- Wed, September 05 2012
- Filed under: Writing
Photo via Wikipedia
One of my favorite movies of all time is Adaptation***. It’s a movie about a writer trying to adapt a book (The Orchid Thief) into a movie. The writer ends up writing a screenplay about the task of adapting the book. In one scene in the movie, the writer says in horror: “I’ve written myself into my screenplay.”
I think the #1 problem of those of us in nonprofit marketing and fundraising is that we write ourselves into our own screenplays. And unfortunately in our case, it does not result in an Oscar.
Here’s what I mean: We do too much “we matter” marketing rather than focusing on how the beneficiary, the donor or the volunteer matters.
Is the last thing I wrote about what we do or who we helped?
Is my next appeal about how we need money or what the money will do?
Is our About Us page a history of our organization or the story of the way lives have changed because of our work?
Your screenplay should not star you. It should be about people you help and the people who help you.
***If you are a writer, you will also appreciate this line from Adaptation capturing the thoughts of a writer trying to write: “To begin… To begin… How to start? I’m hungry. I should get coffee. Coffee would help me think. Maybe I should write something first, then reward myself with coffee. Coffee and a muffin. Okay, so I need to establish the themes. Maybe a banana-nut. That’s a good muffin.”