Using Fonts to Improve Your Image and Personalize Your Communications

In the fundraising world, the tasks are many and the days are long. We’re often reminded of the need to set priorities and be strategic amid the hailstorm of responsibilities that fall at our feet.

There’s no question that your organization’s high-level work should consume the bulk of your time and energy. But you should also devote some attention to quieter matters that nevertheless impact your organization’s brand. Typography falls into this category, as through it, you send subtle, subliminal messages about your organization’s professionalism, seriousness, and style. Moreover, with 80 million pieces of direct mail sent in 2016, and American workers spending 15 hours checking email each week, it’s essential for your communications to standout.

Below are a few tips for using typography to your organization’s benefit. Keep in mind that serif fonts are those that have lines stemming from the end strokes of a letter (e.g., Times New Roman), while sans serif fonts are those that do not (e.g., Arial). Read more

Objection!

That’s right: take objection to objections. In fact, make someone else’s strong challenge another way you prove your point. Kevan Kjar took us deep into the process of reframing objections in the September Spark Session, which you can view any time you wish, here.

Reassess your crisis communications plan

Are you ready for a real crisis to hit your organization? Have you thought about what you would do if your CEO were lost in a plane crash? What if someone on staff embezzled organizational funds? Or if you were deluged with accusations that you’re unfairly influenced by corporate interests, or Nazis – or both?

Welcome to the dark side.

Read more

June Spark Session: Crowdfunding – Making It Work

Sounds great: Unleash the power of art and artists to teach liberty and pro-freedom change. Host an all-day celebration of liberty, Arts and Minds in liberal Portland. Invite everyone to come, paint, party, and learn. Involve lots of organizations working to reform the creaky Oregon criminal justice system. Transform an ugly wall into a public […]

May Spark Session: SMS Demystified

Dan Beck, Txtwire founder and CEO, explains the ins and outs of short text messages sent to an audience that already knows your work and has asked to be informed. He defines why and when such texting boosts your communications reach, how to message for best effect, and when to transition from email to short messaging service (SMS).

Get right with copyrights, part 2

Sometimes it feels as if you can’t do anything without stealing some copyright owner’s material. Don’t worry, you can keep communications fresh, beautiful, and smart without becoming an intellectual pickpocket.

We’ve already considered whether it’s right to use someone else’s work without their agreement, how much wiggle room our organizations have, and what creative output is covered by copyright law. Let’s go more deeply into that last item and discuss how to go about communications legally and ethically.

Read more

Get right with copyrights

Right or wrong?

  • Since I work for a nonprofit, I can use anything “for educational purposes.”
  • I got it from a source of royalty-free images, so it’s safe to use.
  • I Photoshopped out a bunch of stuff, so now it’s my original work.
  • I Googled this quotation and attributed it, so no problem.
  • I rewrote it a little: now it’s my writing.
  • I’m just using replay material. It’s free to use.
  • I’ve only played 6 ½ seconds of sound. That’s too little for copyright protection.

Read more

Why Arts and Minds?

We’ve heard the stories. A single mom turns to drugs as she struggles to make ends meet. An abusive boyfriend comes along and she makes very bad choices. Caught and arrested, this mother faces a jail sentence, her children are consigned to a failing foster care system, and it gets worse when she’s paroled. Who will give her a job or rent her a dwelling? Would you rent to or employ an ex-felon?

A felony conviction in your background check means you fail.

Read more

Arts and Minds Dream Board

Visualize a successful Arts and Minds project this summer in Portland – community art activism for criminal justice reform.

Help us reach the Arts and Minds crowdfunding goal: $7,000. It’s all or nothing! Please ask your friends to join you as a Dream Board star.

Become a star and a dreamer. Support Arts and Minds.

A “Donor Stewardship” way of life

Envelope 1024X864pxI’m worried about Lenora. I haven’t heard from her in awhile, and I fear age has caught up with her. Last time she pledged, she wrote that she had reduced her giving level and might not be able to give anything at all in 2017. What I like least is that letters remain unresponded to (but not returned with the dreaded “deceased” notation), phone calls aren’t answered, and she doesn’t do email.

Read more