What You Say is Important, So Make Your Message Clear

In the non-profit, philanthropic, and government sectors, it is easy become engrossed in industry jargon.  Organizations and individuals in these fields understand one another when using jargon and there is comfort in this ‘short hand’ manner of communication.  What Advocacy & Communication Solutions (ACS) has seen over the years, however, is that those habits of using jargon internally among colleagues are rarely jettisoned when it comes to communicating to the outside world.  As a result, many organizations fall flat in their ability to clearly and effectively communicate even about simple concepts and issues.  “The Chronicle of Philanthropy” recently asked readers to share the jargon that bothered them most and the highlights are below. If some of these terms are familiar then take a shot at filling out the ACS’ tool to help you give jargon the boot in your daily communication. ACS has been told this is one of the toughest but most productive tools to help sharpen your communication skills and hone your message – without industry jargon.

Better partnerships or strategic partnerships Long frame analysis Sustainable/ scalable/ replicable
Leverage Deep dive Impact/ results/ outcomes/ outputs
Continuous improvement Synergy/ synthesize/ synergistically Promising practices or best practices
Collective impact Capacity building Innovative/ dynamic
Lapsed/ reactivated Funding Gift levels/ ask amounts/ ask ladders/ gift handles
Soft credit/ recognition credit Sound science Acronyms: WASH, MEAL, DRRM, LYBNT, SYBNT


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