Non-Profits: Why Not Try Humor to Share Your Message?


Sure it’s a world where great causes are often difficult, and deal with horrible issues like poverty, homelessness, or drug abuse.  As a result, most efforts at sharing the message of non-profits are deadly serious.  But more and more creative non-profit organizations are mining the virtues of humor in messaging, and it’s working.  Variety Magazine covered a “mockumentary” called “The Majestic Plastic Bag” produced for the Heal the Bay environmental group.  It’s fabulous.  Narrated by Jeremy Irons, it’s been a huge success with more than 100,000 views just in the first 5 days on YouTube.  To date, it’s been seen by nearly 2 million viewers.  Obviously we shouldn’t trivialize serious issues, but


How to Stage a Memorable Banquet

Banquet Table

I know, I know. I write on media, faith, and culture, but this time I have to speak out on a topic close to my heart (and stomach). If I have to attend one more poorly planned rubber chicken event for an organization’s fundraising, anniversary, or award, I’ll slice my wrists. Come on people, banquets can actually be fun, not the torture sessions we usually sit through. So if you have to plan an event in the near future, here’s some tips to keep in mind (if you don’t want me leaving early):


Is Your Brand Enriching Someone’s Life?


Looking out over the horizon, the hottest and fastest growing brands bring value to people’s lives. That’s why there’s a huge opportunity right now for brands that make a difference. Back in 2006, advertising legend Bob Greenberg said, “The real opportunity for brands now lives in finding ways to enrich lives.”  What about your product? It might be a


Advertising Isn’t Just About a Message Anymore


In today’s cluttered and distracted world, it takes more than a great message to get noticed.  Some researchers believe we’re being bombarded with as many as 5,000 media messages per day, so cutting through that massive clutter has become just as important as the message you’re trying to deliver.  As a result, advertising isn’t just about the message anymore.  It’s about


First Impressions Count

Your mom told you that “First impressions count.”  In the digital age, mom’s advice matters more than ever.  With today’s technology – email, instant messaging, Twitter, mobile phones, texts, and more, word travels fast, and first impressions matter.  In fact – and this is what I want you to remember – when it comes to fundraising and donor development, the way you first connect with a TV viewer, radio listener, supporter, or donor is the way they’ll expect you to connect from that point on.  In other words – reach them through email first, and they’ll expect that to continue.  Reach them through direct mail, the expectations are the same.  So give a lot of thought to how you want to start the conversation with potential donors, because they get used to it. 


How Should Churches, Ministries, and Non-Profits Respond to the Current Financial Dilemma?


Reading the newspaper or listening to the TV news makes it hard not to wonder about the economy. Some say it’s getting stronger, while others protest it’s in a serious crisis. It takes up the majority of the presidential candidates speech time, and it’s pretty much 24/7 on the cable news channels. Whatever is going on, it’s important that non-profits understand the connections between the economy and giving. There’s little empirical data out there on the issue, but experience is a good teacher, and you need some tools to work with as your consider your strategy for the coming months. Here are my thoughts on the current economic situation and how it could impact your organization. I would encourage you to meet with your team and make sure they understand these important principles:


Goodsearch – Help a Charity or Ministry Just by Searching the Internet


What if your favorite charity or ministry earned a penny every time you searched the Internet? GoodSearch is a new Yahoo-powered search engine that donates half its advertising revenue, about a penny per search, to the charities its users designate. Use it just as you would any search engine,