Navel Gazing and the Art of Content Creation

Navel gazing is defined as the excessive absorption in the self.

Just like those people at the party who only talk about themselves, non profits are notorious navel gazers. And just like those people at the party who only talk about themselves, non profits have trouble making long-lasting friends (AKA donors).

Are we truly narcissistic? I don’t think so. I think we’ve been trained to talk about ourselves all of the time. But would it kill us to turn outwards occasionally? NO!

Here are some examples of non profits branching outwards:

  • Population Services International is an NGO that helps women in the developing world get access to health services like family planning. To shake things up, we recently asked one of their donors who is a New York Times best selling author to pen a blog post about six books she recommends that showcase women’s empowerment. And while the selections just tangentially relate to PSI’s work, we’re releasing it as a summer reading list.
  • Every Friday, Humane Society International sends me a Meatless Monday recipe. They write, “Whether to help animals and the environment or to be healthier, people are eating more meat-free meals than ever.” And their recipes make it easy for me to do just that.
  • Bedsider, a project of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy sends me a titillating message each week about sex. Of course, their goal is to promote contraception. But in doing so, they share articles like “Sensual Massage Moves That Will Make Your Partner Melt,” “Piercings and Sex,” and “Is Sex On the Job A Good Idea?”

Yes – your donors want to know how you are making a difference in the world. But they also want related content that will keep them engaged in the conversation.

What kind of outward-facing content can you create