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“I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this.” - Emo Philips

We're only human. And as humans we're susceptible to faulty thinking that can derail a project, program, or process at any stage of the game. And no, you are not too smart to fall prey to it and neither am I. In fact, the smarter you are, the better you are at fooling yourself. There's an entire field of study around cognitive biases and the bad news is that they seem to be hard-wired into the human brain. It can be very, VERY, hard to avoid them but awareness, as they say, is the first step.

Here's a few I've seen (and been guilty of) in my nonprofit career:

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Back in the dark ages, before I joined the nonprofit sector, my work was in the graphic design/printing industry. Having a deep understanding of the production process is one skill that has served me, and my employers, very well ever since. Even if you are working with a graphic designer, being able to supply them with graphics that have the correct specs will save you time and money. For this tutorial, I'll cover using images and graphics in the most commonly used communications channels - web, email, presentations, and print.

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Ranked in order from serious to subversive.

Fundraising is the gentle art of teaching the joy of giving.

– Hank Rosso Image Source


A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds. – Francis Bacon 

He gives twice who gives promptly. – Publilius Syrus

Successful charitable fund-raising has much in common with managing a business: It requires leadership, persistence, and creativity. – David Rockefeller

Fundraising is very, very time-consuming. –  Arlen Specter

I would rather have it said, ‘He lived usefully,’ than, ‘He died rich.’  – Benjamin Franklin

Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try. – Dr. Seuss

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