Brand building vs. direct marketing

I believe that non profits, by the nature of what we “sell,” should align our strategies with the brand building game, not the direct marketing game. Why? Here’s what Roy H. Williams had to say about the difference. (And here’s a link to the whole post): “Direct response marketers usually sell products that have a… Read more

Chaotic times call for smarter campaigning

The stakes just went up dramatically for all of us working on social change, so learning how to campaign effectively, manage resources wisely, and punch above our weight has never been more important. Mark and my close friend and colleague Jason Mogus will be leading a training to help social change agents learn how new… Read more

History flashback: Chain letters started out as charitable appeals

We’re all in the thick of year-end prep, so here’s a fun ‘Trivia” blog post to distract you for a few minutes. Did you know that missionaries started the “annoying” tradition of chain letters? In 1888, a Methodist women’s missionary group was having cash flow problems. They were $16,000 in debt after rehabbing their building.… Read more

Upend the drama triangle

Drama in the workplace is exhausting. And it’s one of the main reasons team initiatives falter. Work discussions are not just information exchanges. They are social exchanges, in which participants seek social goals, like acceptance, trust, status and power. Enter in the Drama Triangle — a framework created by psychotherapist Stephen Karpman. This simple tool… Read more

It’s a long game

A client just told me that a donor who has been giving small gifts each year for several years, just increased her support to six figures. Why? She said she received a thank you call from a volunteer. Investments in cultivation pay off.

Why now?

Every time you ask your donors for money, you need to have a good answer to the question, “Why now?” Because there’s a match deadline looming. Because we’re organizing 1,000 people to make Congressional office visits by next week. Because the UN is holding a conference on refugees and we’re helping advocate at the grass… Read more