The Little Engine That Could Syndrome
You all know the story of the ‘Little Engine that Could.’ The little blue engine that pulled the big train chanting, “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.” It’s about the little guy overcoming odds with attitude and proving something for himself.
It’s great. But it’s not your organization’s best story.
The Little Engine story syndrome for nonprofits looks something like this:
“We’re really tiny but we don’t give up. We make good use of everything. We’re struggling but we’re going to make it. We believe we can. We believe we’re doing good work! Can you support us?”
Present a better story. The Little Engine That Could story is a narrative about confidence.
What you need is a narrative about PURPOSE!
There is no time for you to tell us that you can give yourself a pep talk. With all due respect to the little engine, we’re not pulling a train full of toys; we’re SAVING lives, CHANGING lives and IMPACTING lives!
Inspire like MLK.
Heck, charge forward like Braveheart.
They were driven by a sense of PURPOSE, not self-discovery.