Is your messaging crystal clear -- or clear as mud?

Betsy Baker wrote a blog post for us on how to get your nonprofit grant ready.

She made three key points:

Get clear on why your services are needed in your community.

Get clear on the clients you exist to serve.

Get clear on your benefits to the community.

This great advice applies not only to getting ready to write grants, but to all good nonprofit marketing!

These three questions seem simple enough, but in my experience, many nonprofits have trouble answering them in plain English. Instead, we often see nonprofit messaging that speaks in generalities about "the community" and about "making a difference" and "serving those in need."  That's what everyone says they are doing, so how do you stand out?

What makes you different, special, worthy of not only grant funding, but the time, treasure, and talent of your individual donors and volunteers?

If you can answer these three questions with real clarity -- and have agreement in your office about how they are answered without a lot of hemming and hawing or if-ands-or-buts -- then you are well on your way to clear and effective nonprofit marketing. If not, then this is where you should begin your next staff conversation about your communications.