Tag Archives: nonprofit jargon

Say What?

My wife Pat is one of the best-informed people I know. She’s a university professor, a voracious reader, and a deep and nuanced thinker. Her vocabulary is vast. When we’re sitting and reading I inevitably ask her to clarify something I come across. My question might be about the court of King Henry VIII, or Greek philosophy, or simply a word that’s unfamiliar to me – and she always seems to know the answer. It’s like being married to a search engine. (And, yes, it’s true: she really was a contestant on “Jeopardy!”)

But a few years ago Pat got involved in a nonprofit community project funded by a foundation, and that work brought her into the unfamiliar world of nonprofit speak. Suddenly I was the mentor, and she was the student. Continue reading

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A Person in the Picture

My wife’s grandfather, a lovely and memorable man named Jim Nolan, had a simple rule for taking photographs: “Always put a person in the picture.”

A photo of Niagara Falls or the Eiffel Tower or the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens was okay by itself, but it was immeasurably enhanced, Grandpa Jim felt, when there was a family member or friend standing in front. Otherwise – who cared?

I think we should apply the same rule to how nonprofits describe their work. Continue reading

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