A few gnarly bumps in Neil Pasricha’s life drove him to find a way to focus on the positive. So he started 1000awesomethings.com to remind himself of the simple universal little pleasures in life.

While watching a TedX talk by this “regular guy” turned blogger turned author, I got to thinking about how his “3 A’s of Awesome” can apply to nonprofit communications.

As Neil points out, 50,000 blogs are started every day. Twitter just reported that the world now sends 5 million tweets per day. Every minute, at least 24 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube. I don’t even want to think about Facebook’s colossal numbers.

Here’s how your nonprofit communications can follow Neil’s 3 A’s of awesome to stand out in that chatty crowd:

  1. Attitude. Have a positive attitude in the face of adversity.
    As Neil said about the future, “the one thing we know about it is that it ain’t gonna go according to plan.” It’s impossible to anticipate all the opportunities and crises that your organization will face. To make your communications awesome, respond to the future twists and turns strategically, transparently, and with grace and good humor.
  2. Awareness. Appreciate small wonders.
    For nonprofit professionals who often live for their causes, it’s easy to get lost in what Chip and Dan Heath call the “Curse of Knowledge”—that when we know something, it’s hard to imagine what it is like not to know it. To be awesome, create clear communications that bring people closer to your issue, avoid jargon, and share through stories.
  3. Authenticity. Embrace who you are.
    Nonprofits often shy away of exhibiting a personality. But, personality can help people connect to and care about your cause, commit to your goals, or feel compelled to join you on the battle lines. For your communications to be awesome, express yourself and engage your communities in a way that shows your organization’s personality through the words you choose, and where and how you act.

Being awesome has its rewards. The Awesome Foundation gives $1,000 grants to people and projects “devoted to forwarding the interest of awesomeness in the universe.” Certainly, nonprofits have enough awesome project ideas—backed by communications with the right attitude, awareness, and authenticity—to keep The Awesome Foundation swimming in awesomeness for a long time.
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Lauren Girardin is LightBox Collaborative’s tactical curator. She’s currently helping a family foundation make their website content more awesome.