Rarely are nonprofits simple endeavors. More often than not they deliver a plethora of services for their community. Consider the American Red Cross. The Red Cross dispenses international relief, responds to natural disasters, collects blood donations, offers CPR classes, and administers vaccinations, among myriad other offerings. Each one of these functions could potentially warrant its own individual organization, but the Red Cross handles them all.
The Red Cross’s diverse service offerings could present a very difficult communications problem. How does the organization summarize what it does to the public? It wants everyone to know that it offers these various services, but must do so in a manner that is clear and understandable, so the Red Cross operates under a single headline: emergency response. Each of its services, while not seemingly related at first blush, represents a segment of this overarching mission.
If the Red Cross attempted to market all of its varied services to the entire population, its message would become muddled and its cause lost. By clarifying its message, the Red Cross becomes the globe’s monolithic resource of emergency relief.
The Red Cross offers a tremendous example for all nonprofits to follow. While your organization may provide a multitude of services, it must refine and clarify its message to be heard in a marketplace that is getting more crowded every day.