The Nebraska Community Foundation works with community, organizational and donor-advised affiliated funds serving 250 communities located in 80 counties. NCF and its affiliated funds have reinvested $269 million in Nebraska since 1994.
Your affiliated fund’s core messages form the background of every communication or marketing tool.
Core messages not slogans. They are not 30-second “elevator speeches.” Deals are not made on elevators! The most you can do in 30 seconds is to get people to say, “Tell me more!”
Having a set of core messages puts you in a position to “tell people more.”
Core messages are “global” messages that can be used with every audience segment. They can also be specialized messages targeted to particular audiences.
It is not necessary to use these messages verbatim – in fact, the more they are personalized and delivered in genuine and unique ways, the better.
Your Fund Advisory Committee comprises a group of passionate and compassionate individuals. It’s important that their unique voices stay true. However, the meanings in these messages must be delivered clearly and consistently at every turn by every representative of your affiliated fund.
Your primary message states the critical community benefit that your affiliated fund is uniquely positioned to provide.
Example: The Hometown Community Foundation Fund is preparing our community for a future of prosperity by preserving our wealth, investing in our people today and building resources for tomorrow’s opportunities.
The concept behind these words will be expressed differently by different members of your affiliated fund. But the core meaning should remain: Prosperity, investment in people, looking forward to the future. The core benefit is a “prosperous future.”
You should also develop a short series of supporting messages. These can be examples or evidence of the way you provide your core benefit.
Core messages are “talking points” that should be used in conversations and in printed materials. You create them so that you have a framework to develop public messaging tools, such as brochures, fundraising letters, newsletters, press releases and feature stories.
Core messages are the meanings you need to convey—not necessarily the words that you will use—in your promotional tools.
Key Criteria for Effective Marketing Messages
Here are ways the criteria might be applied to the sample supporting messages above:
Harold and Marilyn Rink of Pender, Nebraska made a challenge gift with the contribution of seven antique tractors. The tractors were sold by the Nebraska Community Foundation, for the benefit of its affiliated fund the Pender-Thurston Community Foundation Fund.Read more →