Pet Rocks

Please join us in observing a moment of compassion for the digital directors and fundraisers who, as we speak, are being summoned into CEO suites and ordered to come up with something as successful as the ice bucket challenge. History is unambiguous on this: There will be a million imitators and none will succeed. But… Read more

Are you on a hamster wheel?

Hamster wheels get you nowhere. You scramble and you scramble, and you end up in the same place. Many non profits I encounter are on that hamster wheel. The reason? They lack clear strategic objectives on how to reach their fundraising goals. They run that wheel ragged trying to hit their goal. But they essentially… Read more

Is Boring the New Black?

“Let’s do something really innovative,” is the battle cry of many a digital pro. Run that phrase through Google Translate and what you’ll get back is “let’s build something no one will use.” There is almost always a dramatic inverse relationship between coolness and usability. Coolness makes designers and digital directors and sometimes EDs happy.… Read more

Your brand is not someone’s passion

There’s a lot of bullshit talk in digital marketing and engagement — even in the social good space. Ad man Bob Hoffman defines and decodes bullshit at Advertising Week Europe: “Bullshit is different from lying. Lyings is willful. When you lie, you know what the truth is but you intentionally misrepresent it. In a way,… Read more

Mine’s Bigger

Who knew there’s a new giving index in town? I sure didn’t, until I read this post by Roger Craver, whom I am proud to count as a marketing mentor. It’s called The Atlas of Giving, and it’s designed to give the Giving USA people a run for their money (pun intended). My first impression… Read more

A cautionary tale from Disney for non profits: What do you stand for?

This Disney cautionary tale is one all non profits should heed. (Thanks to Roy Williams for the reminder). Michael Eisner came to Disney in 1984. He initially made Disney extraordinarily profitable at a time when competitors were stumbling. His strategy? Turn Disney’s greatest movie treasures into direct to video sequels of old classics like Cinderella. Did you ever… Read more

Consulting BS Decoded

There are two schools of consulting, both alive and well. The “Bamboozle them with Bullshit” school uses highfalutin fuzzy language to instill the notion that you are dumb, they are smart, and you need them in order to succeed. The Bamboozle school relies heavily on having its own vocabulary, which weaves wishful thinking, common sense, and… Read more

Exercise: Are you tired of talk and no results?

I like action. But in the non profit world, there’s a lot of talk. Turning that talk and theory into actionable outcomes is a challenge. But there’s a simple tool we can use to meet that challenge. I learned what leadership guru Robert Gass calls “The Fantastic POP” during Art of Leadership several years ago. It’s… Read more