The goofy cartoon character who can transform your life [Book Review]


Book review: Creative Deviations by John Lepp.

Take a good look at this simple cartoon character. You may be about to learn the most important lesson about fundraising you can ever learn from this fellow.

It”sa googly-eyed grinning person in the shape of a blue heart. Blue. Who happens to be holding a red heart. While wearing a yellow hardhat. Spaghetti-like arms and legs. There’s a logo imprinted on his body.

Go ahead and say it: You hate this character!

It’s goofy. Not professional. Not serious.

It’s okay if you hate it.

It’s also okay if you kinda like it. Or even love it.

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What you think about it is beside the point. I suspect most people over the age of 6 don’t care for it, and would fight like tigers to keep anything like it out of their fundraising.

So here’s the lesson: Whether you hate it or love it, it is (or could be) a powerful element in someone’s fundraising.

Get used to it. Especially if you, your boss, or your board really, really hate it.

Its name is “Humbert, and you can learn about it in a great new book for fundraisers called Creative Deviations by John Lepp.

John created Humbert for the Humber River Hospital Foundation in Toronto. It’s in a section called, appropriately, Design Your Boss Hats. Here’s what he says about it:

Humbert was there to show [donors] all of the small ways they were having impact! He had a voice unlike everyone else. He wasn’t a doctor or a nurse or an administrator of any kind. He was the custodian of donor love and care…

Humbert is just one thing in a book filled with useful delights for fundraisers. I’m focusing on it because it demonstrates John’s fun and reality-based approach to fundraising…

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If you read his book and follow his advice, whether it’s about typefaces, the power of paperclips, or using silly cartoon characters — you will be a stronger, more effective fundraiser.

And I think you’ll have more fun doin it.

This book shows the work of a long eyes-open career in fundraising. It has a lot more about design than most of the books do. It’s lavishly illustrated, and an easy read.

Get this book!

Creative Deviations by John Lepp





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