Inspiration can be hard to come by, especially if you become reliant on a particular source of ideas. Mixing it up by looking for inspiration in unusual places can get your creative juices flowing again and introduce some freshness into your content.
Here are 5 unusual places to find content ideas for your nonprofit fundraising:
Vincent Van Gogh said, “If one is master of one thing and understands one thing well, one has at the same time, insight into and understanding of many things.” If you have a hobby you love, you’ve probably noticed that you draw parallels between your hobby and other areas of life. Camping might teach you how important it is to anticipate potential emergencies at work, for example.
If you are trying to illustrate a concept, sharing an example from a more concrete, relatable activity can help your audience understand your point. For example, in my self-defense classes, I use chess games, which have distinct opening, midgame, and endgame phases, to explain how an attack progresses through distinct stages.
At the very least, a hobby can provide you with a new example or a new angle to reach part of your audience. If you enjoy an activity, it’s likely that some of those who care about your cause also share that hobby and would relate to it.
In the nonprofit world, there aren’t really competitors in the usual sense, but you probably know other organizations that appeal to a similar audience or address similar issues for a different audience.
Take a look at what messages they are putting out in the world and consider offering a different perspective or spin on their material. Don’t plagiarize or copy; you should always seek to add your own value to the conversation. But if you see that many of your peers are highlighting a particular topic, it might be worthwhile to follow suit.
Alternatively, if you notice that all your peers are writing about the same things but ignoring something important, you can use this information to stand out and offer opinions that stand out and address uncomfortable elements that aren’t being talked about.
The Right Kind of Questions
Copyblogger shared a brilliant series of questions to ask yourself when trying to come up with new content ideas. These mainly centered on uncovering your unique proposition in your field and finding ways to articulate it.
Head on over to Copyblogger and pin those questions to your wall.
Art and Design
Even if you’re not in a creative (in the artsy sense) field, you can still glean a lot of inspiration by looking at the art and design world.
The reason is that innovative design is all about rethinking things we take for granted to explore ways to make them better. Bicycles, for example, have pretty much been refined to the point that they perform their function perfectly. But designers are still finding ways to express new ideas through bikes that specialize in particular areas or fix a small inefficiency. Check out this futuristic bike gallery to see what I mean.
By looking at forward-thinking designs, you can see what certain designers considered problematic or important and how they addressed the issue.
Apply a similar thinking to your field – what does your nonprofit consider significant about the issue you address? – and present a creative way to address it.
Kids TV Shows
If you think coming up with clever ways to hold your audience’s attention is hard, try entertaining kids every day. The writers of children’s TV shows have mastered this fickle art, coming up with new stories that are both fresh and familiar. Since many kid’s shows teach a lesson with each episode, they illustrate how to take a recurring theme and present it in a new light.
Most kid storylines with recurring characters revolve around the question, “What would happen if…?”
The show then answers the questions by showing how someone might run into trouble and how applying basic good sense (politeness, kindness, friendship, etc), the “what if…” isn’t so scary.
You can apply the same process. For example, if your nonprofit focuses on educating underprivileged children, you can ask, “What would happen if parents were the drivers of these kids’ educations?”
You’d then show the obstacles to making this happen, and what it might take for a parent to do just that, as well as the amazing results.
You might not answer that questions directly, or even write about it, but it opens the door to a lot of other potential ideas:
- What would need to happen to get parents more motivated?
- If parents aren’t pushing their kids to excel, why not?
- What can we do to get parents more involved?
- If we’ve already made attempts, what challenges did we face and why? How were they resolved?
The next time you’re looking for content ideas, try searching in these unusual places. At the very least, you can say watching My Little Pony is research.