The Greatest Show on Earth…

Good Morning All and Welcome to another Tuesday!

The Greatest Show on Earth! In 1888, PT Barnum coined that moniker for his traveling circus which would eventually become the biggest moving circus in the world. His knack for showmanship, early forms of public relations and advertising pushed the limits and earned him the nickname “The Shakespeare of Advertising.” When it came to selling his product, PT Barnum knew how to do it and do it well!

How does that translate into our nonprofit businesses? It’s pretty plain. We must promote and sell our “product.” The nonprofit you start or are a part of needs to get to the word out. People must know about the great things you do and the people you help. How else will anyone want to donate time, talent or treasure to your cause?

I was in a consulting meeting yesterday with a yoga studio that offered services to drug addicts and homeless men/women.  It was such a great service being provided that helped with addiction and disease management. The problem was, I had never heard of it. And I am quite sure, a lot of other people had not heard of it either. She wasn’t selling nor promoting her valuable community service to those that needed to know…the community! She needed to add a little PT Barnum to her repertoire.

In today’s world of social media, internet searches and mobile devices, it’s much easier to promote our nonprofit. But we must be committed to doing it. The same with donations and volunteerism. No one will donate money to a cause they know nothing about. Update that website. Post pictures. Develop pre/post tests that capture qualitative/quantitative outcomes. Brag. Reach out. Tell your story. Become PT Barnum.

It’s one thing to have the Greatest Show on Earth. But if no one knows about it, no one will ever see it…


Keith Cradle



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