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A recent article on Future Fundraising Now from Jeff Brooks talks about "The high cost of jargon in fundraising." This had me start thinking about Constant Contact and how we use jargon. Walking around our support department you can hear representatives bring up topics like email clients, browsers, IP's, whitelisting, ISP's, HTML Code and so many more. These are the words we use, but not necessarily the ones our customers are using. Now take a moment to think about how you would talk to your colleague about donors, fundraising, and all things "non-profit." How many of those items that you thought of can be easily understood to your audience?
The word brought up in the article is "bequest." Your donors do not know what this word is, even if you might. Keep in mind if there is jargon that you use often with your donors, this is ok. Say for instance instead of calling them donors, you call them Advocates or Contributors. If you are using a term or phrase that is not widely known, then make sure to let your audience know.
What kind of jargon do you use with your donors? Have you changed some of your messages to be more donor-friendly? Or maybe you just want more information on some of the terms that I hear around the office, post a reply!