The Curse of Meh

Most of our clients want it both ways. They want to be loved fiercely by many and disliked by none. But it doesn’t work that way. Sadly, given the choice between being controversial and being boring, most organizations opt for the latter. That comes at a price. We’ve seen again and again that the organizations mostread more

The Technology Hype Cycle: Your ED Must See This

What’s next? What’s trending? What’s innovative? We all want to be forward thinkers — leveraging the shiniest, newest technologies.  But sometimes hype is just hype — and a waste of time and investment — at least for a while until that technology has proven itself. That’s why I love Gartner’s Technology Hype Cycle. It helps makeread more

Worst Metric Ever (rerun)

[This was originally posted several weeks ago. For some reason, the link to the original post is broken and fixing it is beyond my meager web skills. Since there were more than a couple requests for the post, it is reproduced here.] Alia and I recently had the pleasure of spending a few days with 120read more

Pare it back

We all want to do it all. But it’s impossible to do it all well. One of the biggest mistakes I see in non profits is trying to do too many things at once. The outcome? None of those initiatives are fully staffed, fully formed, fully executed. It’s like starting a thousand spinning tops withread more

The Ali-baba Fantasy, Continued

I have railed in the past about the progressive world’s stubborn over-reliance on messaging, framing and other games with words in our efforts to persuade and inspire behavior change. In a fantasy world in which the human population was made up entirely of disembodied left brain hemispheres, that might just work. In the real worldread more

Who are you building it for?

There is no shortage of ideas. Let’s promote a $50 per month membership. Let’s build a platform where activists can find and engage in direct action opportunities. Let’s develop a new campaign to bring more young people into our movement. Ideas abound. But research-backed ideas…those are few and far between. Before you build it, who areread more

Fundraising by Wire

A long, long time ago I was a guinea pig in a flight training experiment. The idea was teach budding pilots – I was 17 at the time – to fly first by learning to read the instruments – the altimeter, compass, airspeed indicator, artificial horizon, and navigational beacons. So I wore this hood whichread more

An OB-GYN taught me this about fundraising

Talking to an OB-GYN is usually not something I look forward to. It typically involves stirrups and some forced conversation in an uncomfortable position. But last week was different. During a storytelling training Mark and I led in San Antonio, an OB-GYN reminded me of one of the essential ingredients to fundraising — and buildingread more