Do you sound like everyone else?

A problem that plagues most organizations, whether they are for- or not-for-profit, is falling into the trap of sounding like everyone else. This challenge is especially true in jargon- and acronym-rich arenas.

When every organization is using the same language, of course, it takes on a universal, and often inaccurate, meaning. People will assume that empowerment means the same for you as it does for the day-care center around the corner.

“Why you do what you do? Why do you care, and more importantly, why should anyone else?”

You know the old saying, “if it looks like a duck, and sounds like a duck, chances are, it’s a duck.” Our challenge to you? If you’re not a duck, stop quacking.

What does a mission make?

Regular subscribers to our newsletter know about our recent pivot towards helping mission-driven organizations with their focus and their messaging strategies. But what do we mean by mission-driven organization?

Broadly speaking, we mean not-for-profits, associations, social enterprises, and B Corps. We’re also thrilled to work with for-profit organizations, as long as what they do addresses a social need. A great example of that is our recent client, DriveWealth. Their platform is helping to democratize investing. Good stuff!

The Most Important Wants and Needs
by Douglas Spencer

This week I am running a messaging boot camp for some social enterprise startups competing for the annual $100,000 AcceliCity prize from Leading Cities.

Here’s a high-level review of what we’ll be covering. First, it’s important to think about who is important to you. Seems pretty obvious, but it’s not. It’s important to think about everyone who is critical to your success individually. This exercise goes beyond market segmentation by identifying the exact relationships you want to have with each.

MISSION DRIVERS

Meet Breaktime
In this new, recurring feature of Focal Point, we profile people and organizations on a mission! If you have someone to suggest, let us know!

While volunteering at a homeless shelter as undergrads at Harvard University, Breaktime co-founders and co-executive directors Connor Shoen (pictured left) and Tony Shu (pictured right) saw firsthand how homelessness and housing insecurity was impacting other young adults. In 2018, they founded Breaktime, a not-for-profit with the sole mission of ending young adult homelessness.

Breaktime empowers young adults transitioning out of homelessness through career-launching stepping stones to stable employment and permanent housing. They do that by creating new, revenue-generating businesses that often address other social needs, and empowering these young adults to serve others in the process. These businesses provide employment that develops greater personal confidence, financial literacy, and other critical life skills. For example, just since the pandemic began, they have employed 15 young adults experiencing homelessness to serve over 40,000 meals to people experiencing food insecurity.

You can learn more about Breaktime on breaktime.org.

UPCOMING WEBINAR

Employee Activism: Social Media and Brand Protection

Please join the Consultants Collective on October 9 for a free-ranging discussion between Casey Hall, President of Lumberjack Social, and Douglas Spencer, President of Spencer Brenneman, both members of the Collective. They will explore issues around employee activism and what brands need to consider during this tumultuous time.

Focal Pointing

Focal Pointing shares some of the books, podcasts, and emails that are helping us learn, create, and grow.

Have one to share? Please do!

BOOK
Purposeful Profits
by Joanne Sonenshine

PODCAST
Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Posts You May Have Missed

Find your clear, one-sentence description.

Client Profile: Meet Leading Cities!

Well Said

Born this month in 1860, Juliette Gordon Low was founder of Girl Scouts of America. Today, the Girl Scounts of America are more 2.5 million strong—more than 1.7 million girls and 750,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world. Their mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.

—Juliette Gordon Low

Born this month in 1860, Juliette Gordon Low was founder of Girl Scouts of America. Today, the Girl Scouts of America are more 2.5 million strong—more than 1.7 million girls and 750,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world. Their mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.

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