The FORCE is within us all
Another term is ‘social capital’ although I prefer to call it THE FORCE.
The social capital you have with your network of friends, family and colleagues is greater than the social capital a charity or cause you support has with your network. So to awaken the FORCE within you I need to empower you to tell our story.
And to do that you need to :
- Know what is the story you want someone to tell? It needs to be consistent. That way as it ripples out, and someone is inspired to check you out or get in touch, the story they hear (by visiting your website or contacting your organisation directly) aligns with the one they were first told. And the best way for it to be consistent (perhaps the only way) is ensure your stories are based on WHY you do what you do, not WHAT you do. That way there will be a consistent thread throughout their telling that will build your reputation (your reputation after all is what other people say about you).
- And you need to give your supporters permission. That’s as simple as saying it’s ok to tell your world about our mission.
- Finally, of course, you’ll need to inspire them in the first place. Hence your mission needs to be something that they will want to talk about – will need them to talk about. Hence it will need to be ambitious. Even impossible (hence the need for their help).
Do not underestimate the Power of the FORCE
Just one person inspired from hearing a story from someone they trust can open the door to foundation grant or a corporate partnership or simply another donor. And in this increasingly connected world you do not know who people know.
I’m sure you’ve experienced the power of the FORCE. The other day an old university friend sent an email about overnight walk in memory of two of her friends and raising money for her local hospice. Of course I had to give. In fact I even remember waking up and thinking I must make my donation before the event. That’s the FORCE at work.
At SolarAid it was the FORCE that helped us secure one of our largest trust grants through a former volunteer inspired from hearing our mission and putting us forward to a trust she had contact with (in fact she was so inspired she wrote the application and did the presentation to the trustees!). And I always smile when I think of the donor with a solar light in hand who knocked on the door of everyone in her street saying that they had to donate to SolarAid (we discovered this because of the strange number of new donors coming from the same sort of postcode).
To use the FORCE effectively and really harness its power you need to inspire people with your story and set the FORCE within them loose.
So think of yourself as Yoda. There to guide people to use their FORCE for good.
May the FORCE be with you.