Around the Institute

The Elements of Style…in Advocacy and Philanthropy

August 31, 2012

We really love good writing. In fact, we’ve been known to write a thing or two about the topic in past newsletters. This week, we were just bowled over by Eric Newton’s July 2012 blog post on why clear writing matters in philanthropy. This piece hits the target beautifully: brief, direct and understandable writing benefits grantmakers and grantees alike; jargon and obfuscation do not. A very important lesson indeed.

It’s well known that Planned Parenthood invests in its advocacy capacity, especially when it comes to digital outreach. So we couldn’t help but be impressed by its latest online tactic—a quiz that educates and raises money. They’re taking advantage of Todd Akin’s [insert adjective here] comments on the female reproductive system to highlight the recent and long string of attacks on women’s health. We call it smart advocacy, with a good serving of wit.

Food for Thought
Earlier this year, APEP teamed up with some pretty smart people to write “Advocacy Evaluation: Challenges and Emerging Trends,” which is coming out in the September issue of Health Promotion Practice. In it, we tease out the major takeaways from our work over the years and propose a couple of strategies with great potential to help both evaluator and evaluatee. If you want a copy, shoot us an email (or reply to this one).