How the Big Boys Blow It

Newsflash – fundraising is hard. So hard that even a corporate behemoth like the New York Times can’t get it right. Here’s how they bungled a recent attempted gift: I have for years, read the Times’ “neediest cases” stories, which apparently have been going on for more than 100 years. Today, as I was looking… Read more

sometimes simple is not easy

We just completed a round of usability tests for a client, and i was reminded for the umpteenth time that the simpler approach works better 99.999% of the time. Put this placard in front of your computer and make it your strategy mantra: SIMPLICITY ALWAYS WINS It’s a mystery to me why we all have… Read more

Does your website suck?

Chances are it does. And the richer your non-profit, the higher likelihood you’ve screwed it up. Not because you are dumb. It’s mostly because of politics, the old horse designed be a committee effect. Vincent Flanders’ “WebPagesThatSuck” has been the gold standard of snarky wisdom on web design. This recent grand roundup of common and… Read more

best of the best

Check out the Webbys 2007 honorees in the category of activism. Very inspiring stuff. One can see the continuation of the “Kiva phenomenon” — permitting donors and activist to engage at a project level rather than interact with an institution. It raises both branding and fundraising challenges, but it is arguably the new reality.

just ask

Coincidence or welcome trend?  Emails came from PFAW, SoJo and moveon this week soliciting list members’ views on a variety of things.  Notably, Sojo is recruiting people willing to be surveyed regularly.  Major props. If there is a scenario where you can ask your list members to weigh in too much, I havent seen it.

your website sucks — and it’s killing you

Stanford Social Innovation Review reports on a study showing that clear, compelling and usable non-profit websites have a powerful effect on how visitors perceive you.  If ever there was a case for serious usability testing — folks this is it. Thanks to Julie H for the heads up on this…

breaking the silence

Usability uber-guru Jakob Nielsen published this fabulous short paper on the tendency of a vast majority of visitors to blogs and social websites to lurk rather than participate.  The paper offers practical tips for drawing folks out and spurring more and better participation.