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July 26, 2022

Mission Multiplier: I Know You vs. I Don’t Know You

Jane Pfeiffer

Hello! This is Mission Multiplier, a weekly video segment by me, Jane Pfeiffer, founder and president of Fieldtrip. The goal is to help nonprofit leaders and the leaders of purpose-driven organizations do their work easier because the world around them is helping rather than creating friction. So when we meet with a prospective client, we ask somewhere along the conversation for them to do a self-assessment in three core areas. And so I’m going to break these three out over the next three weeks and walk through each one of them so you can do it yourself as you’re watching.

So the first pillar is about awareness. So think of one audience, just one. It might be the beneficiaries that use your services – donors, community leaders, legislators, anyone. A number doesn’t matter where you start, but pick one audience. Now let’s rank the awareness level. So we’re going to draw a number line from zero to ten. Zero is that I don’t know you, haven’t heard of you. I’m not familiar with what you do. Whereas ten is I know you, I can probably recognize your logo and I know what you do, or at least what sector of work you’re committed to. And somewhere this one audience that you self-selected is in that score.

So when you think about all the people, let’s say you’re thinking about legislators, so they’re all the political leaders that you need to influence – where are they on that scale? What percentage of people would score zero and what percentage would be a ten? And then where would that blended number be? So let’s say that you’ve scored yourself a five. This means that half the people in my example, you know, legislators and political policymakers – 50% of them might know you. 50% have no idea.So some know you well, depend on you, respect you know you by name, but there’s a large enough population that isn’t familiar.

So now move to the next audience, whether it’s your beneficiaries, those who support and you might have several groups of those, how do they score? Surely, you’d love to have 100% of an audience. And you might think that employees would surely score you 100%. Yes, I would think every employee definitely has awareness of the organization, and be a little more critical. Can they describe effectively what you do, or in last week’s video, can they define the three word mission that you have? So that would be a perfect ten, but you score yourself on employees now. You should have several number ones, but now one per audience and a score for each. So the number to the left is the work that you have to do, and the number to the right is what you’ve accomplished so far.

There’s a lot of work to be done, and even though the relevance of what you do is higher in today’s times, the need is greater. You recognize that the friction around the mission is even higher, and therefore you’re spending a lot of time explaining what you do and why it’s important because you’re working on that population that lives in the left. That’s closer to the “I don’t know.” And there isn’t a magic bullet, but there are several ways that we can resolve that and grow that number to a larger score. But for this week, we’re just going to sit with that score of awareness and understand what that means.

Next week, we’ll be talking about the next pillar, which is alignment. So tune in next week and you can always visit to subscribe.