“Top 5 Words to Avoid” Featured on Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog

Kivi Leroux Miller

Kivi Leroux Miller is one of the leading voices in DIY nonprofit marketing. Her blog, Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog, is full of practical, do-now tips for do-gooders.

Two weeks ago on her main site, Kivi wrote a piece on the pitfalls of wordiness in messaging and how to fix lengthy writing habits. I got down in the word weeds with a guest post outlining the top five words to avoid in your messaging.

Learn why these words should be booted from your messaging vocabulary:

  • Provide
  • Just
  • Trying
  • Self-sufficiency
  • Thriving Communities

Pick the one you use too much and then take the One Less Word Challenge. How will you replace it?

One Less Word Challenge (#onelessword)

One Less Word

Just like the Information Diet challenges us to become more conscious consumers of info, I’d like to challenge us to become more conscious users of words.

I mean, let’s get real: We’re awash in words.  The question is are we using the very best words to connect and engage? Hmmmm…probably not.

That’s why I am cordially inviting you to join me in the One Less Word Challenge (#onelessword). I did this challenge last year with the word ‘non-profit’. It’s hard. It’s also extremely effective.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Identify a word you use a lot and probably shouldn’t. (Feel free to pluck from one of the Top 5 Words to Avoid to Achieve Messaging Awesomeness.)
  2. Pick a week and don’t use the word for that entire week (seven straight days, including weekends!).
  3. Keep track of the words you use instead.
  4. Share what you learn in the comments below and/or by using #onelessword on Twitter.
At the end of February, I’ll cull through everything and share what we collectively learned.
What’s your word going to be?


Do you communicate as effectively as you think?


Do you communicate as effectively as you think?