Brand Purpose at the core of everything you do.

Integrity means to ‘be your word’. So once you have found your organisation’s word, be it.

Take this single word and place it at the heart of absolutely everything you do.

Write it into the positioning statement of your cause. Make it the DNA of your website copy. Place it at the core of every single press release that you do. Have it inform your strategy, your values, your vision.

And then let it inspire your presentations to your prospective donors.

Because it matters not what you say. What matters most in all forms of communication is Why you say what you say. Where you come from in your very being.

And when you come from a single, authentic, powerful place of Brand Purpose, you can and will move mountains.