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

Rage is Sexy

Rage is all the rage. There of course many good reasons to be feeling rage. How can you not feel it on behalf of members of our society who have been oppressed, bullied, attacked, ignored or left behind? How can you not feel it in light of the outbursts of pure unadulterated hate blooming around… 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

What’s your North Star?

We’re in scary, murky territory right now. When things are this uncertain, it’s important to ask yourself – what are your personal core principles. What’s your true North. For Alia and me, it’s love and kindness, qualities that seem in desperately short supply. What’s yours?

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

Last Time It Took an Asteroid

Welcome to the Anthropocene. For those of you who retain some parochial vanity about being human, here’s a new badge of honor. We have so transformed the face of our planet (and not in a good way) that geologists have declared a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene. One of the defining features of this epoch is… Read more