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14 Irritating Jargon Phrases, and Awesome New Clichés You Should Use Instead

Hi everyone. I’m trying to focus more on positive or just lighter stuff on this blog for the next few weeks, but people really need help in Mexico and Puerto Rico, so please click on those links and donate.

We’ve examined irritating jargon in two previous posts (“21 irritating jargon phrases ...” and “17 irritating jargon phrases ...”), but when all the rhubarb is harvested, there are still more. So here’s some more jargon, and new clichés to replace them with. Thanks to the NAF Facebook community and other colleagues for the suggestions, some of which are jargon, some just cliches. We’ll save for last the most annoying jargon we all use, but otherwise, these are in no particular order.


Foundations Call on Themselves to Get Better

The following article is cross-posted from Alliance magazine blog. Based out of the UK, Alliance magazine is the leading global magazine on philanthropy and social investment.

Last month, the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), engaged by the Skoll Foundation, and working together with a Steering Group composed of the Porticus, Ford, and Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, published a report looking at funder behaviour from a grantee perspective.


GuideStar Adds First Wave of Form Year 2016 Nonprofit Data!

At GuideStar we generally talk about nonprofit data in terms of fiscal year. But our users—seeing the form year in the upper corner of the 990—often ask us, “What’s the difference between fiscal year and form year?”


6 Tech Tools That Attract Lots and Lots of New Members

From my work with hundreds of nonprofits over the past few years, there are a couple of key trends that have stood out to me. 


California Wildfire Recovery

Since Sunday, wildfires have raged in California. At least 29 people have died, thousands have lost their homes, and entire communities have been devastated.

We have a few suggestions for how you can help rescue and recovery efforts.


Why Data Sharing Matters for Your Nonprofit

For nonprofits, data can be an invaluable asset—or it can be a huge question mark. How can nonprofits truly help people when they don’t know exactly who needs help—or how best to go about it? That’s what data does; it fills in the blanks so that organizations can make informed decisions about policy, programs, and progress.


Five Fails You Need to Make to Be a Strong Nonprofit

Most of us are afraid of failure.

And with good reason! Failure as a nonprofit leader can have massive repercussions, impacting the lives of thousands, if not millions, across the globe. And so we take every precaution to ensure that we don’t fail, keeping things small and avoiding risk.

But no matter how careful or how meticulous the plans, you are going to experience failure. And if you’re sitting there reading this and congratulating yourself on the fact you’ve never failed at anything, you’re doing something very, very wrong.


How to Measure Nonprofit Impact in 170 Countries (It’s Not What You Think!)

Photo from Isha Vidhya, first-place winner on GlobalGiving’s Top 10 Nonprofits Committed to Impact list

What would happen if you bridged two communities often overlooked in the international aid system? This is the goal that inspired two former World Bank employees to launch GlobalGiving in 2002. They wanted to connect individual donors—people whose gifts are often seen as too small to be meaningful—with local nonprofit organizations, whose impact has historically been all too easy to ignore because of their size or remoteness of their work.


5 Ways to Engage Volunteers Through Membership Programs

Volunteers and membership programs go hand in hand.

Think about it: membership programs are made up of dedicated constituents looking to make a difference in their communities through continued work alongside their favorite nonprofit organizations. Sound like another group of individuals we know and love?

Since these groups pair together so naturally, we thought we’d examine a few ways you can bolster volunteer engagement through your nonprofit membership program.


Hiring a Consultant? How to Be a Savvy Consumer

Do you need help?

Silly question ... who doesn’t?

As the gig economy expands, many nonprofits and businesses are turning to consultants and contractors to help with a variety of tasks, and to supplement staff capacity.