Are You Numbing or Inspiring Potential Supporters?

Are the copy and images in your nonprofit marketing materials drugging readers into ignoring you and your issue entirely? It’s a process called narcotization. Here’s how it works. People were shown pictures of gum disease. One group saw photos of a mouth just a little rotten. The second saw photos of moderately rotten gums. The…

Why I Don’t Write Grant Applications or Direct Appeals

Jeff Brooks at Donor Power Blog is looking for posts on what’s good or bad about fundraising for next week’s Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants. Here’s what’s bad about fundraising from my perspective as a nonprofit marketing and communications consultant. These are the three reasons that I nearly always turn down requests to write grant applications…

Can You Be Mainstream and Edgy at the Same Time?

I really enjoyed Marc Sirkin’s recent post on the differences between “radical attention hogs” and “platform players,” which he presents as a take of the difference between causes and organizations. He argues that as a nonprofit becomes more established, it will naturally lose its edge. I agree that this path is true for most organizations,…

How Nonprofits Can Use Video – This Week’s Carnival

Nancy Schwartz at Getting Attention has posted another stellar edition of the Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants, this time on how nonprofits can use online video to strengthen their marketing impact. It’s loaded with great examples, how-tos, and pitfalls — a must-read for anyone considering how to use video to promote a nonprofit cause. Next week…

Annual Report Show-Down: Who Is More Convincing?

As I was looking over annual reports from environmental groups this week, I noticed that both Environmental Defense (ED) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) claimed that they were largely responsible for getting California’s law on global warming passed. Now, I really have no idea who did what or how much, and I am…

10 Ways to Use Storytelling in Your Nonprofit

Storytelling is all the rage in the marketing world these days, because it works. Examples are everywhere in commercial advertising. Samuel Adams commercials feature real employees and customers talking about beer. Those Geico commercials (not the ones with the gecko or the cavemen) feature customers and celebrities telling real stories. The UPS ad executive at…