Do you set up road blocks or push pass them?

“I can’t.” “They won’t let us.” “It’s too hard to push that issue.” I get it. It is frustrating to feel disempowered in your job. But — at the risk of sounding harsh — get over it. Doing a good job these days is much more than taking orders. It’s leading and pushing when necessary… Read more

Can Bad Fundraising Kill?

If you’re an American, you may have missed the $hitstorm that erupted in the UK recently over the suicide of a 92-year old poppy seller. It was alleged that incessant demands for money from charities drove her to take her own life. Whether or not oversolicitation killed poor Olive Cooke, the resulting brouhaha has laid… Read more

Fit in well or do something completely different

On the fashionable streets of NYC, there are two successful looks: – The people who fit into the scene really well. – The people who put together an ensemble so outrageous it just works. The people in between look confused. I think the same applies to non profit marketing. Are you going to fit into… Read more

Potty Talk: Make Your Story Stand Out

I decided to tell a story about someone who had to pee – really badly. Funny premise, right? And something we can all relate to, no doubt. But how can that be relevant to a client or issue? Hang with me a moment. I was with Mark and we were training a small group of… Read more

Do you speak Spock or Captain Kirk?

Spock is rational. He likes facts and figures. He weighs pros and cons and then makes the most logical decision. Spock is not human. Your donors are. If you speak to your donors like Spock, you are not speaking their language. Emotional, cognitive and social factors influence human behavior more than reason does. So next time… Read more

How Important is Your Unique Value Proposition?

In the world of consultant-speak, we have always held the unique value proposition (UVP) as one of the few bits of branding “conventional wisdom” that actually matters. We’re starting to change our minds. We have long held that mission, vision and values statements tend to be useless bs. But we’ve always adhered to the view… Read more

How great ideas get shot down

You’ve had one. A great idea. You’ve stewed on it. You’ve gotten excited about it. You’ve garnered up the will to pitch it to someone. Immediately, it gets shot down. “That won’t work.” “We’ve tried it before.” “It’s too out there.” “[Insert name here] won’t approve.” Of course, the opposite reaction is just as troubling.… Read more