WORDS YOUR WAY BLOG
Sierra Club Case Study
Almost every American has heard of the Sierra Club, the environmental organization founded by John Muir. The Sierra Club leads hikes for nature lovers, operates educational programs for schools and communities, and advocates for conservation. The Sierra Club is a 501(c)4 nonprofit that engages in political advocacy and therefore is not tax-exempt. It has 65 chapters and 400+ groups. The Sierra Club Foundation is a 501(c)3, a tax-exempt public charity and the fiscal sponsor of the charitable programs of the Sierra Club and other organizations. The Sierra Club’s communications challenge is to explain its vast portfolio of activities to audiences with fundamentally different motivations — activists, idealists, and citizens who simply want to engage with the people and places around them. This requires that they produce multiple versions of collateral in different voices. My most recent project for the Sierra Club was a set of fact sheets that will be used as leave-behinds in fundraising conversations. Development officers will use them to inspire high-net-worth donors to contribute to potentially game-changing projects.
Barbara Ruth Saunders is a writer, editor, and writing coach.