What to work on before you work on your tagline

The Flat Earth Direct blog says taglines suck.

I wouldn’t go exactly that far. Even a bad tagline is unlikely to do a lot of damage.

But here’s the way taglines suck: They can suck up time and energy:

Don’t get fixated on encapsulating your next fundraising appeal or project on a few catchy words. It can become distracting and all consuming, putting aside the real issue at hand.

I’ve seen too many fundraising campaigns with really cool, creative taglines bite the dust. Because taglines have so little power.

Fundraising isn’t done by slogans.

It’s done by calling donors to specific, exciting, action.

It’s not easy to craft a strong fundraising offer. It takes time, creativity, knowledge, and energy.

If you’re all excited about your tagline, go ahead with it.

But the real work, the work that will motivate your donors to give — that’s the call to action. Put your energy there.


Comments

2 responses to “What to work on before you work on your tagline”

  1. Linda Lapp Avatar

    How taglines have helped me with clients who have a logo that has no power or doesn’t reflect their true mission….and refuse to change is:
    1. talk them in to a better tag line (since they’ve paid a zillion $ for the new logo, approved by committee)
    2. take the tagline and via art or placement make the tagline more prominent than the weak logo.

  2. Linda Lapp Avatar

    How taglines have helped me with clients who have a logo that has no power or doesn’t reflect their true mission….and refuse to change is:
    1. talk them in to a better tag line (since they’ve paid a zillion $ for the new logo, approved by committee)
    2. take the tagline and via art or placement make the tagline more prominent than the weak logo.

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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