Nonprofits message out around holidays like Mother’s and Father’s Day as a way to give and engaged. For many this is a great day of celebration, for others, it may actually be a day of remembrance for their mother. In an ideal world organizations would have perfect information about the way their audience would like to be messaged or not on days like Mother’s and Father’s Day. The truth is, the majority of nonprofits can’t afford that level of personalized segmentation.
So what is the solution? Write with empathy for people in your audience that may have lost a parent. It is difficult to write for both audiences that are celebrating a traditional Mother’s Day and those that are treating it as a day of remembrance.
It is even more important for organizations that deal with causes like Cancer and other diseases to be particularly sensitive to this issue. Often times when loved ones are lost to a disease, it triggers many to give in their name to nonprofits.
Here are some ideas on how to communicate to both audiences:
Use Positive Framing
Nonprofits have found success with ideas that are positive and give people who have lost Mothers insight into how they can honor their mother when they wish she was still here.– “How would you choose to remember your childhood mother? How could you think about best honor her memory?”
Connect to the idea rather than the individual
Nonprofits have found success by having a more universal message this connect to the story of any mother or father and it is rather than mentioning the person specifically – “Mother’s Day Gifts that Remember her And honor her Memory”
Avoid triggering those that have lost a parent
This starts with reading and considering the points made in this article and acknowledging that ‘Happy’ messaging around Mother’s and Father’s Day may be triggering. Simply gut-checking copy with the perspective of someone that may be remembering a loved one will help increase the sensitivity of communications.
To make this more practical here are some ways to rephrase potentially triggering calls to action:
Instead of: “Donate to celebrate your Mom this holiday”
Try: “Honor the impact Mothers have had this holiday”
Instead of: “Get something special for the Mom in your life this holiday.”
Try: “Remember how much your Mother means with a donation in her name.”
Instead of: “Send a picture or story of how your Mom helps you every day”
Try: “Share a favorite story of how your Mom made a difference in your life”
Instead of the specific intro: “Our Mothers do so much for us throughout the year, it is time to do for them this Mother’s Day.”
Try: “This holiday we are remembering how much Mothers have meant to the communities we work with.”
Social Impact Ways to Celebrate a Mother:
- Donate to a nonprofit organization in her name
- Volunteer your time for a good cause she cares about
- Start a fundraiser for a charity she supports
- Make her something sustainable like beeswax wrap or a reusable gift she’ll use often
- Cook her a meal with local, sustainable ingredients
- Write her a heartfelt letter telling her how much you appreciate her
- Give experiences over material gifts like a nice brunch, movie, or play
- Offer help around the house by cleaning, doing yard work, doing errands, or chores
- Spend quality time with her doing an activity you both enjoy