Nonprofit Leadership Begins With Communication
At a recent Charlotte event hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the International Association of Business Communicators, veteran nonprofit leader Jane McIntyre discussed her new role as Executive Director of the United Way of the Central Carolinas. While McIntyre’s primary charge is rasing funds, she was quick to highlight three key principles for successful nonprofit communications:
1. Bring candor and openness. As a prominent nonprofit professional, McIntyre learned early to be completely honest and frank. This applies to both the status of her nonprofit, but also in regards to her personal life. Being in the spotlight brings an extra level of scrutiny, but her authenticity and her candor has served her well. McIntyre also embraces a very open and responsive relationship with the media, having accepted every request for an interview.
2. Simplify the message. In a world where information travels so quickly and through multiple mediums, McIntyre noted that simplifying the message is crucial. In her experience, highlighting the most important and essential points helped to convey both an accurate picture, but also helped people comprehend the message.
3. Be passionate. With over a million US nonprofits, it is important to be passionate about your cause and to have that passion show in your communications. McIntyre clearly stated that nonprofit professionals need to ‘believe in what they are selling’ – that enthusiasm for your cause will only inspire others to get involved.
In her discussion, McIntyre exemplified her three key lessons. She spoke frankly about the transition and was very candid about the obstacles Charlotte’s United Way still has before it. She gave clear and concise stories about the United Way and about conveying a nonprofit’s message. Most importantly, though, her passion for the United Way and its mission resounded. She is clearly committed to her cause and is working diligently to make the United Way and its partner organizations successful.