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Getting to Aha!: Nonprofit Messages Survey Results Point the Way

The following is a guest-post by Nancy E. Schwartz, publisher of the Getting Attention blog and e-newsletter, and president of consulting firm Nancy Schwartz & Company.

The just-released findings from’s Nonprofit Messages Survey of more than 1,500 nonprofit leaders reveals that most organizations fail to connect quickly and strongly with the people whose help they need.

Get this: 76% of nonprofit marketers and fundraisers like you say their key messages are irrelevant to the people who need to hear them to be motivated or reminded to act. These messages generate a ‘so what, who cares’ rather than an Aha!

Poor messages hold you back from the change you seek. That’s a serious—but fixable—problem, and the survey findings carve a clear path to boosting connection and action!

Here’s what you and your peers in the field told us gets between you and powerful messages. I’ll share more about each one, and the Aha! actions that are your escape route, in a series of posts over the next few weeks:

  1. Challenge: Most Nonprofit Messages (76%) Don’t Connect Strongly with Key Audiences—Who Cares?
  2. Challenge: 84% of Nonprofits Characterize Their Messages as Difficult to Remember—What did you say?
  3. Challenge: Taglines Come in Last—71% Not Remembered or Repeated
  4. Challenge: What’s Getting in the Way—Relevance Blocked by Lack of Focus and Expertise
  5. Challenge: Inconsistency Triumphs, Leaving Confusion and Annoyance in Its Path

Dig into the full survey report now to understand what’s between you and memorable, motivating messages, and learn the Aha! actions that will help you solve each one of these challenges.

Nancy and her team at provide marketing planning and implementation services to organizations as varied as the Corporation for Supportive Housing, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Environmental Health Coalition, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and the National Center for Biking and Walking. Nancy is a board member of NTEN and on marketing committees of her synagogue and high school and local PTA.

Topics: Communications