Building a Movement: Connecting One by One

Mother Teresa once said, “If I look at the mass, I will never act. If I look at the one, I will.”

Research shows that this ideology is common among donors. It’s why organizations campaign to “adopt a child” for the holidays, and why crowdfunding has become a preferred form of giving.Each one of us has to believe our actions will make a difference and as human beings, we crave having a personal connection to the causes we hope to impact. That is why we focus our hearts and minds on connecting.

Truly creating change comes from sparking a movement, and a movement forms when a connected community comes together to change the world for good. It involves connecting others and mobilizing a group of people, or as we like to say, a tribe around a common cause or interest.

How do you begin connecting a group of people you don’t know and who don’t know each other? You focus on connecting deeply with one.

Connecting deeply by focusing on one creates personal, emotional and empathetic links that influence our behavior.

Connecting gives us the opportunity to understand how others view the world and helps us connect with their passions. By doing this, we can influence even the most unexpected individuals to act.

Understanding their worldview
Creating powerful campaigns for good requires stepping into the world of your audience. It is not enough to create messages that you think will resonate with the community you are trying to reach. It is much bigger than that. Our communities shape our beliefs, and when our beliefs are threatened, we are likely to shrug off what we’re being told.

We believe in starting every campaign for good with empathetic research, focusing on comprehending the worldview of our target community. Our beliefs about how the world works, what’s important, what’s of value, and what needs to be changed make up our worldview.

When we take the time to understand another person’s worldview, we’re able to connect on an emotional and empathetic level. Our communications efforts shift from solely messaging to connecting meaningfully with our community.

Sarah Corbett understood this when she sought to make Marks & Spencer a living wage company.

She knew that stepping into the shoes of M&S board members and figuring out what was important to them was the best way to get them to listen to her message.

After considering the worldview of M&S board members, she realized that her crafty campaign would be more receptive coming from loyal M&S customers. She was right. The board members listened and within 10 months the company was paying its employees a living wage.

Developing your message after you’ve stepped into the world of your audience is more authentic and more impactful. It opens up our hearts and minds, creating a deep, emotional connection and increases the likelihood we will act.

Connecting to their passions
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — passion is the only prerequisite to start a movement. Passion is the driving force for action. As communicators, when we focus on connecting first it allows us to thread our audience’s passions into our messaging.

Ogilvy Brazil wanted to solve one of the
greatest barriers for organ transplants in the country, family authorization.

Beyond this barrier that differed person-to-person, one of their biggest passions was collectively the same:

“Every Brazilian is born with football in the soul.”

Connecting directly to the people of Brazil’s largest passion, Ogilvy Brazil partnered with the country’s largest football club, Sports Club Recife to create the ‘Immortal Fan’ organ donor card.

The result? The waiting list for organ transplants was reduced to zero within the first year of the campaign.

When we strive to connect people to their passions, it creates room for others to insert themselves into our cause. It gives us the opportunity to create shared experiences for a connected community. With these shared experiences, a community grows and a movement begins.

Connecting can change the game
Connecting is not another buzzword in the realm of philanthropy. Connecting is the root of all movements planted for good. It is our manifesto for change.

As communicators, we have to be more strategic, authentic and transparent with our messaging to effectively create change for good.

At MagnifyGood, we wholeheartedly believe that this approach begins with connecting because together, each one of us is more powerful than we are alone.


photo credit: the Craftivist Collective (license)

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