Bullsh*t Bingo – Part 6

Only Jean Luc should use this word!

Only Jean Luc should use this word!

Another list of words and phrases to AVOID in your grants, proposals and donor communications. You’re very welcome!



As in, “we need a new narrative for our mission.”

Bleck! Don’t yuck-up a concept as simple as representing what you do with a good story. When I hear “narrative,” it sounds like tobacco lobbyists looking for a new way to market cigarettes. Speak plainly people. What we mean here is more like “telling the story of what we do.”



Please email me immediately if you know what this word means, because most people don’t have a clue. Try to avoid words that Try Too Hard. I know funders who would burn your grant application if they saw this kind of vocab.



I know what you’re thinking – this one’s not toooo bad. But come on. How often do you (un-ironically) use this word in your everyday speech? Exactly.

This is the schmoopy NGO word used when you want to talk about building relationships and involving people in what you do.

Alien example: “This event will help us engage our stakeholders.”

Human translation: “This event will help us build relationships with our supporters and community.”


Wondering what other words made the list? Take a trip through the archives!






Siobhan : )


About Siobhan Aspinall

About Siobhan Aspinall: I am a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), passionate about the environment, social causes and surfing. I have been fundraising in Vancouver, Canada for over 20 years and love working with people who have a fear of fundraising. Call me for help developing a first-time fundraising plan, starting up a major gifts program, writing a case for support, or anything else that's keeping you awake at night! Please find me on linkedin and tell me what you'd like to see in future posts! : ) Photo Credit (sanddollar header): Minette Layne via Compfight cc
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