Category Archives: Social Responsibility

Nonprofit thank you notes get creative and strategic

I, like many people, do my share of year-end giving to my favorite nonprofits in December. Of course, December and January are usually super-busy times of year for folks who process all of those donations!

I was pleased to receive some very grateful and thoughtful thank you notes from the organizations I supported. I wanted to share one specific letter that stood out. It comes from my local food bank, the Alameda County Community Food Bank, to be exact. You can see a copy of it below:

CCF01252016_0004It starts out expressing gratitude and welcoming me to their community, and goes on to briefly  explain what my contribution will do.

Notice that it has a large photo of a child in the upper-right corner and the letter talks a bit about her, a representative of their clients.

This one-pager is short, simple, sweet, and to the point. It also lists the tax ID number at the bottom, as well as the address and affiliations.

That’s all pretty standard best practice.

The most interesting part was the PS and the insert that came with it. Continue reading

UN COP21

2015 UN Conference on Climate Change : Are They ‘Writing to Make a Difference’?

I wish I could go to the UN Climate Summit in Paris, but I have to watch from the sidelines here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

A full 196 signatories (195 states and the European Union) are set to negotiate a treaty to limit global warming and deal with climate change’s effects worldwide (as of 2020). This meeting is supposed to be the big one: the one that will turn the tide toward a real global agreement. Emissions targets, climate change adaptations, financial pledges, etc. will all figure into the document.

Throngs of activists from all around the world are also chiming in.

Will it all be effective?  It had better be. But that remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, some great press coverage is coming out of The Guardian (UK) and Democracy Now!, to name a few sources. I am also part of the Paris Rapid Response team at 350.org (an easy way to plug into the action).

And since our focus is on writing and the power of language, I have to share this article from The Guardian on the competing metaphors used by heads of state in their speeches to open the conference. The phrases included: Continue reading

gratitude-girl

A few thoughts during this season of gratitude, peace, and generosity …

Every year at this time I do a special reflection on the abundance of things in my life I am grateful for.

The list is long, and spans from the physical (health, food) to the social (family, friends, colleagues), to the mental, emotional, spiritual, and entrepreneurial. The people I get to work with every day — talented changemakers in a wide variety of fields, professions, and specialties — round out the list.

I also have been thinking about the refugee crisis our world is facing at this moment in history. The bottom line seems to be that we are all part of a human family; if we can’t accept refugees and migrants fleeing from hardship, what have we become?

I come from immigrant stock myself (my father is a Persian Jew and my mother’s parents come from Jewish communities in Eastern Europe). I am eternally grateful that we are safe, supported, and able to pursue our dreams in this country. (Unfortunately, that cannot be said for all of my country men and women but it is true for many.) Continue reading

ducks-in-a-row

Webinar Recording: Getting All Your Ducks in a Row: How to Plan for Grant Proposal Success

Did you miss the webinar on August 26, titled “Getting All Your Ducks in a Row: How to Plan for Grant Proposal Success”?

You’re in luck! The recording is available now for only $9.99.

As a grant professional, you should never have to worry about being unprepared for a grant proposal, grant report, or conversation with a grantmaker. In this webinar we will discuss the planning you’ll need to do to make sure you’re ready to take on the world. This session is designed to give you the tools you need to get started right away, and is ideal for grantwriters and fundraising managers.

TAKEAWAYS:

– The 5 pieces of information you absolutely need when planning a funding proposal
– How to use those plans to shape a full proposal template
– How you can prepare your proposal to make grant reporting a snap

SPECIAL FEATURE: We engaged in a brief role play between a participant (playing the ‘grantseeker’) and me (playing the ‘grantmaker’). You’ll get to hear the conversation and the debriefing. Continue reading

SPECIAL OFFER: complimentary strategy session to propel your ‘inner writer’

phoneYou may know that I offer interactive training and presentations to groups and conferences (in person and online). You may know that as an editor, I add a professional polish to grant proposals, website content, strategic plans, speeches, and even books and e-books.

But did you know that I am also a writing coach for social sector executives and staff?

You may be frustrated that, despite your best efforts, you’re stuck in old writing habits that hold you back. You may feel like your documents are full of great ideas, but they often get ignored or sidelined. Are those the results you want?

I didn’t think so.

Let’s schedule a complimentary strategy session to discuss where you are now as a writer, and what it would take to get you where you want to go. A little supportive personal attention and expert feedback might be all you need. Of course, our conversations are confidential.

A few recent coaching clients had this to say: Continue reading