Staying Authentic During Covid-19

By: Ty Guzman-Touchberry

June 1, 2020

During this time of uncertainty, the most important thing to remember is to stay authentic to your nonprofit’s brand. Since COVID-19 is on everyone’s minds, it is crucial to provide your audience and supporters with pertinent articles and information, even if that means retweeting an article or directing people to a helpful site. 

Here a few suggestions to stay authentic:

  1. Be genuine in your messaging: Your audience will respond better if it sounds like an actual person is writing a tweet or email, rather than a robot. If you’re directing people to articles or helpful sites for information surrounding COVID-19, make sure they are ones that align with your values and mission.
  2.  Be respectful: What we are going through right now is unprecedented. If your organization was launching a new initiative, now may not be the time to put that announcement out. Instead, any new announcements or programs should be tailored to include what your organization is doing to help the community while social-distancing. 
  3. Don’t do or say anything that doesn’t align with your values: People are really good at detecting when an organization is doing something to look good, so don’t align your organization with an initiative that just doesn’t quite make sense. If you have to explain why you are doing something, it’s better to just forego the idea.

We are obviously in a very strange time right now. Find the best way to reach out to your constituents to continue promoting your cause, but also be conscientious and know that what’s going on is difficult for many people. Below are some examples of how nonprofits have been able to help their supporters and community during COVID-19 while staying consistent to their brand.

HRC Releases Research Brief  This is important, because it highlights and lets those in the community know how much they are at risk during this pandemic. 

ACLU Keeps their Mission of ALL People The ACLU taps into their mission of caring for All People to pertain to coronavirus testing, which lets their audience see how the organization is staying relevant during this time. 

Girl Scouts Donate Boxes of Cookies to HealthCare Workers While Girl Scout cookie season was cut short due to social distancing, the organization’s motto is all about caring and making people smile. Donating cookies to the heroes of this time, simply puts an emphasis on their goals and mission.

World Wildlife Fund Honors Environment From Home The WWF is a great example of an organization that has successfully shifted their message and events online, while still encouraging people to fulfill the goals of the organization.

In a time of crisis people want to see organizations doing what they can to help and pass along information. It is not the time to stay quiet. Send the email. Retweet that article. Make sure your audience is aware of new rules and regulations in your state or city. And make sure your brand shines through in each message being sent out. Staying authentic will garner the best reaction from people and is a great opportunity to highlight your organization’s beliefs and values. 

Have a great example of an organization that’s got great messaging right now? Share it with me.