However, there are simpler things that can make your cause become foremost in the publics’ minds and, hopefully, foremost in their case for contribution.
One of the most important things that make a cause pop is the Cause Leader. The characteristics of the Cause leader, his/her personality and leadership style, even the way he/she dresses, can affect the organization. Below are a few tips for Cause Leaders who want to make their cause so irresistible, they pop!
1. Be a Cause Champion: How often do you tell people about your organization? If you’re going to make your organization stand out from the crowd, you’d better develop the “gift of the gab.” In short, you must learn the art of self-promotion. Tell everyone you come in contact with about your organization and the creative solutions you’ve developed to relieve societal ills. Promoting your ideas is not just useful – it’s vital. Remember, promoting your cause is not about arrogance - it’s about helping others.
2. Dress the Part: Some cause leaders often color coordinate their outfits to their cause or to the color of their logo, which quickly allows people to identify with their cause. The chairperson of the breast cancer association should always wear something pink or pink ribbon. The director of the anti-smoking association could wear an anti-smoking pin. These simple tactics can become “triggers” – giving you and your cause instant recognition and keeping your cause foremost in the minds of stakeholders. Furthermore, these tactics consistently convey your commitment to your cause which deeply influences all your stakeholders.
3. Communicate with Passion and Authenticity: Once you commit to become an outspoken leader, focus on how you communicate about your cause. Are you spewing out boring statistics or using technical terms that the average person would not understand? Use the simplest terms possible when talking to people about your cause, but make sure you do it passionately and optimistically. Optimistic people on a mission are sticky – we’re attracted to their excitement and to their optimism that they can make a difference, prompting them join you on your cause. However, authenticity is of utmost importance. If your stakeholders feel that you are not genuine, they won’t support your cause and even worse - they may suggest others don’t either.
4.Use the Ripple Effect: Most people take up a cause and start thinking about how they can get the pubic, government or other organizations on board, neglecting to get their friends and family on board first. This happens for a variety of reasons: maybe they will discourage you…and maybe not. Family and friends can also become great champions for your cause because they are more emotionally involved with you and typically know more about the motivation behind the cause. Were your neighbors’ also victims of a home invasion? If they were, undoubtedly they would support your crime prevention campaign. Are you a survivor of breast cancer? If you were, your family members should easily support you after witnessing your battle with this deadly disease. Employees and work colleagues are also excellent sources of support, whether it is for funding, volunteer work, keeping you motivated on your mission or just promoting your cause through word of mouth. This is what I call a positive cause ripple. So seek support from those closest to you and then work outwards. Remember, this is how a wave travels across a pond.
5. Tell the World: Cause leaders need to constantly communicate their successes – not just their needs. People like to support organizations they feel are making a vital difference. Cause leaders sometimes forget this and constantly cite the needs of their organization and neglect to mention their successes – even if they are small. Promoting your organization’s successes emphasizes the effectiveness of the organization and you as an effective leader. So, share your good news and consistently highlight the positive impact your organization is achieving on your website, press releases, newsletters and social media.
6. Focus on Telling Stories Not Statistics: Always try to find the story behind the statistics and communicate these to your stakeholders. Statistics are important, but use them liberally. People are dramatically affected when they see and read about the real people your cause helps. Did watching your mother succumb to breast cancer inspire you to found this organization? Let people know that. Did you highlight the emotional stories of the orphans your organization supports? Dramatic visuals and compelling stories are vital to make your cause pop. Remember, statistics are cold, factual; stories are heartwarming, moving and personal.