Be inspired and guided by 4,800+ nonprofit taglines and the guide to making yours great.
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All-New Tagline Database…

with organizational, program, fundraising campaign, and special event taglines:

  • Get ideas on ways to integrate a specific word or phrase into your tagline.
  • Be inspired and guided in shaping your organization’s messages by the taglines of organizations like yours.
  • Brainstorm on how to strengthen your program messaging by reviewing program taglines of other organizations.
  • Breakthrough your paralysis in naming (or re-naming) your organization by reviewing names of other organizations in your field.

Nonprofit Tagline Report

Your guide to high-impact taglines: 10 have-tos, 6 deadly sins–what not to do, what makes a winning tagline and more.

Early Kudos from the Field

“Nancy’s experience and wisdom have been of great assistance to us at Connecting Up Australia as we work towards our own unique and meaningful tagline. Her new Nonprofit Tagline Database is an essential tool for nonprofits (as a start, to avoid the embarrassment of finding your beautifully-crafted masterpiece is already in use by a competitor).
–Doug Jacquier, Former CEO, Connecting Up Australia

The Tagline Database is a great tool for crafting effective messages, and so easy to use. I was seeking tagline models used by associations and drilled down by Organization Category and Tagline Type to find just what I needed.
– Peggy Kebel, Technical Analyst/Web Programmer
, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-Local Funding Partnerships

Dive into the Nonprofit Tagline Database and Report today.

Nancy Schwartz on December 9, 2010 in Taglines | 0 comments
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Please join me tomorrow—Tuesday, December 7—at noon eastern to discuss how to strengthen your taglines and other messages, the key to capturing the attention of potential donors, volunteers, and others.

This week is an exciting one for GettingAttention.org, as we are poised to release the new Nonprofit Tagline Database with 4,800+ fully-searchable taglines and the 2011 Nonprofit Tagline Report. Register for free access here.

As part of that launch, the folks at the Chronicle of Philanthropy have invited me to discuss how to create powerful taglines with you tomorrow, and I can’t wait. Please join me here tomorrow, Dec 7 at noon eastern.

Crafting an effective tagline is a topic you can’t ignore. But few organizations have taglines that work. Here’s your opportunity to learn how to capitalize on this powerful tool…

Let’s talk taglines on Tuesday, December 7, at noon Eastern. Please bring your tagline questions!

P.S. Register now for free access to the all-news Nonprofit Tagline Database and the 2011 Nonprofit Tagline Report. These tools will inspire and guide you to create messages that connect.

Nancy Schwartz on December 6, 2010 in Taglines | 0 comments

2010 Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Awards from GettingAttention.org on Vimeo.

Congrats to the organizations behind the winning taglines, reviewed in this brief video. The taglines were selected by more than 6,100 voters from 70 finalists, identified by our expert panel of judges.

The organizations behind the winning taglines range from the regional (Indiana State Council of the Emergency Nurses Association) to the national (Youth Service America) and global (Episcopal Relief & Development). All did an admirable job in putting a few select words to work to build their brands, programs and fundraising impact.

These winning taglines are terrific ingredients in your own branding and marketing brainstorming, and I’ll be sharing the stories behind them in the weeks to come.

Register now for free access to the 2011 Nonprofit Tagline Report and the All-New Online Tagline Database. The report and database, to be released in late fall 2010, feature more on the winning taglines plus:

  • The 10 Have-Tos for Successful Taglines
  • The 7 Deadly Sins – Examples of what not to do.
  • Searchable Access to more than 4,800 Nonprofit Tagline Examples for use in tagline brainstorming.

Don’t miss this vital and free nonprofit marketing resource – register now.

NOTE: Getting Attention e-news subscribers will automatically receive the report and database access.

P.S. Thanks so much to our generous sponsor, See3, for producing the winners video for us. The See3 team is an absolute pleasure to work with.

Nancy Schwartz on October 21, 2010 in Taglines | 2 comments
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Great Words Promoting Good Causes

Vote now (but just once) for the 2010 Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Awards. Polls close Wed., 10/6 at midnight.

Voting will:

  • Sharpen your understanding of what works in nonprofit communications.
  • Inform and inspire your organization’s messaging.
  • Give you the chance to register for the free 2011 Nonprofit Tagline Report and online database with more than 4,800 tagline examples.

The 70 finalists were selected from over 2,700 tagline entries. Now it’s your turn to choose the best.

More than 5,600 of your peers have voted already. Here’s what some of them have to say:

  • “Great examples of the struggle to create taglines with meaning.”
  • “By voting, I learned how to make our tagline better.”
  • “Thank you for doing this. Helping nonprofit boards understand
    the power of marketing is difficult.  When you have excellence to point to, it helps!”

Vote now! Less than 48 hours left to do so.

P.S. Thanks again to those of you who have already voted!

Nancy Schwartz on October 5, 2010 in Taglines | 1 comment
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Wordworker Nancy FriedmanI’m pleased to introduce you to guest blogger Nancy Friedman, chief wordworker of Wordworking. Nancy is a name developer, corporate copywriter, recovering journalist and a most engaging blogger at Fritinancy. She’s my latest  guests in a periodic series of posts from other authors, and I’m pleased to add her perspective to the mix.

About 15 years ago I did some consulting for a regional office of the American Cancer Society, which raises money for cancer research and education. The society’s logo, then as now, was a stylized caduceus—a short winged rod entwined by two serpents—that in modern times has been appropriated as a symbol of the medical profession. The caduceus was originally associated with Hermes, the Greek god of messengers, thieves, travelers, and border crossings—but not of medicine. The traditional medical symbol in ancient times was the rod of Asclepius: a staff entwined by a single serpent. Asclepius, a son of Apollo, was associated with medicine and healing.

Someone at the American Cancer Society evidently looked at the caduceus and saw not a rod or a staff but a weapon—a sword, to be specific. And from that mistaken observation, based on a mistaken conflation of two Greek symbols, came the national organization’s slogan: “There’s Nothing Mightier Than the Sword.”

My consulting work for the society had nothing to do with slogan development, but I couldn’t help myself. That slogan really, really bothered me.

I remember a conversation—perplexed on my end, earnest on the client’s end—about the logic of this phrase. The pen! I had to restrain myself from shouting. The pen is mightier than the sword!* “No, no,” the client said soothingly. “The sword really is the mightiest!”

Really? Besides the pen, I can think of several things that are mightier than the sword: the flamethrower, the catapult, the poison gas, the rocket grenade, and the thermonuclear device. Just for starters.

And, come to think, cancer itself often proves to be mightier than the sword, if by “sword” you mean “scalpel” and if by “cancer” you mean “war.”

Well, that was then. My consulting work went smoothly enough. Years passed. And now I see that the ACS has a different slogan: “The Official Sponsor of Birthdays.” A little confusing out of context, and probably disappointing to your local six-year-old, but definitely a step up from that mighty sword.

For my part, I’m working now with a different medical organization on naming and slogan development, so I’ve been thinking once again about the challenges of nonprofit branding. In a stroke of timely good fortune, last weekend I discovered the Getting Attention blog and the annual Nonprofit Tagline Awards contest.

You can read about the 2009 winners here and download the free 121-page report about them here. And go here to vote for the most effective taglines of 2010.

The taglines on this year’s ballot have been winnowed down from more than 2,700 entrants. About the original field, Nancy Schwartz writes:

I have to tell you that although some of the taglines entered work well (roughly 30%), most do not. The reasons why are varied, from “they make no sense” to “they make sense, but don’t make an impact.” Whatever the reason, the end result is a highly used message that’s not doing its job for your organization.

Only a 30 percent success rate? Surely we can do better. In her 2009 report, Schwartz offers 10 “have-tos” for creating powerful taglines. They include “Must convey your nonprofit’s or program’s impact or value,” “Must be authentic,” “Must be broadly and easily accessible and memorable, avoiding jargon and acronyms,” and “Must be specific to your organization, not easily used by another nonprofit reaching out to the same audiences.” That last point is especially significant: Too many of this year’s entrants (yes, even the finalists) are interchangeable.

On the bright side, only one tagline finalist includes the word “passion.” An encouraging sign!


About the title of this post: “Saving the X, One Y at a Time” is a slogan snowclone, or sloganclone. Read more about this slogan formula and others in my 2007 post, “Snowclones with a Twist.

* “The pen is mightier than the sword” was coined by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, the Victorian novelist who is also famous for the opening line “It was a dark and stormy night.” There’s an annual bad-writing contest named in honor of Bulwer-Lytton.

P.S. Vote now to build your messaging skills by selecting the best in class in the 2010 Taggies — the third annual Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Awards competition. It’s a fun project that will help nonprofits in all fields discover what works, and why.

Guest Blogger on September 13, 2010 in Branding and Messages, Taglines | 0 comments
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Vote-2010-Nonprofit-Tagline-AwardsGreat Words Promoting Good Causes

Vote now for the winners of the 2010 Taggies — the 3rd Annual Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Awards.

Seventy tagline finalists have been carefully culled from the more than 2,700 taglines entries from 1,700 nonprofit organizations in 13 vertical sectors from health to civic benefit.

This year,  for the first time, voters will select program, fundraising and special event tagline award winners, in addition to the strongest organizational taglines. The addition of these three new tagline types gives more organizations a chance to showcase their best efforts to engage their target audiences.

1,200 of your peers have already voted in the last week! Now it’s your turn to select the best!

Voting will sharpen your understanding of what works and what doesn’t messaging wise, and inform and inspire your organization’s communications.

Here’s what one early voter says: “What I learned most via voting is what makes the difference between effective and ineffective language,” says Susan Hanson, senior lecturer in English, Texas State University.  “The process strongly reinforced my thinking on the value of simplicity and conciseness in nonprofit messaging.”

Vote now! Polls close at midnight Wed., October 6.

The 2010 Nonprofit Tagline Awards program is made possible thanks to the generous sponsorship of Blackbaud, Event360, Eventbrite and See3 Communications.

P.S. Subscribe now to the Getting Attention e-update to be the first to to get your free copy of the 2011 Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Report (due in late fall), filled with best practices and trends plus access to the new online database of over 4,800 nonprofit taglines.

You’ll start building your marketing skills now via the e-newsletter, and learn more about crafting effective taglines with the report and database. Subscribe today!

Nancy Schwartz on September 7, 2010 in Awards, Branding and Messages, Taglines | 0 comments
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nonprofit taglinesI’m thrilled to tell you that more than 2,700 taglines — of four types from nonprofit organizations in 13 different categories from health to civic benefit — were entered in the 2010 Nonprofit Tagline Awards . That’s:

  • 1,544 organizational taglines
  • 510 program/service/product taglines
  • 393 fundraising campaign taglines
  • 385 special event taglines.

Our vetting of the taglines began as soon as entries closed on July 28.  First the GettingAttention.org team selected semi-finalists based on these nonprofit tagline effectiveness criteria.  Next, our dedicated nonprofit tagline award judges panel selected the 70 finalists from that group.

These finalists are the taglines up for awards! Voting for the 17 winners — one organizational tagline in each of 13 categories; one tagline in each of the fundraising and event types; and two in the program tagline type due to the large number of entries — will open in early September.

I’ll keep you posted on the voting — the more voters, the more accurate the results!

Thanks so much for spreading the word, for entering and to our fantastic judges for their time and effort!

P.S. I have to tell you that although some of the taglines entered work well (roughly 30%), most do not. The reasons why are varied, from “they make no sense” to “they make sense, but don’t make an impact.” Whatever the reason,  the end result is a highly-used message that’s not doing its job for your organization.

That’s solvable but a call to action you have to heed. Many of you need to revise your tagline, or develop a new one altogether.The fully-revised 2010 Nonprofit Tagline report and first-time searchable online tagline database will be a great help in making the most of the few words that comprise your tagline .

Make sure you’re in the first wave to get these 2010 tagline resources by downloading the 2009 report now. It’ll give you a great head start and you’ll be at the top of the email list come November!

The 2010 Nonprofit Tagline Awards program is made possible thanks to the generous sponsorship of Blackbaud, Event360, Eventbrite and See3 Communications.

P. S. Follow the tagline award news on Twitter via the hashtag #taggies

Nancy Schwartz on August 11, 2010 in Awards, Taglines | 0 comments
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Nonprofit-Tagline-Awards-2010Update – July 29 – Nonprofit Tagline Award entries are now closed.  Please enter next year!

Your nonprofit could be a 2010 Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Award winner! But only if you enter your organizational, fundraising campaign, program/service and/or special event taglines by midnight tonight.

And, even if you don’t win this time round, all entrants will be invited to join me this fall in a game-changing webinar: How to Build Leadership Support for Critical Marketing Projects.

Take 3 minutes now to enter your nonprofit taglines today. Here’s more information on the tagline awards program.

You’ve been fantastically enthusiastic about this year’s award program. For those of you who have already entered, your organizational, fundraising, program and/or special event taglines are of astounding quality.

I thank you for your interest, and for spreading the word.

Let me also thank you for your contribution to strengthening the nonprofit communications field! All taglines entered will be integrated into the Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Database (will be online for the first time) and the updated 2010 Nonprofit Tagline Report.

Don’t miss this opportunity to enter. Today, until midnight,  is your last chance to enter your taglines.

All tagline entrants get a free copy of the report and access to the database when they are published in late fall! If you’d like a copy too, but you don’t want to enter your tagline, simply subscribe to the free Getting Attention e-update. That’ll ensure you’re on the list!

Enter your taglines today – or forever (till 2011) hold your peace!

Nancy Schwartz on July 28, 2010 in Awards, Taglines | 0 comments
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Tagline-Expert-Allison Van DiestWelcome to guest blogger Allison Van Diest. Allison, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Blackbaud, prides herself on being not only a marketing “artist” but a marketing “scientist”  able to measure the marketing impact. She has some terrific guidance to share with you on shaping a tagline that works…

What has less than 140 characters and tells the world what you’re up to?

Yes, Twitter does.  But how do you think the Twitter folks got the idea that a short, punchy phrase or two can be among the best ways to communicate?  Decades ago, taglines showed the world that a few well-chosen words can mean more to a reader than pages of advertising copy.

The purpose of a tagline is to create an impression that is meaningful and moving, as succinctly as possible.  And in today’s landscape of light speed communication, with constraints on readers’ time and attention, a well-written tagline is critical.

It is your best tool in capturing the imagination of a prospective supporter and also arms them with the perfect message to send to their network (through Twitter, perhaps!).

Sold on the idea of taglines, but not sure yours is prize-worthy? Enter the Nonprofit Tagline Awards program anyway, there’s nothing to lose. And every entrant will be invited to join me in a special free webinar on building leadership support for critical marketing projects. But back to taglines…

If you’re not satisfied with your tagline, consider sending it through a quick positioning refresh to make sure it truly captures your spirit.  As a reminder, a strong positioning statement answers these questions:

  1. Who (what group) does your organization serve?
  2. What does the group you serve hope to accomplish?
  3. What does your organization provide to the group you serve?
  4. What is the outcome if the group you serve accomplishes its goal?

Consider how how this information is conveyed by TexasNonprofits, a 2009 Nonprofit Tagline Award winner:  “Building community deep in the hearts of Texans”

  1. Who (what group) does your organization serve?  Texas nonprofits
  2. What does the group you serve hope to accomplish? To encourage higher levels of giving so they can do more good in Texas
  3. What does your organization provide to the group you serve?  Resources and support to aid the nonprofit community
  4. What is the end state if the group you serve accomplishes its goal?  Texans are even more philanthropic and nonprofit impact goes even further

With its tagline, TexasNonprofits conveys mission and impact in a clever and memorable way.   This year’s Taggies will once again celebrate well-crafted taglines and – hopefully – inspire other nonprofits to follow suit, so please enter yours today (deadline is July 28).

 We can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to!

The 2010 Nonprofit Tagline Awards program is made possible thanks to the generous sponsorship of Blackbaud, Event360, Eventbrite and See3 Communications.

P. P. S. Follow the tagline award news on Twitter via the hashtag #taggies

Guest Blogger on July 21, 2010 in Awards, Taglines | 0 comments
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Leadership support nonprofit marketingI have some exciting news to share –

I’ll be holding a special, free webinar for all organizations that enter the 2010 Nonprofit Tagline Awards Program.

Here’s why:  You’ve told me time and time again how much marketing work you want and need to do to advance your organization’s mission. But frequently meet a roadblock in convincing your leadership (and sometimes colleagues too) of the value (a.k.a. ROI) of investing in key marketing projects.

Building understanding is first step to building support and this webinar will walk you through, step-by-step, how to build leadership understanding and support.

You’ll leave with a clear sense of what it takes, examples of what works and doesn’t work and a comprehensive checklist to work from in your initial “building awareness and support” campaign and on an ongoing basis.

Trust me. When your leadership feels like part of your marketing team – rather than like outsiders – you’ll be much more likely to get the support and budget you need to execute the marketing campaigns you know will make the greatest impact. You’re the marketing expert but leadership support is a key to success.

So, don’t waste a minute. Enter today – The 2010 Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Awards (a.k.a. The Taggies) close on July 28! Please enter today. And this year, for the first time, you can submit your organization’s program, fundraising campaign and/or and special event taglines, in addition to your organizational tagline.

When you do, your name will be placed on the invite list for the webinar, to be held mid-fall.

P.S. Learn more about building leadership support for critical nonprofit marketing projects:

Building Internal Support for Communications

How to Defend Your Marketing Budget, Even in Tough Times

Why Communications Advocacy Should Remain #1 on Your To-Do List

Nancy Schwartz on July 19, 2010 in Leadership, Taglines | 0 comments
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