Originally posted May 17, 2011, at Soul Munchies. Republished with permission of the author.
I see a yard sale down the street. The sign says: For a good cause.
I can’t help but wonder what the “good cause” is — but I don’t see any other signs.
Ordinarily I might ask just to curb my curiosity, but I’m running a little behind schedule today. So I continue past the sign and mosey on my way, never to discover what “good cause” they were trying to “sell.”
These two words get thrown around a lot in today’s world. Good cause here. Good cause there. So when Guy Kawasaki started to identify in his book “Enchantment” what makes a good cause I was a little cynical.
Whatever, Guy. You’re trying to sell something. Of course you think it’s a great product!
Nevertheless, I kept reading. And I discovered that Guy really knows what he’s talking about. As I read through the qualities of a great product I realized that these qualities are not just helpful for business products. Charitable organizations would be good to use them as guidelines too!
People want to make a difference in the world but are so crunched for time these days. They want to serve, but they don’t want to waste their time on a mediocre cause. People are looking for a great cause.
So how can we apply Guy’s list to charitable causes?
Deep: A great cause hits home — and hard. It’s not just a one-time cause. It’s a cause that sticks with us — a cause that connects with us no matter where we are in life.
It’s a cause that gives us many different ways to dig in and be a part. Because after all, no one person is exactly like any other.
Intelligent: I like to think of this as creative. A great cause offers creative and intelligent ways to get involved. It’s unique. Different. Thoughtful. It thinks about where people are and comes up with creative ways to meet them there.
Complete: A great cause is holistic. It addresses many different aspects of the problem at hand. It’s more than putting a bandage on a cut and hoping that it heals. A great cause addresses what caused the wound in the first place.
Empowering: People want to feel like what they have done matters. Whether they gave five minutes, $5, or 50 days, they want to know they have made a real dent in the problem at hand.
When people feel like they matter, they are then empowered to continue the work. If they made a difference once, they can move forward and make an even bigger difference in the future.
Elegant: Let’s face it — we want the cause to look good and to feel easy. We want to be able to plug in quickly. We want to have a great experience while we are serving. We want the cause to be organized and well put together.
What do you think? What is it that makes a great cause?
Find a link to Crystal Rowe’s blog Soul Munchies at Lutheran Blogs.