Predicting The Most Overused Nonprofit Buzzwords In 2016

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Every industry has its own set of overused, cliched buzzwords. You know, the phrases that make you cringe when you hear them. Synergy, and corporate culture being among the biggest offenders.

In sports, it’s 'light up the scoreboard', 'they’re on fire' or 'gym rat.' In fiction writing the phrases ‘avoid it like the plague’ and ‘every dog has its day’ should be avoided at all costs.
 Why? Because they've been used a million times, are original, and everyone's quite frankly sick of hearing them!

Fundraising and non-profits have their own phrases and words that have gradually lost their charms over time. Here are some of the top phrases for organizations to retire in 2015.

  1. Cloud-based software

    "Cloud-based software" was once "software as a service," which prior to that was "web-based software," sold by "application service providers." As technology changes, so do the terms, but remember to switch up how you phrase it once in awhile. While software in the cloud is the new best thing for organizations, having the phrase used over and over again gets wearing after a while. Drop the phrase only when necessary and try to find a less cliched way of getting your message across.

  2. Industry leading

    While many organizations like to throw around the phrase "industry leading," it’s impossible for each non-profit to be an industry leader. Honestly is the best policy when trying to connect with your volunteers, donors and customers, so if you are not actually leading your industry area, don’t claim to do so. Build up trust and a solid customer base instead so when you can eventually say you are an industry leader, you can say it unironically.

  3. Emarketing

    The era of “emarketing” has come to a close. It’s time for the “e” to go out the door. It no longer effectively summarizes the web of channels crafted for your non-profit as it once did. If you still want to label your channels as a singular conglomerate, call it “digital marketing” instead.

  4. Deep dive and Granular

    This pair is the final in the great editorial cliche clean out. Saying "take a deep dive into your data" or "get more granular" are overused and not as helpful as you might hope. The big-picture statistics are the sum of the little numbers, so it’s doubtful you can increase results by focusing specifically on the tiny details. Focus on retention rates and giving frequency; there's no need to "deep dive."


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