These drivers are not actual people, but rather how your nonprofit approaches its mission and, in turn, how that affects your communications. If it helps, you can think of these concepts as cartoon people, kind of like in Inside Out.
You need to understand who your main driver is because that determines the right combination of communications channels for your nonprofit, and how frequently you use them, and the tone and style of your messaging.
The Doing Driver
Your communications are primarily about getting people to do things, like participate in or use your programs and services, or attend your events.
The Thinking Driver
Your communications are primarily about getting people to think about your core topics, educating others, sharing your expertise, or becoming thought leaders on those topics.
The Feeling Driver
Your communications are primarily about touching people at an emotional level and motivating them to donate to or advocate for your cause.
Yes, it’s true that all three of these drivers might be at work at your nonprofit. But there can only be one driver behind the steering wheel at a time.
Otherwise you have too many hands on the wheel, and you end up in a ditch. If you feel like you and your communications plan are flipped over on the side of the road, wheels spinning, odds are you’ve let too many people drive.
I’ll talk more about the different drivers and what it means for your communications choices during our webinar, How to Tame Your Wild and Unwieldy Nonprofit Editorial Calendar on September 30.