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True Story: I Took Out A City With My Words One Day

Words Are Power

Do you ever worry about how to best say what you’re thinking? Especially to your donors?  Remember–words are power.

A number of years ago, Sarah, my friend and coworker pulled me aside after a meeting to ask, “Did you mean to take out the entire city in that meeting?”

I gave her a blank look until she repeated back a few of my comments—what I meant to be honest and helpful sounded, well, pushy and like I was criticizing.

In raising money, engaging board members, building relationships, and frankly in just about any area of your life, communication is the key to success.

Unlock Your Word Power

In my work to support nonprofit professionals I divide communication into four key areas:

1.     Sharing Your Story: The picture you paint with your words

Being clear and bold while choosing emotionally connecting words is what makes your organization stand apart and cause people to take action.   

2.     Asking: Inviting support without feeling “asky”

The person being asked must feel welcome and compelled to support you. A good “asker” gets a “yes” often; a great asker rarely has to ask. Which are you?

3.     Maximizing Relationships: Staying relevant to the people who already support you.

No matter your audience, it is your job is to make them to feel great about their support. Words matter—you must choose inspiring language to deepen engagement and maximize relationships.

4.     Data Management: What story does your data tell?

It takes time to look at your data through charts or graphs and allow it to tell your story. Almost every decision about where to spend your time can be informed by your data.


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