As one of my clients said to me, "How in the world can I convince someone to become a donor when they don't even know us?" The best way to do that is to eliminate their stereotype first, and then honest conversation can follow about what you do and how they might support you.
As I say regularly, this is another good topic for a board discussion. Even your closest supporters on the board may have quite different stereotypical perceptions of your organization. Questions like, "What is the general stereotype of our organization? How can we change an incorrect stereotype some people might have?" can create a lively discussion. And the outcomes will help you craft your public messages, and maybe help board members build a consensus on important issues.
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