Jargon & Gargoyles: How to Not Bore Your Donors to Death

This post goes write to the heart of the matter. Simply written and very effective. All the credit to Paul Jolly @ Jump Start Growth, Inc.

GuideStar Blog

Do you use non profit jargon when talking to your donors?

I recently asked the new executive director of a small international social justice organization why he wanted to raise money.

“So we can hire more staff,” he said.

“Good,” I responded.  “Why?”

“So they can help raise money,” he said.  He quickly recognized the circular logic.  So he tried again.  “To do advocacy, writing, networking, and organizing,” he said.

A wise friend of mine once said if you ask “Why?” five times, you will get to the real heart of the matter.  So I probed.

“In Haiti, for instance,” he said, “our reforestation program is very popular.  We have many schools involved in replanting areas that have been deforested.  But the students have to walk for hours to get to the nursery that grows the seedlings.  If we have more resources, those kids will be able to have nurseries…

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