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A year ago on this podcast, all the way back in Episode 10, I shared with you what I was going through trying to grow grass from seed in my yard
I was so tired of putting all this time and effort into trying to get something to grow that just wasn’t going to… and as I was walking back to the house to turn the water back on, feeling hopeless and like I was pointlessly watering dirt, I looked down and saw… A BLADE OF GRASS. A single blade had popped up through the soil!
Immediately, my motivation was RENEWED, and I couldn’t help but feel like this was an analogy for SO MANY THINGS in our lives. Especially for getting the word out about your nonprofit.
There might be times where you feel like you’re just wasting your time.
You feel discouraged and you just want to quit.
I’m telling you – if you just keep showing up and clearly telling people what you do, it’s only a matter of time before you see growth.
I’ve been thinking about that particular podcast episode, and you, the nonprofit leader, a lot lately, especially when I am outside moving the sprinkler around my yard. The grass is as lush as a hayfield, and knee high in some parts. Rabbits hop into my yard at dusk to munch away at the bright green blades, and prairie dogs start each morning by picking the seeds and taking them back to their burrows and stashing them away for winter. The grass is thick, and it blows in the wind like waves on the sea.
It’s funny because A YEAR AGO, I could count how many tiny little grass seedlings were starting to barely come up from the barren dirt. In a year’s time, the growth is overwhelming and beautiful – and it feels like all the work was worthwhile.
All these thoughts about growth also had me reflecting on one of my social media marketing clients – my mom’s pregnancy care center.
About a year ago, my mom said numbers were down – they weren’t seeing as many patients. She suggested we try changing things up with our posts on Facebook and Instagram. We worked together to come up with a plan – very much like the plan and the ideas I share with you each week here – and here we are, a year later… The patient load at their pregnancy care center has dramatically increased from last year. Even through the COVID shutdown!
What’s telling though, is that on their patient intake form, there is a question that asks, “How did you find us?” The most commonly checked boxes are Facebook and Google.
My mom even says, when young women call the clinic, they commonly use the same wording we just posted on social media.
It’s not magic, it’s not a secret method – it’s just about implementing – following through with the same things I share with you every week here on this podcast.
So let’s check in… Have you been following through? Do you feel like the seeds you planted a year ago are growing? Are they thriving? Are they little seedlings? Or is it still just dirt and prayers?
I’m asking because I know what it’s like to feel stuck. Believe me, with this podcast – and with the online course I’m building – it feels like the Field Of Dreams… “If you build it, they will come!” Sometimes I feel like I put in all this hard work and I’m not even sure it’s going to make a difference. But then, I work with so many nonprofits on their social media and I see – what I’m telling you here on this show, in every episode of Unlocking Your Nonprofit Potential - IT WORKS!
You have so much good to give to the world, and we need that good now more than ever. I don’t want you to feel stuck. I want you to feel proud of what you’re doing. I want you to feel satisfied that you are successfully sharing the good you have to give to the world. I want you to feel confident that you’re making a difference!
It’s easy to get into a rut. It’s easy to feel defeated. It’s easy to be swallowed up in our emotions. But if we can take a step back and look at the situation, and what isn’t working and then, think of how we can fix it, it’s amazing! We can fix whatever difficult situation we’re in by taking action.
It’s good to look at everything in your life and check in to make sure you’re following through, and your seeds are growing, but today, right now, while you’re listening to this episode, I want you to specifically take a look at the marketing for your nonprofit.
Have you been posting two times per week consistently on at least Facebook, if not Facebook and Instagram?
Have you been keeping your posts short and to the point? Just a picture, plus 1-3 sentences with a call to action with your phone number or website?
Have you been using pictures for your posts that will be appealing to the person you’re trying to help?
Are you keeping in touch with your donors with weekly emails?
Are you keeping in touch with the people you serve through email?
Are you giving yourself enough time to market your events?
These are just some things I want you to think about. Just take inventory. If you haven’t been doing all these things – hey, I get it! You are busy! I know how it is.
But here’s what I want you to think about – the grass. Think about what would have happened if I never started watering the grass. Not much. Maybe a few blades here or there would have fought their way out of the dirt and made do with the 10 inches of rain we get here every year. What if I had watered it a little? Probably a little more grass would have grown. I made a commitment to water consistently – and the grass grew up around my house consistently. And even though the grass is green and lush, I’m still watering it – even green grass still needs attention.
Think about the people your nonprofit helps. That’s your grass. Your quality, consistent posting on Facebook is like watering your grass. Your weekly emails to donors are like watering your grass. Sending out emails to the people you serve is like watering your grass. Giving yourself enough time to market your events is like watering your grass.
Your grass isn’t going to be knee high overnight. It’s not magic. It’s not a secret method. It’s moving forward with consistency and purpose that makes it work.
Take time to look at your marketing, then add one thing to implement consistently to what you’re already doing. Follow through with your nonprofit marketing.
Remember – you are amazing! You can do this! You are already making great steps – you’re listening to this podcast which means you have the desire! Think about all the good you have to give to the world. You bring so much light to the people around you – don’t hide it!
Until next time…
Links mentioned in this episode and other helpful episodes: