It’s NOT a dirty job but someone DOES have to do it.

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Greg Warner is CEO and Founder of MarketSmart, a revolutionary marketing software and services firm that helps nonprofits raise more for less. In 2012 Greg coined the phrase “Engagement Fundraising” to encapsulate his breakthrough fundraising formula for achieving extraordinary results. Using their own innovative strategies and technologies, MarketSmart helps fundraisers around the world zero in on the donors most ready to support their organizations and institutions with major and legacy gifts.

Recently a friend of mine was promoted.  Now she is in a leader position at her organization’s headquarters.  Yippee!

I asked her, “What will you change first?”

She pounced on the question and answered right away by saying, “I’m going to make sure our staff understands that there’s nothing wrong with fundraising.”

She went on to recount how her predecessor would habitually talk about fundraising in a derogatory manner by repeatedly saying, “It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it.”

“Why is asking for money a dirty job?” she asked me rhetorically.  Of course, we both agree, it’s not!

People WANT to give.  We are just here to make it easier.  We are here to facilitate the process.  And, by doing so, we empower them to do what they can’t do alone.  We give them the opportunity to do good along with us.

It’s NOT a dirty job.  And, yes, someone DOES have to do it if they want to make the world a better place.  Let’s not allow staff members (and leaders) to put down fundraising.  It is the lifeblood of the organization and should be treated with the respect it deserves.

 

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Laura
3 months ago

As usual, Greg, you’ve described the essence of what we are all about in a pithy, powerful narrative. It actually connects with your other recent posts about how we view and treat HNW donors – what is our attitude toward those people’s wealth? Are we celebrating with them and giving them a way to “come along side” them to implement a vision? Or are we treating them with suspicion (envy?) b/c of our own poverty attitudes and false theories of how wealth is acquired and stewarded? Fundraising is a blessing – for us all!
What other word can we use for “fundraising”? – I’ve had conversations with my colleagues in Planned Giving about what it is that we actually do . . . that may help!

Lori
Lori
3 months ago

When I tell someone my profession and someone says “Oh, that must be hard,” I say, “It’s probably not what you think.” (It is NOT my job to persuade anyone to make a gift that they don’t want to make.)

Long ago, I represented a public broadcasting institution. There were on-air pledge drives. (Granted, that is a different model from the individual fundraising that I do.) A CEO seemed apologetic when a donor complained about them. I piped up sincerely, “but I listen to on-air pledge drives in cities around the country and ours are SOOO much better!” The CEO said, “That’s like saying our toxic waste dump is better than their toxic waste dump.” They were a broadcasting purist. I was shocked and offended.

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