Create a Style Guide for Your Nonprofit – Avoid Audience Confusion

There's never enough time when you're getting communications out the door. But when two different spellings of the same word (both correct) are used in a membership drive campaign, or the way your nonprofit is described varies from letter to letter within the campaign, or your logo appears in different colors and different sizes in different places , your audiences will be confused. The answer? Style standards clearly defined and published in a style guide.

The Problem

Due to the ubiquitous nature of advertising and promotion, we're all bombarded by communications. In the face of this morass, you're making it difficult for your audiences to recognize, at a glance, that your communications are all coming from your organization. Remember, we're all scanners these days.

In addition, it's likely that those who do recognize that these divergent communications are from you won't think much of your organization or your sloppy communications effort.

Consistency is the key to your audiences absorbing your messages, and for them to be able to "whisper down the lane" – repeating those messages to others. No other form of communication is as powerful as this natural network.

A Style Guide Is a Long-Term Solution

An easy way to ensure clear and consistent communications is to create a two to three page editorial and design style guide. Everyone needs to be on the same page when it comes to getting the word out. The standards featured in your style guide will make it easy for them to do so.

A style guide will also make it unnecessary for you and your colleagues to re-invent the wheel each time, saving you a great deal of effort.

Action Plan

Here is a step-by-step plan approach to putting together, or updating, your style guide.

  • Spread out communications samples in front of you, including pages printed out from your web site and your e-newsletter.
  • Jot down standards that work best in the following areas. Keep your audience in mind when you do so. You'll want input from communications staff or consultants.

Traditionally, style guides covered punctuation, and spelling. I suggest that you expand this concept to include graphic guidelines and key messages. This way, you have a single point of reference to shape your communications.

  • Logo: Sizing; colors; position on the page; what elements should be included when logo is used.
  • Colors: Official colors – with exact Pantone numbers if possible (Pantone is a color numbering system used by designers and printers) and notes on how those colors are to be used.
  • Words not to use.
  • Word style preferences (eg web site vs. website, grant making vs. grantmaking).
  • The title of the published grammar style guide that your group uses: Communicate the title of the guide that your writers need to follow when deciding whether to insert that final comma or not, or selecting the right preposition to follow the word parallel (to or with ).

Review these titles, talk to colleagues, and select one if you haven't already. Top picks are:

Beauty and Strangeness – Poe's Ligeia

Edgar Allan Poe's Gothic tale "Ligeia" is a study of the supernatural and of feminine beauty. In exploring Ligeia's physical beauty, Poe quotes Elizabethan politician and scholar Francis Bacon: "There's no exquisite beauty," says Bacon, Lord Verulam, speaking truly of all the forms and genera of beauty "without some strangeness in the proportion."

In James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, we find that Stephen Dedalus' translated Aquinas model of beauty using the following words: wholeness, balance, and radiance. 'Balance' is often translated as 'proportion' by others. So, if something is lacking in any of the above three elements, then the beauty observed will be flawed.

In Ligeia, Poe's neurotic and unreliable narrator is determined to find out that 'strangeness' that was so unnerving to him: "I was possessed with a passion to discover." After examining in great detail Ligeia's hair, skin, nose, lips, teeth, smile, chin, and eyes, he concludes that her eyes carry the unmistakable light of strangeness: "They were, I must believe, far larger than the ordinary eyes of our own race. They were fuller than the fullest of the gazelle eyes … "And in the end it is the eyes that convinces him that the revivified corpse is Ligeia and not Lady Rowena Trevanion of Tremaine.

As part of his study of the glittering Russian aristocracy, in Ana Karenina, Leon Tolstoy explored Ana's physical beauty: face, arms, neck, hair, feet, hands, and even her dress and accessories:

"Some supernatural force drew Kitty's eyes to Anna's face. She was fascinating in her simple black dress, fascinating were her round arms with their bracelets, fascinating was her firm neck with its thread of pearls, fascinating the straying curls of her loose hair, fascinating the graceful, light movements of her little feet and hands, fascinating was that lovely face in its eagerness, but there was something terrible and cruel in her fascination. "

But it is not from any particular part that he finds fault in Ana. Nothing is flawed. It is the whole – wholeness of fascination – that gives off the odor of cruelty and strangeness, destroying therefore the balance of her beauty.

Not only did Scott Fitzgerald create a wholesome American beauty in Daisy Buchanan – the belle of the great gatsby– but a mentally challenged and morally flawed american beauty. Understanding doesn't come easy to Daisy, and when she gives an opinion, it is always either a trivial opinion or an inane one that often verges on absurdity. Notice how she deals with one single idea by repeating the same idea three times: "In two weeks it'll be the longest day in the year." She looked at us all radiantly. "Do you always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always watch for the longest day in the year and then miss it." If you count the pronoun "it" you will realize that she has mentioned the longest day of the year five times. And …

Discount Codes For Your Online Shopping – What Matters?

With more people now relying on online stores to find and purchase all kinds of products, manufacturers and product suppliers are finding their way into the online platforms as a simple way of reaching out to the modern shopper. The competition is relatively high among the providers and this forces many to come up with ways of gaining mass purchases from the users by offering appealing deals. Discount codes are some of the marketing tools the stores are using to attract sales.

For consumers on the other hand, the discount codes make very good options for them to get what they want at cheaper prices thus saving money in the end. Shoppers have become very alert to cut expenses without sacrificing the kind of lifestyles they love and through the coupon codes, it has become possible for many to make affordable choices. There are so many websites, including shopping sites offering the discount codes to consumers today. But what really should matter to make a code worth a try?

The items covered – Usually discount codes will be on specific products and you should therefore make sure that you get codes for items that matter to you. These codes could be on anything, including accessories, clothing, shoes, electronic equipment, and even grocery. To find the best, consider choosing sites that offer such kinds of items and the promo codes at the same time. The options are numerous and with a little research you definitely stand to find codes that cover the items you are most interested in.

The validity – Truth is, most of the codes are only valid for a specific period of time. It is therefore important to find out how long the code you get is valid for so you can use it before the period lapses leaving the code valueless. This may vary from one provider to another, so make sure you get a reasonable timeframe so you can put the code to the best use in fetching you he discounted prices.

The terms – They could be about anything from how you qualify to enjoy the discounts to specific shopping guidelines for the code to take effect. For instance, there are codes that can only be used on specific online stores and others may require that you make purchases of a certain amount to enjoy the discounts. The last thing you want to do is assume that your discount is applicable anywhere, anyhow and on any given item. Make sure that you take the time to go through the terms and conditions so you know exactly what is expected and how to get the best value from your coupon code.

The discount percentage – The percent taken off differs from one code to another or from an item to another. Higher priced items usually attract larger discounts compared to lower priced ones. You can however find very high discount percentages even on low priced items may be because the manufacturer or supplier is trying to …

Wedding Reception Protocol – Who Says What and When?

A wedding reception can be formal or informal, but you must make sure you do it right – in other words you should follow the normal wedding reception protocol as that is what people will expect. Note however that the protocol is not as rigid as you might think, and can be regarded more as a set of guidelines. But what is the traditional wedding reception protocol?

A formal wedding reception is normally held in the restaurant of a hotel where facilities and staff are on-hand for a full sit-down meal – sometimes still referred to as the " wedding breakfast ". An informal reception with a buffet menu can be a less expensive option.

When the guests arrive at the reception, they should be greeting by a receiving line. This is normally the bride's mother and father, the bridegroom's mother and father, the bride, and finally the groom – in that order. If there is a large number of guests you might want to simply have the bride and groom welcoming the guests.

Guests are then normally presented with a drink, and when everyone has arrived they can start to look for their name cards in the dining area. The bride and groom should have sorted all this out well in advance, and the only point of protocol here is that at a formal wedding reception there is normally a top table for the principal members of the wedding party.

At some point the cake is normally cut – this is either at the end or part-way through. The bride holds the knife in her right hand, with the groom's right hand on hers, and then the bride's left hand on top of that. This is a big photo opportunity and the couple will have to stand in that position with a smile on their faces for several minutes! The cake is then whisked away by the restaurant staff to be cut up ready to be given out at the end of the reception as people are leaving. You may want to rescue the top tier to save for the christening of the first-born.

After the cake-cutting comes the highlight of the reception: the speeches.

The first to speak is the bride's father. He will normally say a few words and then propose the main toast: "Health and happiness to the bride and bridegroom" (or something similar).

The bridegroom then responds, thanking the bride's parents and the guests, and he ends by proposing a toast to the health of the bridesmaids.

The best man then speaks, replying for the bridesmaids, reading out the congratulatory cards and telegrams. The best man will also relate some stories about the groom (and bride, if they are friends too).

That is it as far as tradition is concerned but, if they wish, the bride, bride's mother, and the maid of honor (chief bridesmaid) can all make speeches – but it is best to check with the bride and groom first.

Any and all …

The Difference of Western and Eastern Clothing Culture

When we talk about eastern clothing culture, what reminds of us is traditional Chinese clothing. However, to western clothing, it seems that we know fewer things. What we will think of is either western-style suit or luxurious noble clothes. Actually, the difference of western and eastern clothing culture is not simple. A clothing culture of a nationality is based on the culture of this nationality. After long history of culture, western and eastern clothing culture form unique characteristics and systems of each other. Now let me tell you something about that.

The first is the difference of color. On the one hand, the characteristic of a nationality revers the love of colors. In ancient China, black was regarded as the imperial color. The colors of imperial clothes in ancient dynasties were black. With the development of feudal central power, people worshiped the earth instead of the god. Therefore, color of clothing was mainly in yellow. On the other hand, in west, white and purple were the most popular color in Roman times. People held the view that white was pure and honest while purple represented elegance. However, since the Renaissance, clothes developed faster and faster. With the development of luxury, bright colors were popular with people. People of Spain like rose and gray while people of England like black.

The second is the difference of the shape. In one hand, Traditional Chinese clothes emphasized the vertical feeling. This design can make people look thin and tall. The most important is that this design can make up the short stature of easterners. In the other hand, classical western clothes emphasized lateral feeling. Extravagant outline of shoulder will have radiative effect. What is more, this design was fit into the passionate temperament of westerners. In the meanwhile, this design was fit into the tall and strong stature of westerners.

The third is the difference of pattern. On the one hand, we can see many patterns in Chinese clothes. People hold the view that lucky patterns show the propitious wish. From ancient time till today, propitious patterns were used widely. No matter expensive silk or common printed cloth, these patterns can be seen easily. These patterns not only show the totem worship but also express the feeling of descendants of the dragon. On the other hand, with the development of history, patterns in western clothes changed continually. In ancient time, people liked to use flowers and other plants. However, in recent generations, animal patterns were popular.

These are three main difference of western and eastern clothing culture. Wish they are useful for you.

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Valentine's Day Gift Baskets

Valentine's day is probably one of the most romantic days that couples treasure every year. That is why during this occasion, different kinds of Valentine gifts are available to make the occasion more memorable. So, if you are also thinking of giving one to your special someone, then you should include Valentine's Day gift baskets on your list.

Valentine's day gift baskets are one of the most popular gift ideas that lovers often give to their special someone during Valentine's Day. Although flowers are the most expressive gifts to give, still nothing can compare to a nice combination of flowers and a gift basket that is full of assorted goodies like chocolates. Most women love to receive chocolates from their boyfriend or husband during Valentine. So after you have ordered a unique bouquet of roses, you can also look for a perfect chocolate gift basket to go with it.

Where to find Valentine's Day gift baskets?

There are lots of local gift shops that offer a wide selection of gift baskets for various occasions. You can simply check the directory or ask a friend or relative who have already tried buying one. However, you don't have to stick to one option. You can always make a list before choosing where to buy the exact gift basket that you like.

But if you want more convenience, why don't you check the Internet? There are so many online gift stores that now offer a large selection of Valentine's Day gift baskets. This is more convenient since you won't have to leave the comfort of your home or office just to order the gift basket that you need. By simply looking at the options, you can already come up with a buying decision and place your order online without so much hassle.

The Internet has really made it so easy for you to find the perfect gift basket to give to your special someone during Valentine's Day. So, you should take advantage of this great option and enjoy the benefits.

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The Best Self Defense Weapons for Women

The world is now an unsafe place. Therefore, get ready to protect yourself from the attackers. Many people opine that learning and practicing karate and martial arts are very good weapons for self-defense. It can prove good and effective for the women having tall figures and enough physical strength.

However, it becomes really challenging for a woman who is small, weak and thin. Male attackers can take the advantage of their physical statures and defeat the weak and thin women easily. This is why both karate and martial arts are not very good options for all sorts of women, especially who are small and thin. Therefore, we should think of some better alternatives that can prove highly useful and effective for all sorts of women.

To help the women defend them from the attackers, many effective self-defense weapons have been introduced to the market. However, all of these are not highly effective and useful as well.

Given below are a few of these effective self-defense weapons for women

Pepper Spray Bracelet

This is one of the highly recommend weapons for women. Although it looks very small, it has an immediate effect on an attacker. The most advantageous part is its hidden nature. An adjustable silicone wristband cleverly hides toner cartridges. You can easily carry it while traveling and strolling and charge it 3 to 6 times. It can cover 3 feet around you.

Pen Knife

A pen knife is a specific type of knife hidden inside a pen body. It is very clever in its appearance. It has a working pen on one end and a narrow sharp knife blade on the other end. You can easily protect you from an attacker.

Handgun

A handgun is probably the greatest self-defense tool created ever. Even a very weak woman can easily defend her from an attacker if she has a small training of using it.

Self Defense Key Chain

There are some awesome self-defense key chains including a sharp knife to use in your need. The Wild Kat design is more popular than the others.

Stun Gun and Taser

Stun guns and tasers can sometimes become very effective tools to defend an attacker. Although some people think it is an effective non-lethal self-defense weapon for women, it is not enough to completely defeat the attacker. It can give you a boomerang effect if an attacker takes it away from you. Therefore, it is safe when you can use it for your self-defense purposes.

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How To Use A HostGator Coupon

HostGator is a household name for people who owns and runs a website. This 10 year old web hosting company is one of the biggest names in this industry. It serves over a million customers. This company provides a home to any kind of webpage. The company may be young and wild for some but it definitely delivers. It provides fast and reliable service and its customer service department is highly praised by reviewers and consumers alike. HostGator Review is now a widely searched term on the internet. Many of HostGator Review usually focus on the fact that HostGator is one of the best, if not the best in the field of web hosting.

For those who want to introduce their websites to the internet community, this web hosting provider is definitely a wise choice. If a customer is on a tight budget, he could definitely try out using some HostGator Coupon usually found in blogs or websites where a HostGator Review is posted.

How To Use A HostGator Coupon?
The first thing to do is find a website or blog that hosts HostGator Coupon. Copy this coupon. Remember there are different types of HostGator Coupon such as 25% and 20% off coupon and the 1 cent coupon. Using the 1 cent coupon will give the consumer 1 month free of web hosting services. After copying the HostGator Coupon code, usually found in blogs that hosts HostGator Review posts, in your clipboard. Proceed to http://www.HostGator.com which is the main website of HostGator. From here, you can choose the plan you want. Unlike its main competitor that provides only one plan, HostGator provides its customers to choose whatever plan may suit their needs.

There is the Hatching Plan that provides consumers with a single domain, disk space & bandwidth that are both unlimited and SSL certificate that is shared. The Baby Plan, on the other hand, will provide the same disk space & bandwidth which are unlimited and SSL certificate that is shared but consumers will benefit greatly because this plan provides unlimited domains. The Business Plan differs greatly since it will have its own private SSL, IP and toll free number. After the consumer decides which plan he would like to use, he can proceed with the first step.

The first step involves choosing a domain name. From here, a customer will either choose a new domain name for his plan or use his existing domain name. After entering the domain name, consumers must be careful not to proceed with the Step 2. Before proceeding with Step 2, consumers should scroll down and look for the field that asks for the coupon code. In here, the consumer will need to paste the HostGator Coupon code that was copied before. After pasting the code, proceed with Step 2. Step 2 is all about the billing information. Consumers are also asked to fill out the account information. After filling out the form, consumers are now ready to hit that "Create Account" button. …

What Is Your Style? – 8 Style Quotients And Their Traits Explained

The guy that is so "Sporty". She is so "Classy". We often hear such remarks. But have you wondered what exactly these styles means? Have you wondered, what traits, dressing styles go along with each of these style quotients? Read on to know more about 8 different such style quotients:

Frumpy:

Your life is over burdened with work commitments to even spare time for your looks. Appearance is secondary or tertiary in your list. You prefer easy and comfortable clothing over the fashionable ones. You generally do not co-ordinate what you wear, more so in such a hurry or dislike to check your reflection on the mirror. You pick up the most comfortable pair of clothes on display and do not mind walking out in slippers. You generally window shop without much personal interest. Whatever glitters does not catch your eye. You priority is your work and practicality and feasibility and the comfort that it offers. You love who are, and have no qualms or regret about it!

Casual:

You like to let your hair down at most of the times, are extremely comfortable in your skin and value comfort over anything! You don't fancy products in vogue always; it has to suit your personal taste to land up in your wardrobe. You prefer to chill out with your peeps over cold coffee or beer (if you are within the permissible limit), gossip, catch up with latest releases in your shorts! You are laid back when it comes to fashion, so you mellow your style to keep the fun factor intact while making yourself an easy combo to slip on! You love colors and free-flowing silhouettes. You love wavy prints and strut around in your shorts with your sport shoes or casual t-shirts on!

The Girl / Boy Next Door:

Your sparkling eyes and dimpled smile do all the talking! You have easy, uncomplicated and appealing way with others; traits which are easily recognizable by your baggy jeans, sweat-shirts and carelessly ruffled hair! You have an easy-going air about yourself which is reflected by your gestures and attire alike. You love to share a laugh with everyone around you, eat out with your girls and also sometimes gossip / bitch about other girls. You love to receive and give flowers, chocolates make you go weak in the knees and you love your old and faded jeans way more than anything in your life! You are recognized around for your pony tails and the cute ear piercing and did we stress on the fact your "cute" smile!

Sporty:

You are extremely active and like to reflect the same from your sense of dressing. Functionality rules foremost than fashion and a colorful closet is also your asset! You love your track pants and drool / window shop every time you pass by an Adidas, Nike, Puma or Reebok store. Cool Athletes have influenced you enough with their athletic looks in shorts or mini-skirts to make you take notice of yourself. Sport-stars and …

The Growth of the Model Car Industry

Over the last few years, model cars have become an ever more popular collectable. There are likely many reasons for this, not the least of which being the fact that racing has also grown in popularity as a sport. In the United States, there is the phenomenon of stock car racing, and in countries like Australia, there is the growth of V8 Supercar racing. This has caused people to want to collect scale models of the cars that their favorite drivers drive. In other sports, one might collect jerseys or cards of specific players; in car racing, people tend to collect scale models of the cars of specific drivers. In either case, a market for collectables has been created, and it is one that is booming.

It is not only racing fans who collect scale model cars, however. You can get model cars of your favorite classic or muscle cars, or just about any other car that exists. Someone might just love cars, and because of this, they want to collect models of all of their favorites. There are even specific brands that will cater to specific collectors. If you are into collecting racing car models, then there are a few brands that might interest you. If, on the other hand, you are into collecting classic muscle cars, then you might find that there are different brands that have more to offer. Either way, for the collector, there is always a wide variety of different models available.

With the growth of the collectable market, there has also been a rise in the value of many of these scale model cars. Limited edition models are regularly put out, and these are the ones that grab the most attention of those who are collecting in hopes of gaining monetary value. If only a select number of a specific model car has been manufactured, then that specific car will become more and more rare as time passes. Rarity is not a certainty when it comes to value, but the rarer something is, the more likely it is to rise in price if there is a demand for it. This is why many people are now viewing their collections as investments in the future rather than just a simple hobby.

No matter what your reason is for collecting cars, it is apparent that the model cars industry is not going away any time soon. There has been a huge growth in the interest in model car collecting over the last few years, and it appears that this growth is going to continue. The smart collectors will likely get involved in this market sooner rather than later, as it is possible that it could hit its peak eventually. Whether you just like the way the scale models look, or you think that you might be able to use them as an investment in the future, getting involved in model car collection right now seems to be the smart idea.

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