The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Two truths you should be telling

Last week, I asked Rohit Bhargava what two pieces of advice he’d give nonprofits about earning trust and inspiring action. He has a new book out called Likeonomics: The unexpected truth behind earning trust, influencing behavior and inspiring action.

Here are his tips on telling the truth for good.

1. Tell the truth about yourself: “Help connect donors and supporters with the REAL PEOPLE behind the work that the organization does. Nonprofits typically think in terms of showing the real people who are helped, but not the people doing the helping. The iPhone has two types of camera – the one that you point outwards and the one that you can point at yourself. We need to get better at using the second one,” he says.

2. Tell the truth about what you need: “Get better about sharing the truth behind what really matters and what really doesn’t,” he says. “For example, the Salvation Army can do a great job of getting people to donate all kinds of clothes, but during the summer they generally have more need for summer clothes, and in the winter it’s the opposite. Why not tell people that? You won’t, of course, turn down any donations. But just be making your real needs more obvious, you might encourage people to donate more.

Great advice.

Being truthful is hard. Bhargava says the truth is so often ugly, inconvenient, hard to see and it makes you vulnerable. But don’t be afraid of it.

Look what happens when you tell it. Like when Charity: Water couldn’t quite get its 200th well to happen – live and on video. Here’s an organization turning the lens on itself, unabashedly, with flaws. It makes you love them more.

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About This Blog

Linda Lombardi
Content Manager

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

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