One of your organization’s board members is asked to describe what makes your organization different. Your board members are ready to respond to that question, aren’t they? Of course you can – you certainly know what you think would be the pat answers.

But how do you and others associated with your organization know – really know – how to answer this question? How do you know – really know – that what your organization shares on its website really addresses the question? In this day and age where nonprofits of all types are being challenged to find their relevancy, value and story, nonprofits have to stop referring to “what they’ve always said and done” and find out what clients and donors want them to be.

Nonprofits must take the time upfront to understand what makes them meaningful so they can craft messaging and strategies that support their strategic plan. Rather than start by telling, nonprofits will benefit more when they start by listening to those they serve, those they ask for financial support, those with whom they partner.

While it’s not “rocket science”, your nonprofit can start by listening. Listen to your board and leadership. Listen to your donors. Listen to those you serve. Nonprofits will hear their story from outside voices – nonprofits can then develop messages and use communications channels that create the greatest impact.