Inspiring Action: It’s Not What You Do, It’s Why You Do It

How do you inspire action?

This is the golden question for every charity, regardless of size, funding, and resources. Every charity wants to know and understand the answer to this question.

The question comes in many forms. How do you get donors to donate once, or twice, or continually? How do you get people to volunteer with your organization? How do you get supporters to help your cause?

How do you inspire action?

The reason I bring up this billion-dollar question is because I recently came across a fantastic TED Talk that addresses this very problem. In this talk, Simon Sinek explores how we communicate and more importantly, uncovers how successful leaders inspire action.  It all comes down to messaging, explaining the why, rather than the what  or how.

If the video doesn’t work, you can check it out here.

People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.

You may have noticed that Simon repeats this mantra throughout the video. Inspiring people to take action essentially comes down to translating your passion and beliefs to others. Showing the why versus the what is the key.

Room to Read is a great example of an organization that inspires action by showing their beliefs (the why): World Change Starts with Educated Children.

This simple and concise tag line explains exactly why I should support their work. Three things immediately stand out with this tagline: World Change, Educated, and Children. These are all concepts I strongly belive in and as a result, I am drawn into learning more. With only six words, they have inspired me to care about their work.

Most importantly, this tagline is at the heart of all their communications; they have made sure this is the first thing you see when you come across any of their work. It inspires people because it explains the why behind everything they do.

Next time you are creating messaging for your organization, make sure you explain the why first. Take some time to reflect on why you started doing the great work you do, and then use that passion and understanding to inspire others to support you. And always remember:

People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.

A Few Tools to Help You Get Back into Social Media

Social media is difficult to master. Each platform has its own set of best practices and every one seems to be continually changing and evolving. These changes make staying active on every platform a difficult and sometimes frustrating task, even for the social media savvy

We know the struggles with social media, which is why we have decided to begin a series of articles focused on helping you stay engaged with your supporters through social media in an easy and smart way. For our first post, we have gathered a few social media resources to help you stay on top of your social media strategy and avoid the dreaded social media slump.

Social Media Posting Guide

One of the best guides for starting a general social media strategy comes from Craig Von Korlaar over at Top Nonprofits. This handy guide gives you a quick run through of general best practices when posting on Facebook and Twitter. It is definitely worth printing out and hanging up around your desk, for quick reference and a good reminder whenever you hit that social media slump.

Social Media Posting Guide

Social Media Sizing Cheat Sheet

Social media platforms are constantly changing and evolving, making it pretty difficult to keep up with all the different restrictions and recommendations for photo, logo and banner sizing. There is nothing more frustrating than spending an hour planning and designing a perfect Facebook post, only to have it turn out looking awkward because the photo is the wrong size or the image is misaligned.

Luckily, the good people at Lunar Metrics have created a very useful infographic that details the media sizing information for a range of platforms, from Facebook to Twitter to YouTube and Pinterest. Definitely worth bookmarking for future use!

FB Cheat  Sheet

An Explanation of the Four Facebook Ad Types

Facebook advertising is an amazing tool, but also a daunting task for those new to these types of ads. There are four different types of ads on Facebook, each with their own specific purpose and drawbacks based on your objective.

So which type of ad will work best for you and your goals? John Haydon recently wrote an excellent summary of the four types that is crucial information for anyone wanting to get started in advertising on Facebook. Check out his article here.

Social Media Sharing Buttons and the Potential Hazards

Social Media Mess

Social Media sharing buttons seem like an easy and obvious solution to promoting your work across the various social platforms. Unfortunately for many websites, social media buttons are proving more harmful than helpful. Too many buttons can slow down your site’s loading times and often overwhelm your readers, as they have to decide which platform to share your work on. This is why it is critical to always remember who your audience is, how they behave and what content they are looking for.

Last fall, we posted an article highlighting some of the potential problems with relying too heavily on these social media buttons and some important things to consider when designing your website. You can find the full article here.


What are your favorite tools/resources that help you stay on top of social media?