Does your organization have Laundry List Syndrome?
We’re not doctors here at Big Duck, but that doesn’t mean we’re not diagnosticians. A big part of how we help nonprofits is by tapping their knees and asking them to say “Ahhh” so we can determine exactly what it is that’s ailing them.
Once you know what you’re looking for, the symptoms are easy to spot. Organizations suffering from LLS often find themselves only able to talk about their organization in terms of the programs they run; unable to tell the larger story that weaves their work together. And once they mention one program, they end up listing them all. That means potential supporters are left with a nice long list of names—and little sense of why or what the organization as a whole does.
Larger organizations with lots of programs and a weak organizational brand.
Luckily, LLS is quite curable. We’ve found that the best treatment combines a rigorous brandraising process with a course of brand architecture. When staff has a story to tell about the organization as a whole, they won’t need to resort to listing every program and every initiative. And when they do need to discuss what goes on at the program level, having clean brand architecture will give them the tools they need to ladder those programs up to their organizational messaging.