Twitter is now my social medium of choice for professional stuff. I visit it multi-daily. Do I use Facebook? It’s creepy.

Tom Ahern

Twitter is now my social medium of choice for professional stuff. I visit it multi-daily.

LinkedIn? I visit every few weeks, if duty calls: because someone promoted an interesting article or research. I probably “accept” one new connection a day. I’m just over 2,300 connections now.

Facebook? These days? For me, it’s just a tool. Facebook has its uses, for sure. But Facebook got creepy. I don’t trust the company anymore. Read book(s). Saw movie. Follow news. The C-suite and governance are coming across as adult-wannabe’s … despite their flabbergasting wealth/power. Maybe they drank to delusion “the Kool-Aid”? (late-20th-century’s most sobering metaphor) Maybe Facebook believedall that testosterone-trumpeting about disruption and “changing everything”? Vandals don’t always understand that changing is not the same as “…changing for the better.”

Unintended consequences turn out to be why our planet now spins in anguish. Facebook never found time to look up the meaning of corporate responsibility. They clearly suffer at the leader level from low-emotional-intelligence … as well as a weed-common human cognitive bias known as overconfidence.

And yet all that said….

While I have lowered my expectations for Facebook as a force for good, I do realize: Facebook DOES what it DOES way better than anyone else … and sometimes a charity client needs exactly that.

So, you know what?

Yeah, whatever: all hail(ish) Facebook.

Credit where due: Facebook solved advertising’s biggest, oldest, most wasteful and costly problem ~ how to find exactly the right eyes to distract with sales messages.

At that essential marketing/sales/fundraising chore, Facebook stands alone. Facebook is incomparable at identifying the RIGHT EYES.

Hence, as a marketer specializing in fundraising, I’m happy to exploit Facebook’s “reach” and its big-data insights. YEAH! Facebook’s highly useful. ~ Just no longer “somebody” I want to hang with.

I still visit a handful of closed Facebook groups: Moceanic, Vu, Nonprofit Storytelling Conference, couple more.

Otherwise, my most typical use for Facebook these days is to check whether the BEST BBQ east of the Mississippi and west of the Azores (Gut Bustas; it’s a long and complicated love story) is being served that day … or damn did they sell out AGAIN?

MY FAVE SM? Twitter

My Twitter handle: @thattomahern

Twitter is my go-to professional social media channel. I subscribe to a few dozen pro. and news blogs from other channels.

Twitter is where I EAGERLY turn every day, SEVERAL times a day, for HONEST (worth the time) news from my “industry.”

And I Tweet, too.

BELOW are my 8 best performing Tweets recently, as of yesterday.

Please note: we’re not talking “Beyoncé great,” of course. She’s an international celebrity. She has 15 million Twitter followers. I have just over 6,000 … and I love you!!! Twitter gives me 6,000 generous, compassionate, kind, talented, accomplished colleagues to talk with, to ask questions of, to circulate notions for comment, to tease, to celebrate….


I get paid seriously good money to fake sincerity. And I just cannot do it. Every time I start writing to a donor or to someone who might BECOME a donor I feel real gratitude flood up through my heart and lungs and guts. So, clients: sorry. It’s REAL sincerity. All I’ve got.

In today’s most revealing news: a lottery winner of millions was down to her “last resort”: working for a charity; otherwise she’d be on the street. Her words. Her story. Not fake news. Is this how we attract the hyper-capable to our sector? By being the employers of last resort?

Dear org. > When you talk about yourself, everything you say to me is boring … until proven entertaining (stats are boring as gravel, e.g.). > When you talk about how wonderful I am, though ~ ME?! ~ now you have my attention. > And wasn’t that what you REALLY wanted all along?

Industrial fundraising and local fundraising differ in at least one crucial way. Industrial fundraising can afford to drive off people with its rude behavior; there are always more doors to knock on. Local fundraising can’t as much. The pool of supporters is so much smaller.

More and more I’m seeing useful distinctions between industrial-scale DM and local DM. They share a medium. They share methods. But they don’t always share a math. Local DM is about building a supporter base in your own backyard. Industrial DM is about fishing the high seas.

How about the board of directors list on the letterhead? ¶ ~ No. Doesn’t help. ¶ So what DO I talk about? ¶ ~ Why donors/supporters/members/true believers are so wonderful/important/essential/vital/irreplaceable. You talk about th’kind, th’caring/t’ones who act/few far/reallyRare

They are marvelous storytellers. Am reading & reviewing a large hospital’s donor comms, appeals and else. They are MARVELOUS storytellers. Cliff-hangers. Full of drama, surprise, conflict. To be emotionally relevant for donors, though, stories are NOT enough. whaz/missin’Utink?

You mean I can get by with just a logo & a heartfelt plea for support? ¶ ~ Yes. ¶ How about the board of directors list? ¶ ~ No. Doesn’t help. ¶ So what DO I talk about? ¶ ~ Why donors/supporters/members/true believers are so wonderful & important & essential & vital & irreplacea

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Tom’s next, newest book appears in early 2019 from Emerson & Church, America’s top publisher of fundraising-helpful how-to books.

  • : Tom Ahern