I told you I wasn’t done with this topic yet – hooray! The first three words on this list are truly heinous, while the last two are really more like victims of their times. All of them burn my toast ‘til it’s black…
1. Appetite: I know what you’re thinking…”eating disorder!” No! It’s not the foodie usage that I loathe. It’s when someone’s deep into the corporate-speak and says something to a funder like: “does your foundation have an appetite for this issue?” Yarg! Tell me there isn’t a happy medium between that phrase and saying “does this issue blow your skirt up?” There must be something.
2. Resonate: What’s there to love about this word? It’s kind of like “appetite” above. I’ll give you a toonie to avoid it forever, unless you really are talking about producing a deep, full, reverberating sound (thank you Random Google Definition).
3.Remiss: Ahhh, reminds me of the olden days when I’d sit around with my then-major gifts boss. This one’s used when you are telling a donor, who already gave a gift, about the Way Better Project you have now. So you acknowledge that she’s already given, but then say “it would be remiss of me not to tell you about this other opportunity too.” Sometimes that is the absolute truth! But mostly I think we need to never say that word.
4. Non-profit: “Holy Hannah!” I hear you thinking, “But she works in the non-profit sector!” Yes I know, but what kind of message does this word really send? It starts off with a negative, with an apology, with lameness. You’d never know this ill-named sector brings in billions of dollars and employs zillions of people – all to do good! Dan Pallotta says it best in his latest book Charity Case. Don’t be frightened by the photo on his site, he knows what he’s talking about. Why not say “social sector” instead? People will know you’re not talking about a cotillion.
5. Strategic plan: Definitely a victim of its times. Strat plans are necessary and, on rare occasions, useful, but we all curl up and die when we hear the phrase. See for yourself on BCDCidea’s cute video Sh*t Nonprofit People Say.
There will be more words later. Bingo out.