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

Make your “not to do” list

Choosing what NOT to do is almost as important as choosing what to do. I’ve seen so many clients overextend themselves and not reach their goals because they were distracted by extracurriculars. What are you not going to do this year? Answer these questions and see what rises to the top of your “not to… Read more

Who is your chief storyteller?

Who in your organization is responsible for telling your stories? Your Communications Director? Your Development Director? Your Digital Content Manager? Your Grant Writer? Storytelling is so central to donor engagement and brand building, there must clearly be someone in charge of it. This person doesn’t have to find all the stories — that’s the job… Read more

What a good hug can teach you about communications and fundraising

I love a good hug. Holding someone close and giving them a big squeeze says so much. It’s intimate. It’s connected. At it’s best, a one-on-one hug is a physical representation of our shared human experience. Group hugs are good too. Locking limbs with a group of friends and family is an expression of group… Read more

Move the boulder up the hill: 3 keys to integrated marketing

Why is integrated marketing so damn hard? Because it requires operating outside of traditional organizational silos —  communications, digital, programs, direct marketing, etc… All stakeholders must come together and meet their goals within a unified framework. Doing that is challenging, but it can be done! Here are three key ingredients from successful integrated marketing campaigns. Leadership.… Read more

Complaints are opportunities: Expletives deleted

Last week, a client received an expletive-laced email complaining about the quality of their premiums and the consistency of their delivery. The email author is a senior and wants to pass on the premiums to his grandchildren to encourage their interest in the cause. Expletives-aside, I was struck by how passionate the donor was about… Read more

Results they need to see

When you write fundraising copy for a living, you learn that the proof is always in the results. It used to irk me (now it just humors me) when non fundraisers talk philosophically about what messages will raise more money.  They love to bandy about terms like “theory of change” and “educate people about what… Read more