Case Statement: How do you talk about your programs?

Once upon a time there was a program that had three staff people who worked with children. The staff people used the phone, a room in a building and a few office supplies. The lives of the children were better for it and we need money to pay for our staff, phone and office supplies.

Would you contribute to this organization? I probably wouldn’t. But unfortunately, many organizations end up presenting their case in exactly this way. Describing the program by how many staff people it has and leaving impact and results somewhat vague.

So how should you present information about the program? Let’s go back to the needs statement that we covered last week. In that section we focused on what the needs of the community were. In the program section, you’ll relate everything about the program back to those needs. Talk about the aspects of the program that most help your clients – and talk about the impact that your programs are having. Sure – it takes staff to run things, but the focus really needs to be on the impact.

Again this week, some of our partner consultants provide some additional advice:

  • Sandy Rees: I think including WHY the program is needed, WHAT need it meets, WHO it serves, and HOW MANY people benefit.
  • Kent Stroman As always, I have to agree with Sandy Rees. But to further emphasize her recommendation, let me encourage you to google the phrase “Start With Why by Simon Sinek”. Powerful – and it puts everything else in context. (I was referred to The TED video on this by my friend, John Millen, of The Reputation Group. Thanks John!) Here’s a link to the YouTube video from Tedx Puget Sound.
  • Sheri Chaney Jones Yes, Kent Stroman, the Why is so important. I love that piece by Simon Sinek. When taking about the program, discuss your big Why’s or outcomes your participants get when working with you, as well as all of the things Sandy Rees mentioned.

Thanks to Sandy, Kent and Sheri for sharing your thoughts this week!

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