By Jocelyne Daw.
Business has focused on social purpose and nonprofits need to put social purpose on their agenda. How do you create and engage your stakeholders in your social purpose cause? Find and express your organization's higher purpose and focus on impact and outcomes not programs and projects! Organizations that stand for a clear and inspiring social purpose and bring commitments to life through outcome driven action will deepen relationships, foster loyalty, build sustainable organizations and achieve positive social change.To infuse a social purpose into your organization define and demonstrate a three-dimensional brand value proposition:
Head: Articulate your leadership position –Identify what your organization stands for—the unique, differentiated idea that sets it apart and explains what the organization does better than others.
Heart: Express your social purpose – Forge an emotional and personal connection with your core stakeholders. Elevate you leadership position to a higher purpose with specific outcomes—something bigger than organizational activities, something that your constituents care about and believe in.
Hands: Rally your community –Use your social purpose to create a sense of community–inside and outside of the organization to rally and inspire action. Unite people around shared commitments, values and interests that add meaning to their lives and help change our communities and the world for the better.
This new approach requires a profound shift in philosophy. It calls for a deep commitment to ensuring that what your organization stands for - its social purpose - is communicated and lived through every stakeholder interaction. Shift from…Standing for everything to a articulating a clear purpose: In an effort to satisfy multiple stakeholders, nonprofits often try to be everything to everyone. To truly breakthrough, a nonprofit finds and express what it stands for – it’s higher social purpose. It uses that bigger purpose to tell an enduring story that helps unify its actions from year to year.Activities to outcomes: There is an old saying that activities tell and outcomes sell. Rather than just reporting on activities, a BNB focuses its communications on the benefits and outcomes that deliver value. By issuing compelling, personally relevant offers, a breakthrough organization makes association with its brand a top choice over all other alternatives.Transactions to relationships: Traditionally nonprofits emphasize annual numbers and dollars raised. A organization that invests in and rewards staff for building long-term relationships will breakthrough. It takes the time to engage in a meaningful dialogue with donors. This ongoing conversation helps illuminate what the organization means to its supporters and what their involvement says about them to others. It creates a true community of believers.Well known to well owned: Being better known does not equate to being better understood or valued. A breakthrough organization appreciates the importance of awareness and fund raising but spends just as much time engaging internal and external communities around the higher purpose. It believes in the power of many and meaningfully engages a critical mass of people in its cause. Inclusive, not exclusive, it creates owner-based relationships with constituents and encourages creative engagement. By empowering an army of supporters who call the organization their own, it causes people to take another look and creates waves of new recruits eager to commit to the cause.With the leadership of the CEO and senior management, a social purpose brand can become the catalyst for continual self-assessment and innovation. It is a must-do for creating a unique organizational identity that is infused with passion and trust. Forward-looking senior leaders ensure that this brand-centric philosophy is embraced by the whole organization. They leverage the brand to strengthen donor loyalty, recruit top executives, rally staff members, meaningfully engage volunteers, drive diversified funding streams, and, ultimately, make a greater social impact.A powerful social purpose brand conveys the organization’s focus, credibility, and unique contributions. In today's environment, it is critical to focus on ways to stand out and win head, heart and hands. This approach maximizes trust, forges stronger relationships and secures a continuing flow of resources to fulfill critical mission objectives. Social purpose branding is the new nonprofit imperative.