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Telling the right story to the right audience

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Hannah Brazee Gregory

Hannah Brazee Gregory

Hannah Brazee Gregory

Just like you have different programs and services, you have different audiences you are trying to reach. Communication is much more effective when you are speaking directly to a specific audience.

Find your audiences. Break down who you are trying to connect with. Each of them will connect with your organization in a different way. But keep it consistent – use similar language and be consistent with your organization’s brand.

Remember, some audiences need more information, while others need less. The same message does not work with multiple audiences.

This does not mean you have to develop 20 different versions of a brochure. Rather, you need to identify who your core audiences are (usually two to four categories), select the best way to reach them and determine what they need to know to become engaged.

Pick your battles. You can’t win everyone over. Trying to get all audiences to listen and care is exhausting and impossible.

Many nonprofits waste a lot of time and resources trying to be the most popular kid in the class. Do not fall into this wasteful pattern. You want to get your story out there, but you need to let go of the audiences that are not going to listen, and focus on the ones who are.

Communicate to those who are already vested in your cause. Identify the audiences that are the most likely to listen and care. Then build on that.

Don’t just preach to the choir. Communicating with only those people and organizations who are already cheering for you does not help grow your organization.

One of the most common mistakes nonprofits make is continuing to ask the same people for support and money over and over. Your donors and volunteers need you to grow your support base. Reaching out and connecting with new audiences is crucial.


Hannah Brazee Gregory is a nonprofit marketing communications expert and founder and chief creative officer of Shoestring Creative Group, the nonprofit’s agency. Hannah can be reached at nonprofitexperts@shoestringgroup.com or 888.835.6236.

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