Know Who You Are
Yesterday I was talking to my friend Brenda about development-related stuff. Brenda works for a non-profit called Liberty House that is a one-stop child abuse assessment center. We started talking about the mission of organizations and the passion non-profit board members need to have to tell their group's “story” to their friends and co-workers. If you think you have a tough time telling your church’s story, just think about what a downer it is to talk about child abuse.
And then Brenda whipped out the coolest business-sized card. On the upper left side of the card was the Liberty House logo. The other corner had a photo of a child – one who might have been provided services at Liberty House.
On the rest of the card there were only three sentences.
“I serve on the board of Liberty House where we assess kids for child abuse concerns.”
“We do this by talking to kids in a safe place during a really scary time.”
“I believe in this work because…”
Brilliant! And you know why?
- The first sentence makes it clear what the organization does
- The second sentence tells you simply how Liberty House does their work
- The third sentence, and maybe the most important one, let’s the board member say why they are giving their time to Liberty House.
Brenda got some help designing the card at a workshop done by Erica Mills of Claxon Marketing. Mills emphasizes the need to keep the message simple, jargon-free, and unique to your organization.
What if you were able to design a card like this for your congregation? What might it look like?
“I go to Awesome United Methodist Church where we strive to be the hands and feet of Jesus.”
“We do this by growing in our faith and reaching out to our community in practical ways.”
“I believe in what we do because…”
This is a “conversation ” card to help people feel more confident in talking to someone who might not know about your church or (gasp!) Jesus. More importantly, the card helps you narrow down a common understanding about what you do, how you do it, and why it’s important.
Business cards that really get down to business. Maybe it’s time to design yours.
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past decade, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise nearly $2 million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. She served as the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Lay Leader from 2008-2012. Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.