A few months ago, we talked about How Your Nonprofit’s Personality Influences Content and broke down why we need to see your nonprofit’s personality in your communications. At the end of that post, we listed 50 positive personality traits and asked you to pick three to five that you wanted your supporters to associate with you.
Once you decide your traits, use the following tips to add more personality to your communications:
- Write in the first and second person as much as possible.
When you refer to yourself and your organization as I and We, and your readers as You, you’ll naturally write in a much more friendly, personable tone.
- Let us know who’s doing the writing.
Faceless nonprofits aren’t much fun to support. Let us see the real staff behind the nonprofit, who are doing the work we all care so much about. It’s as simple as including a byline (where possible) on your articles and blog and identifying who is updating your Twitter feed and Facebook pages.
- Express an opinion.
Don’t be afraid to take a stand. Point out what and who is right, and what and who is wrong (or at least heading in the right or wrong direction, if you need to be more diplomatic about it). People look to nonprofits as trustworthy leaders, so show some leadership by pointing the way. You can be opinionated without being political.
- Share some of the downs along with the ups.
You should focus on successes more than failures, but it’s those downs that often reveal the most about our character and values — in other words the real personalities of your organizations. Nobody likes a perfect know-it-all, so why should your organization pretend to be one?
The easiest way to do this is look back to lessons learned from past experiences, where the pain isn’t quite so fresh, and the story doesn’t reflect poorly on work you are doing right now. Self-deprecating humor also works.
- Make us laugh (or at least smile).
Humor is one of the quickest ways to bond people together. It’s a fabulous way to let your personality shine through. Start by sharing funny stuff by others, then begin brainstorming ideas with others until you get it right.
- Tell more stories.
Storytelling is an inherently human and personal experience. So when you tell more stories about the real people involved in your organization, whether as beneficiaries or supporters, your organization feels more personable too.
Always speak as passionate leaders, not as a 501(c)(whatevers). “Communities” are about living organisms, not structures. We get “engaged” to other people, not institutions. As you build your community of supporters and focus on engagement with them, always be, sound, and look human.
Adding personality to your content is essential especially in the age social media. So find yours and let it shine!