General fundraising: February 2011 Archives

February 17, 2011

Know What You Want to Say Before You Write

pen and paper.jpgThat title is actually one of my cardinal rules for writing, whether we're talking about a nonprofit grant proposal, a book, or a letter to Mom. When I'm having trouble putting words on the page, a little looking inward often reveals that the real problem isn't in the writing process, it's in the thought process. In other words, I don't really know what I'm trying to say.

So it was nice to see an articulate reminder of and expansion on that topic, by Rebecca Leet, as guest blogger for Nancy Schwartz's Getting Attention blog, with her article, "Can't write the message? Maybe it's not your fault."

Rebecca addresses the added complexity of trying to get all the key players in an organization united around its core message -- no small challenge, with fundamental issues at stake!
February 10, 2011

The Groupon Super Bowl Oops

Little did I know that the REALLY Big News from the Big Game would not be the lack of Pepsi ads (as I discussed in my last blog), but the misguided Groupon ads. By now, you've probably seen them twelve times over, but if not, here's where to view their oddly combined, wannabe satirical melding of real causes and flippant consumerist appeals to "Save the Money."

It's a sad tale, because humor invariably involves risk. When someone tries to be funnyChicken Feathered.jpg and fails, it makes the rest of the world --particularly the nonprofit fundraising world, which is already prone to an excess of seriousness -- chicken out (with all due respect to the chicken) and stick to the tearjerker appeals, which can be real yawners.

When done right, humor is a great way to make donors smile -- and then give. But how to do it right? Here's a helpful article, "When Humor Can Be Very Effective in Fundraising Marketing Campaigns," by MP Mueller, for the Association of Fundraising Professionals.