Institute for Charitable Giving

blue rule

Use the Right Words

blue rule

Recently, I saw an article by Benjamin R. Case. Ben is President of Case Consulting Services.

He was making a strong argument, as professionals, for using the right word. He says that professionals are sometimes guilty of using, for instance, the word use. “I want to use him to help me get a visit with a prospect.”

Ben says how much better it would be if we used the word engage. Or involve. He makes the case that we don’t “use” people.

Here are some other words that I prefer we not use.

  • I’m going to hit him up for his gift (I prefer: I am going to ask him to join us in a great cause
  • Suspect (I prefer: possible donor)
  • Prospect (I prefer: probable donor)
  • I’m going to pitch her for . . . (I am going to ask her for . . . )
  • Low hanging fruit (I prefer: most likely donors)
  • Major Gift Officer (I prefer: Financial Advisor, or Donor Relations, or a dozen other possibilities
  • Vice President for Development (I prefer: Vice President for Philanthropy)
  • I am going to train our staff . . . (You train dogs!  I am going to coach our staff . . . )

If you have anything to add, let me hear from you. Email me here.


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