Lessons for Your Nonprofit from Beyonce

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Now that the world has calmed down after Beyoncé’s surprise drop of “Lemonade”, we can discuss the beautiful lessons she taught all of us about how our nonprofits and businesses, could be so much better.

 

Say what you will about her past, but no one can deny that the content on this most recent album is raw. It’s real. It’s not about dancing and partying and hanging out with your man. It’s full of language that addresses real life issues: Infidelity and betrayal. Insecurity and “haters”. Cultural and racial history and how it all plays out in today’s world.

 

So how can we apply Bey’s album drop to our businesses?

 

“I grind till I own it.” There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Beyoncé works harder in a week than most work in their entire lives. And in her first single from the album, “Formation”, she talks about embracing who you are, where you come from, but managing to rise above whatever tries to bring you down and keep “slaying”. In short – work hard until you get there…and then work harder. As the coffee mug says, there are the same amount of hours in Beyoncé’s day as yours.

 

Be vulnerable. The Jay-Z memes that followed this album release were all pretty hilarious. And though Beyoncé took vulnerability to a whole other level, she drew attention to her own marital struggles and the daily racist and sexist ridicule that she, and so many others, experiences regularly. It’s not realistic to always have things going great. And sometimes your audience just wants to know that you’re human. That your mission isn’t perfect. And that with the right amount of “grind”, everything will get there.

Pick the right people to help you. One of the most fascinating things about Beyoncé’s last two album drops is that you heard NOTHING about them beforehand and then BOOM – ridiculously produced, amazing album, complete with visuals. In a world that is so unbelievably connected and where leaks like these could probably buy the normal human an island in the Caribbean, these stay quiet. Sure, part of this is because, seriously, who would mess with Beyoncé? But the truth is, there’s something special about the people that work for her.

Do something totally weird and different. While most artists go the route of leaking their albums to generate hype, Beyoncé goes in the total opposite direction. And though this isn’t the first time she’s done one, and she’s certainly not the only one who has, she created something that only Beyoncé could create. Embrace weird, just-crazy-enough-to-work ideas and strive to stand out in your industry.

Have you checked out “Lemonade”? Tell us what you think in the comments!

About author

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Kadi McDonald

No matter where she's worked, Kadi has successfully evaluated deep-rooted communications challenges and developed a plan to improve and simplify for the audience. She has shifted her professional life to one that allows her the flexibility and time to be dedicated to her passion projects. She develops and manages social media strategies for nonprofits, writes articles and blogs for a wide variety of clients and audiences, and consults on small marketing and branding projects for all types of businesses. She is a storyteller by nature and thrives in environments that crave authenticity and transparency. She works with multiple nonprofit organizations whose missions surround the ideas of community, compassion, service, and equality for all.