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Maybe it’s because I read some tech-leaning blogs but in recent years I’ve come across the terms user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design more frequently. These terms are often discussed in relation to usability of websites, apps and other software.

When I saw this blog post by Jakob Nielsen, !0 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design, it struck me that so much of fundraising is about managing the “user” experience. Even though his original post is almost 20 years old, it still has relevant applications to much more than just software.

So here is my list of fundraising analogies for each of Nielsen’s 10 heuristics:

 

1. Visibility of system status

Send donation acknowledgments within 48 hours. It’s mind-boggling that so many organizations still don’t do this at all much less in a timely fashion.

 

2. Match between system and real world

Are you asking people to make fiscal year-end gifts? Most donors don’t think that way and have no idea what you are talking about or why it’s important. Give folks another compelling reason to donate because this one ain’t.

 

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Highfaluting words and long sentences make Papa cry

Ernest Hemingway's spare, concise and uncomplicated writing style packed quite a punch. The man himself departed this world more than 50 years ago but that doesn't mean you can't have him as a writing coach. Paste your text into the online app Hemingway and you'll get some tips for improvement.

For an alternative quick and dirty test, try The Readability Test Tool. You can check web pages by URL or paste in your text.


It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?” - Winnie the Pooh


Design Trend: The World is Flat

Over the last year the graphics on the user interfaces (UI) for apps, web, as well as on your smartphone has been updated to a style call flat design. In the past, UI graphics have used bevels, shadows and textures for a skeuomorphic effect  - a look that is now a little dated.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_wts_logo_220.pngNeed another revenue source for your nonprofit? You might take a look at WebThriftStore where you can set up an online thrift store where people can donate goods to sell on your behalf (they get a tax receipt) or look for bargains that support your cause. WebThriftStore >


9 Fundraising Lessons From the World’s Weirdest Charity Stunts >

Fair warning: Some of these might make your eyes bug out.


b2ap3_thumbnail_quote.gifI love infographics. They can be an effective way to impart a lot information in a concise way but some are better than others. The Secrets Of A Memorable Infographic >

Need to whip up an infographic for your next board meeting or presentation? Here are some free tips & PPT templates >

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