The non-profits and faith-based organizations that I work with often have lofty purposes and are quite confident of their great purpose.  The problem is that all too often they cannot explain it to donors and those they interact with on a daily basis.  Sometimes their own employees are not so clear about it.  Especially if you ask them to leave the lofty language aside and identify clear and easy-to-understand ways in which they impact their world for good.

I realized this in listening to an interview with Roy Spence about his new book - It’s not what you sell it’s what you stand for.  He talked about the clear purposes of Southwest Airlines (Democratizing travel with low prices so everyone has a chance to fly) and Wal-mart (Low prices that help people live better lives).  And I started to ask myself – How many non-profits and faith-based organizations groups can describe themselves so clearly?  Yes, your organization may exist to save the planet or save souls, but what do you DO that clearly makes this happen?  Not an easy question — but one worth exploring.



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