Month: September 2010

  • Will they think you’re incompetent if you say you need help?

    Good question over at Jonathon Grapsas’ blog: Need v incompetence? Will people think your organization is inept when your message to them is We really need your help? Jonathan suggests a few ways to avoid the problem: Ask when you need the money, stop and feedback in between. Find the right times to show off…

  • What makes a Stupid Nonprofit Ad stupid?

    A popular ongoing series on this blog, Stupid Nonprofit Ads, tends to generate a lot of controversy. More then one commentator has correctly pointed out that I don’t have response data on these ads, and quite properly asked how I can label them “stupid” when I don’t know whether or not they actually worked. If…

  • Two kinds of fundraising

    Here’s good advice from Guerrilla Marketing for Nonprofits: Me Marketing vs. You Marketing. Fundraising that focuses on the organization (and seldom works is “Me Marketing.” The kind that works focuses on the donor: “You Marketing.” You do it like this: Put the people you want to reach into the picture and they will pay much…

  • What happened in the first year

    Yesterday, September 26, marked the one-year anniversary of this blog. I realize that’s not important to you, so I hope you find something interesting in these first-year facts: There have been 253 posts in the last year. The very first post: When will the future start?. The most-read post: 5 ways to know if a…

  • Don’t try to start lame conversations in social media

    Do you see companies and nonprofits trying too hard to hang out with the cool kids on Facebook? It’s embarrassing. Mission Paradox Blog noticed it too, and reports at Fake Community about hearing the following on the radio: Join the VISA Pre-Paid Debit Card Conversation on Facebook. Really. Imagine someone with a perfectly straight face…

  • The 100-day countdown starts today

    January 1, 2011, is 100 days away. If you haven’t been counting, now is a good time to start. There are now 100 days until the first Baby Boomers turn 65. And starting that day, the Boomers just keep pouring into 65-hood every single day for the next 18 years. This is a big deal…

  • You have to fail if you want to succeed

    How much energy does your organization put into avoiding (and punishing) failure? Probably too much. Successful organizations — the ones that figure out new things and grow when others are shrinking — Celebrate Failure as described at the Leadership Freak blog: Celebrating failure creates environments where people dare to try. If all you do is…

  • Giving is about feeling good

    Lori Jacobwith’s blog reports on a comment Seth Godin made about fundraising: Feeling good is what nonprofits sell. His comment was helpful. Here’s part of it: Transactions pull people apart. Gifts pull people together. What may hold a staff back is the inability to relate authentically to the person who gets asked for money every…

  • Print ad unplugs a flood of nonprofit stupidity

    Leave it to an ad agency to make sure nobody knows what you’re talking about, even when you’re talking about something everybody knows about. You only need look at the agency’s homepage to see that abstract, incompetent messaging was inevitable for this project. The winner they came up with is a nearly full-page newspaper print…

  • The Slow and Boring Path

    Here’s my column in this month’s FundRaising Success magazine, The Slow and Boring Path. Teaser: “When you faithfully walk the slow and boring path, you increase your chances for exciting breakthroughs. The slow and boring path puts you in fertile situations where you can take advantage of rare opportunities.”