Learn how to transform your nonprofit’s communications to be strength-based, because words matter.
This is a time of reckoning when it comes to the inequality that plagues our country.
The nonprofit sector has long led the way when it comes to social and racial justice, and your nonprofit is likely already doing important work to advance equity. But does your approach to communications and fundraising align with your commitment to the cause?
What you say and how you say it matters more than you might think. Many organizations unintentionally do more harm than good for the people and communities they aim to serve by using needs-based language and sanitizing the way they talk about difficult issues like race and racism.
If you want to avoid falling into this trap, it’s time to make an intentional shift toward strength-based, equity-centric messaging for your nonprofit. Learn how we can help you assess your current communications, transition your approach, build a strength-based messaging guide and get everyone on your team to use it.
Prosper Strategies has supported organizations like these as they move toward strength-based, equity-centric messaging and we can help your organization, too.
Our approach to strength-based communication involves:
Reviewing your existing communications and fundraising (what's your starting point?)
Engaging the people you work with and centering voices that often get marginalized (how do THEY want to be represented in communications)?
Engaging your donors and other stakeholders (what will they be receptive to)?
Developing Messaging Dos and Don'ts (what language should you use and what should you avoid?)
Crafting Key Messages (how can you communicate key points about your organization in a strength-based equity-centric manner?
Training Teams (how can you make sure your whole team is on the same page as you transition to this new approach?)
Note: we often use framing devices from FrameWorks Institute, guidance from the Sum of Us Progressive’s Style Guide, and other scholarly and practical research to shape this work.
Strength-Based Communication Resources
If you’re not yet ready to work with us to develop your organization’s approach to strength-based communication, you can start the process of learning and growing in the right direction by perusing our variety of free resources on the topic:
- What is Strength-Based Communication?
- Four Myths About Strength-Based Communication
- The Equity Assessment: What Your Nonprofit Needs to Do BEFORE Establishing Its Approach to Strength-Based Communication
- Strength-Based Communication Best Practice #1: Use Individual Preferences and Be Specific
- Strength-Based Communication Best Practice # 2: Use Person-First Language
- Strength-Based Communication Best Practice #3: Avoid Saviorism and Extreme Exceptionalism
- Strength-Based Communication Best Practice #4: Emphasize Strengths Over Needs
- Strength-Based Communication Best Practice #5: Avoid Coded Language
- Embedding Strength-Based Messaging Into Your Organization’s DNA
- Three Examples of Strength-Based Communication to Inspire Your Organization
- How to Create a Guide to Strength-Based Communication for Your Nonprofit
- Webinar: Equity Imperatives for Nonprofit Communicators and Fundraisers
- Language Matters in Nonprofit (and all) Marketing
- Webinar: Can Nonprofit Marketing and Communications Advance Equity?
- Avoiding “Poverty Porn” While Still Pulling on Heartstrings
- Roundup: Equity Resources for Nonprofit Communicators