Libraries! Take this message from The Nonprofit Marketing Guide by Kivi Leroux Miller to heart in your messaging:
“Even when your organization is struggling, you should always keep your communications focused on your cause and the people you serve, not on your organization per se. Don’t make it about you and how your agency is hurting. Make it about the good work you are trying to do, the people you are trying to serve, and how much your supporters are needed.
People want to feel like they are giving to an organization that’s healthy and that makes a difference. They want to be part of your success, not your failure. If all of your messaging is about how you’re having trouble paying your utility bills and how you may close your doors any minute, you’ll breed more skepticism about your management abilities than confidence in your ability to make a difference. Focus on the impact your supporters can have on the people you’re helping and on your cause, not on the plight of your organization.” (emphasis added)
It’s always frustrated me how libraries have been “in crisis” for 20+ years. The struggles we are facing are not unique. The amazing outcomes of our services are. Let’s try a more positive, less apocalyptic message. We do great things — it’s time to focus on them.