Real Impact

I spoke some time ago about The Suddes Group’s thinking that we should call our organisations For Impact as opposed to Non Profit (read the article I wrote called Bad Launguage here). So I was interested to read earlier this week on the AFP Blog a piece by Enid Ablowitz talking about the same topic.

Ablowitz remarks that:

They used to be called charities………Now, some are suggesting calling them public-benefit corporations or public-benefit enterprises.

What I found really interesting was this:

(they) employ more than 9 million people and have a volunteer, unpaid workforce equivalent to nearly 14 million more

Albowitz asks:

  • What if they no longer existed? What would happen if people stopped giving and the nonprofit, non-government organizations were not able to do what they do?
  • What impact might that have on communities, society, or even global viability? How do these organizations affect our lives?
  • Imagine if government taxation was the only source of funding and there were no volunteers

Really great questions.

In a time when we are reading articles about how a recession is going to affect fundraising we need to remind ourselves and then our donors of the impact we have. We need to demonstrate our value and really make an impact

Read the full Ablowitz article here

12 Nonprofits Honored for Exceptional Taglines

You may remember I encouraged you to vote in the Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Awards. Well the voting has closed, votes tallyed and the results are in………….

Best-in-Class Taglines Selected by 3,000+ Nonprofit Professionals

Maplewood, NJ – Just because you’re a small nonprofit doesn’t mean you can’t have a powerful tagline for your organization, program or campaign. Those that play the branding game well are part of a growing trend of thriving organizations whose mottos help to build awareness of their value and put them squarely in audiences’ hearts, minds, schedules and wallets.

 “The winning taglines in the 2008 Nonprofit Tagline Award Competition emphasize how powerfully taglines can work as a first step in branding or as a highly-effective tool to refresh a nonprofit’s messaging, emphasize its commitment to its work and/or revive tired positioning,” says Nancy Schwartz, president of Nancy Schwartz & Company  and blogger at

The organizations behind the taglines-which range from a new organization run by a part-time volunteer (LandChoices) to the well established, big and global (UNICEF)-did a commendable job in putting a few select words to work to build their brands, Schwartz says.

The Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Awards program came about when so many powerful taglines were submitted to the recent Getting Attention survey on nonprofit taglines. More than 1,000 taglines were submitted as part of the survey. Survey findings, the entire list of submitted taglines and details on finalists and award winners will be featured in The Nonprofit Tagline Report, to be published in September.

The awards, to be conferred annually, represent the best taglines in all nonprofit sectors. After the 62 tagline finalists were carefully selected, the 12 award winners were chosen by 3,062 nonprofit professionals who voted in an online poll.

2008 Award Winners

  • Arts & Culture: Where Actors Find Their Space -NYC Theatre Spaces. This clearinghouse for NYC rehearsal and performance spaces uses a double entendre to go beyond a description of its services and highlight the value of its work.
  • Civic Benefit: Stand Up for a Child -CASA of Southwest Missouri. CASA’s tagline provokes anger, compassion and a desire to help, in just five words.
  • Education: Stay Close…Go Far. -East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. This simple yet distinctive tagline from East Stroudsburg cuts through the clutter. Its straightforward character mirrors that of the school.
  • Environment & Animals: Helping Preserve the Places You Cherish -LandChoice. LandChoices’ tagline thoroughly communicates the value of its work while evoking one’s most precious memories of walks in the woods, wildflower meadows and childhood camping trips. There’s a real emotional connection here.
  • Grantmaking: Make the most of your giving. -The Greater Cincinnati Foundation. This clear tagline articulates the value of the foundation for donors considering an alternative way to give.
  • Health & Sciences: Improving Life, One Breath at a Time -American Lung Association. This unexpected focus on the breath-a core element of life-gets attention, and understanding.
  • Human Services: When You Can’t Do It Alone -Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Sarasota-Manatee, Inc. This tagline tells the story succinctly and powerfully: It’s all about getting help when life becomes overwhelming. It makes a strong emotional connection.
  • International, Foreign Affairs & National Security: Whatever it takes to save a child -U.S. Fund for UNICEF. UNICEF engages hearts and minds with its passionate focus on helping children. Who could turn down a request for a donation?
  • Jobs & Workforce Development: All Building Starts With a Foundation -Building Future Builders. Voters enjoyed the word play here: It adds depth of understanding without being glib.
  • Religion & Spiritual Development: Grounded in tradition…Open to the Spirit -Memphis Theological Seminary (MTS). MTS conveys the two equally important halves of its values and curriculum in a way that makes you think about the connection.
  • Other
  • The Art of Active Aging -EngAGE. EngAGE surprises with the imagery of active aging and the use of the term “art” to describe the way it does its work.
  • Because facts matter. -Oregon Center for Public Policy (OCPP). This tagline introduces the nature of OCPP’s impact in Oregon and entices the reader or listener to find out more. Its value proposition-the truth-is particularly compelling at a time when facts are frequently disregarded in public debate.

The Nonprofit Tagline Survey

The Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Survey, implemented December 2007 through January 2008, investigated styles, usage trends, what’s working and what’s not in nonprofit taglines based on data provided by 1,900 nonprofit communicators working in organizations across 11 vertical sectors and countless locations (mostly in the United States).  Survey findings including the 1,000+ nonprofit taglines submitted will be available in The Nonprofit Tagline Report, to be published in September.


After writing about Every Click a while ago (read that post here) I was contacted by Veosearch and asked what I thought of their site.

Essentially its the same idea as Every Click, you use it as your search engine and every search generates ad revenue, 50% of the revenue in this case goes to the charity you chose (sustainable projects only)

I have to admit I never heard of Veosearch before now and the reason I spoke about Every Click is because they are every where, to the point where charities are now happy to put the Every Click logo on their website. Veosearch have a ways to go until they are at that point and in my book that is going to take investment on their part.

I think Every Click has engaged the fundraising community but they themselves have their work set out in encouraging people to change their search habits. I still automatically use Google, its what I do, its my home page, so for me (who works in the industry) I am going to need some convincing to change my habits.

I think this is the challenge both of these organisations face. Dont get me wrong I think it is great that these organisations are willing to give 50% of their revenue to charities.

To date Veosearch has almost 50,000 member, 763 charities and 26,387 pounds has been raised.

Anyway you can find out more about Veosearch here

World Aids Day creative ad

Paul Dervan posted about this last week and I thought it was worth sharing. For World Aids Day the Carpe Argus Paper used the numbers at the top of newspaper pages to illustrate stark statistics on AIDS. So for example, on page 6, they’ve written “6 million people in South Africa are living with HIV“.

Really clever use of space and a great piece of advertising.

Funding Point

Funding Point is up and running.

The site contains details about hundreds of funding schemes from government grants to trusts and corporate grants, including all the info you need to make the application.

Sounds great. And it is.

What annoyed me a bit was the fact that on the flier and any other information I saw about it thwere was nothing that said I had to pay for the service!!

I dont really mind, but it was being promoted as being funded by the Vodafone Foundation so it seemed like it was going to be a great portal of resources that we could all access, but you have to pay for it.

I will probably subscribe, but if anyone from the Wheel or Vodafone is reading, please make it a bit clearer on future communications that there is a fee.

A Great way to say thanks – Part 2

I know I keep going on about saying thanks and appreciation. Well its very important.

You may remember last week I wrote about a postcard I got from Temple Street and I thought it was a great way to say thanks (read that post here). There were some problems with it, the copy, the timing, it wasnt personalised, but overall I liked it/the idea of it.

I was interested then to read a post of Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications blog of something really similar.  Kivi got a thank you letter, again it seems the copy wasnt great, but what stood out was this image:


Kivi says that:

But this grabbed me nonetheless. Why?

In part, because it was so unexpected, but primarily because even though I have no idea what these people actually look like, I can see the center director Amanda, who signed the letter, sitting down at one of those little tables and asking Yoselyn to grab a crayon and draw this picture for me. I can see her asking the little girl what this is (as it might not be quite obvious to the untrained eye) and adding the title and signature to this masterpiece. They took a little extra time to personalize this letter in a way that only an agency that works with little kids can, and I only sent them $10! But you can bet they’ll get more out of me next time

Read the full post here

Do we really need charities?

This is a question the Intelligent Giving Blog asks. I won’t lie I got a fright when I saw it. They make the point that charities were mostly set up at a time when people needed a way to connect with those that required help. Therefore it made perfect senst for people to doante to an organisation in that field that could direct the money to those very people. But of course that means there is a middle man.

Intelligent Giving notes that now that there are more sophistacted means of donating, ie online,  and that there are a wide range of sites which allow people to give directly to those they want to benefit from the donation, cutting out the middle man (ie the charity).

So sites like Kiva, Globalgiving, and the Big Give all list projects or individuals that you can donate directly to. And therefore, with this development, Intelligent Giving asks, is there really a need for charities?

I think it is true that there will be, and should be, a shift. The more that funds can get directly to those in need the better, so if you give directly to a project and can cut out the middle man great. But I suppose the question needs to be asked, can we ever really cut out the middle man? Is there a risk that people will manipulate the system and funds will be directed to projects that arent “real causes”.

I dont think this is the end of charities!! So fret not. But I do agree with Intelligent Giving when they say that ….. they’ll (charities) need to work harder to show what they can do. Charities will need to argue their case strongly and be able to show that its just as important, or in fact maybe more important to give to them rather than directly through the likes of the sites above. Maybe it comes down to streamlining and dare I suggest merging??

Read the full article here