January 24 is the United Nation’s International Day of Education, “a platform to showcase the most important transformations that have to be nurtured to realize everyone’s fundamental right to education and build a more sustainable, inclusive, and peaceful future.”
Although the United Nations’ intent is far broader, mission-driven organizations can embrace the concept to educate their constituents on how their work solves common challenges. After all, why you do what you do is integral to gaining the support of everyone vital to your success—the general public, customers, donors, beneficiaries, and, of course, employees.
Here are ways to educate your constituents and further your mission in the process:
- History. Going back to the beginning of a challenge can set the stage for meeting it today. If you’re a social service organization, what watershed moments in the past created the momentum that propelled your work to where it is today? Working to protect the planet? Quantify the amount of greenhouse gas produced over time.
- Day in the Life. Not everyone geeks out on history, and that’s fine. Detailing your day-to-day can go a long way in educating people about the work you do and its importance. Follow an employee, a customer, or a patient through their day and demonstrate how your work impacts them.
- Future Focus. Attempt your best “Ghost of Christmases Yet to Come” and paint pictures—both positive and negative—of what the world might look like with and without your work.
- Educate about Education. Finally, consider reinforcing the importance of educating the general public on your work and the issues associated with it. Inspire and equip them to share your story on social media, with their elected officials, or friends and family.
For each of these four, find a balance between hard statistics and storytelling to ensure your message is impactful and memorable.