How to Apply Jean Case’s 5 Principles to Your Nonprofit’s Marketing Strategy

by Cameron Ripley  |   |  Strategy  |  2 comments

2 min to read ✭ Jean Case's newest book, "Be Fearless: 5 Principles for a Life of Breakthroughs and Purpose," is not only a valuable read, but a great point of inspiration for Nonprofit Marketers. Be fearless in making bold, marketing strategies and see how you can scale your organization!

Why Take Risks?

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we’re going to say it again: you HAVE to market where people’s attention is actually at. It’s imperative for the growth and long-term health of your organization, to improve its ability to test new channels and inspire new supporters to care. And you can achieve this by marketing on digital platforms where people are spending the majority of their days.

In January, philanthropist, investor, and technology pioneer Jean Case released a book called Be Fearless: 5 Principles for a Life of Breakthroughs and Purpose. The book covers five principles of being fearless that are common among people and organizations that change the world. The National Geographic chairwoman wrote Be Fearless as an ode to individuals who are seeking to live remarkably and manifest transformational change in their lives. This book is not only pioneering a call-to-action to stop live without fear, but it’s a great point of inspiration for nonprofit leaders to take marketing risks for the growth of their organizations.


5 Principles for a Life of Breakthrough & Purpose

Here’s how we think Jean Case’s five principles are relevant in an approach for nonprofit marketing and growth in 2019.


Make Big Bets and Make History.

A year after the Parkland Shooting and young people everywhere made a big bet. They have committed themselves not only to change, but to changing history. They have accomplished so much, especially on the marketing front, by being bold and literally by making a big bet. If more nonprofits follow this principle and take such gambles, they can pave the way for EVEN MORE actionable change.


Be Bold. Take Risks.

Being bold is not about taking a blind leap; it’s about creating an internal process that allows the space for continued trial and error within your nonprofit. Be bold and make riskier decisions, and if it doesn’t work out, take that as a learning opportunity to fine-tune for next time. Play bigger and bolder in your growth strategies, and don’t be afraid of failure. This takes us to the next principle.


Make Failure Matter

Outcomes are uncertain when we try new things, but this paves the way for valuable learning experiences. The greatest innovators take failures and apply lessons learned to future actions. You have to test, improve, and iterate over again until you figure out what works and what doesn’t for your organization. How can you expect to grow if you don’t fail first?


Reach Beyond the Bubble

Great solutions come from engaging with people of diverse experiences and through unexpected partnerships. Push past your bubble and get a different perspective into the mix; transcending boundaries can help keep your nonprofit continuously innovating and adapting to the newest environments.


Let Urgency Conquer Fear

Don’t overthink it and allow the need to act outweigh your doubts. We’ve seen how often, nonprofit leaders get stuck in a creative process when it comes to the question of what to post on social media. We are bullish on this specific principle in the fact that you can’t get stuck in the creative process of perfecting a post. Don’t let creating perfection keep you from creating at all.

This can be applied to many other roadblocks we hit in the nonprofit marketing space as well. Often times, the biggest bottlenecks are caused by one thing: overthinking. So, take Jean Case’s principle to heart and let the urgency conquer the fear.

Cameron Ripley


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