The design to the right communicates a complex idea: the differences in expressing opinions in Eastern versus Western cultures – in an awe-inspiringly simple way. The differences are illustrated by graphic artist Yang Liu, who grew up in both the East and West sides of the world.
So what does Liu’s art have to do with fundraising and constituent engagement? Well, we tell ourselves that the best of us are really good at one thing, and that’s storytelling. Storytelling is how expertly and convincingly we are able to tell our donors, potential donors and activists about our mission, our successes and our needs yet to be met. It can make all the difference in how effectively we are able to raise money (assuming we have the right tools to do so).
We talk about the right messaging for the different channels and audiences, we write long letters for direct mail, we “adjust” messages for easy scanning, faster reading on email and we try to condense it into 140 characters or less for Twitter. We even create complex charts to analyze our performance, communicate our impact and “visualize” our footprint in our mission area. All of these exercises are valid and worthwhile, but how many of us can just whip out a visual of our “elevator pitch” in a clear and simple format?
What Liu’s work proves is that many of us still struggle with communicating what we do in a simple, yet powerful way. Your value proposition needs to communicate WHY someone should give to you today over any other organization, and how taking that action will help change the world.
“That is a very complex issue!” some might retort, “you can’t fit something like curing cancer, providing patient support and education or dealing with families into 140 characters, or a visual much less!” But Yang Liu has communicated complex issues such as truth telling, transportation, and even the perception of self in many such simple, clear concepts.
Certainly, you’ve already put a lot of work into communicating who you are and why your missions matter. Rather than do away with that work, you should allow Liu’s work serve as inspiration to transform those messages in the future. For example, you could show his work at your next team brainstorming meeting and ask: how can we show what we do in a condensed, but powerful way like this?
Evaluate your current imagery and infographics, especially those meant to communicate your value or your impact. Are they as easy to understand and powerful in communicating the point as Liu’s work is? That juxtaposition could also serve as a good exercise in how to differentiate yourself. If you are in a crowded field of do-gooding (such as saving animals or curing a specific disease), ask yourself: how could we capitalize on Liu’s example to set ourselves apart from the rest?
Simple communication might be one of the biggest challenges for a cause organization, and it is certainly something every company struggles with. But taking the time to analyze how simple visuals like Liu’s can help effectively communicate complex ideas will make you so much more powerful in getting your message to resonate with audiences.
Does this post inspire you in your messaging? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
Looking for a best-of-breed solution for all of your online fundraising? Contact us today!