Embrace Your Differences
Finding the right message requires one key ingredient that often is overlooked: embracing your difference. No matter what you’re trying to do—inspire, motivate, or convince—it should come from a differentiated organization, not just be a differentiated message.
The most compelling messages have to have both an analytical and an emotional element because humans make decisions based on both facts and feelings. More often than not, we use analytical drivers to justify the emotional ones. “I need a phone.” vs. “I want the latest iPhone.”
However, both the analytical and emotional elements require trust—and the best way to find that is by embracing your differences.
Authentically sharing what makes your organization unique is the key to establishing trust and finding the right message.
Learn more about Fenway Park’s Lone Red Seat, pictured above.
How to Say, “No.”
How to say no can be a tricky situation, but you can do it confidently if you have the right tools and message. By design, social entrepreneurs, what we’ll call founders of social enterprises and leaders of not-for-profit organizations, are problem solvers. Solving a societal challenge, large or small, is the reason they get out of bed in the morning. For some, there is an adrenaline rush from working on and then solving a problem.
How great is that? Well, not very, actually.
The problem is that social entrepreneurs are prone to losing focus on the one issue they set out to solve when other ones—even those related to their original mission—start vying for their attention. If you don’t know how to say no and think that it’s distracting you from your core mission, here is how to regain control.
Miracle Messages is an award-winning nonprofit organization that rebuilds social support systems for the unhoused, primarily through family reunifications, a phone-based buddy system, and $500/month direct cash transfers. They offer a humane and effective way to help end homelessness: strengthen social supports, shatter stigmas, and empower people everywhere to get involved.
Their work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, SF Chronicle, CNN, in an essay by President Bush, in a TED talk, and hundreds more. Founder and CEO Kevin F. Adler started Miracle Messages in honor of his uncle, who lived on-and-off the streets for 30 years. Miracle Messages is on a mission to end relational poverty on the streets, and in the process, inspire people to embrace their unhoused neighbors not as problems to be solved, but as people to be loved.
They believe that “Everyone is someone’s somebody. Everyone needs a friend.”
Mass LGBT Chamber of Commerce
"My family and I held no hatred for those people because we realized they were victims of their own ignorance."
On April 8, 1990, Ryan White died at age 18 of complications from AIDS. White was an American teenager who became a national poster child for HIV/AIDS in the United States after failing to be re-admitted to school following a diagnosis of AIDS. Doctors said he posed no risk to other students.
However, when White tried to return to school in Kokomo, Indiana, many parents and teachers in Howard County rallied against his attendance due to concerns of the disease spreading. A lengthy administrative appeal process ensued, and news of the conflict turned Ryan into a popular celebrity and advocate for AIDS research and public education.