Other than in your Annual Report and major fundraising efforts, most people are not interested in the full scope of your programs and services. Resist the urge to run the full laundry list in each communication!
Of course, you do want to use every opportunity to inform the audience of the breadth and depth of meeting your mission. But reciting the litany in every communique is not the way to go: it puts people to sleep. Your regular audience has already heard it; your potential new audience will be more attracted by a lively success story.
How, then, can you be more creative in mentioning the spectrum of your programs and services–without losing your audience?
Say your lead story is how Jane’s life has been changed because your agency provided her with a medical procedure to correct a birth defect. With a great photo or two, you relate the wonders you’ve enabled.
Now you expand the message to include other services you offer with related mentions–not an encyclopedia:
“Jane has also benefitted from our (other services).”
“Children like Jane also benefit from….”
“Jane’s story is just one example of …..”
“If you’d like to hear more about how XYZ changes lives……”
Resist the temptation to mention all programs every time. You can’t do justice to each every time. There’s not a logical connection every time. When you add that ponderous paragraph you use in foundation proposals, you lose the punch of the compelling story you began with. You lose the audience’s attention.
Yes, there are times for the full list. But Every Time is not the best time.
Use yourself as a test case. When someone speaks for ten minutes, or when something written goes beyond three paragraphs, what do you retain? Hopefully the excitement of the opening topic! Don’t muffle this impact by adding the recitation of all of your virtues. With each additional sentence, the audience gets farther from the initial focus.
People within your agency might object, but remember your purpose is to attract and excite those on the outside!