We are two weeks into 2017. We face a new year and new challenges. With that in mind, I have put together a list of 5 questions LGBTQ Organizations need to ask themselves in the new year. This list is meant as a way for LGBTQ Organizations to take stock of where they are, what they're after, and where they need to go.
1. Are you getting your message out to the right audience?
What are you saying? How are you saying it? And is it reaching the right people? It's necessary that you think about your message and how it will play to different audiences. Each of these audiences will respond to your organization differently. Messaging is an essential component of your strategy. Messaging influences every film, every newsletter, every social media post. If you're not clear in your communications, your organization will suffer.
2. How are you reaching your donors?
With a need for donations more important than ever before, it's necessary for organizations to think about how they are reaching donors. Think about you are offering them, what you're telling them, and how you are making them feel engaged. In 2015, the fight for marriage equality was won. By the end of 2016, it was clear that our work was far from over. Moving forward, how are you making sure your donors know that their gifts will lead to real change?
3. What is Pride 2017 going to look like?
Pride 2017 is going to be a vital and necessary event in the coming months. Organizations must think about what they are offering this year. Deeper engagement, more active participation, a clear message - all these things are essential as events come into play. What you do in Pride 2017 will set the tone for the years ahead. Be sure to make it count.
4. Are you reaching all communities?
LGBTQ organizations have been called out in the past for being very one-sided in their audience reach. If LGBTQ organizations are going to stay afloat, they must reach every community. They must speak to white audiences, black audiences, latino audiences, trans audiences, and so on. They must bring these communities into the conversation. Too often, LGBTQ organizations benefit one community and overlook the other communities. This must change.
5. Do you have a strategy?
2017 is not business as usual. Anyone can see that. Politics today is not business as usual. To thrive, to prosper, to respond to challenges - you're going to need a strategy that works. Make sure you bring everyone to the table. Talk to lots of people. Get out into the community. Hear from multiple voices. A strategy that encompasses messaging, communications, philanthropy, and activism will light your way as you move through the months and years ahead. Everything starts with a plan. What's yours going to be?