Recently I was told, “Greg, you are one strong cup of coffee.”
I like that. Here’s why I am the way I am:
1. I believe life is very, very short. Both of my parents died in their 60’s. One of my best friends died last year at 54. I am 47. I think the fundraising sector needs to change, now! I don’t have time to wait. Today could be my last day. I have a tremendous sense of urgency.
I believe I need to get things done now! I guess that makes me a bit abrasive.
2. Complacency is a prelude to disaster. Our sector is failing to improve. That frustrates me tremendously. The fact that revenues from charitable gifts have been stuck at just 2% of GDP (gross domestic product) for over four decades is a crime. And it’s not the donors’ crime. It’s ours. We need to take responsibility for this. Imagine how much good could be done if we helped the revenues from charitable gifts grow to just 2.5% of GDP! That could add almost another $100 billion to help others! The sector can’t be complacent any longer.
I believe the sector must change now! I guess that makes me a bit abrasive.
3. The technology for success already exists. Technology is a game-changer. When it’s leveraged properly, it can make almost anything more effective— including fundraising. For example, just look at how much more efficient Uber, Apple, Google, and others have made all of us. But the nonprofit sector has been slow to adopt new technologies and strategies even though doing so would increase giving, make donors happy and make fundraisers more effective. But too often I run into people in the sector that don’t want to change. They don’t want to adopt new ways of doing things.
I believe nonprofit staff needs to embrace new technologies now! I guess that makes me a bit abrasive.
4. Too often donors are treated very poorly. Sometimes I wonder if lots of nonprofit staff might not be donating. Could the majority of them, perhaps, feel that they don’t need to donate since they already work hard all day helping to make an impact? If that’s the case, then it explains why so many nonprofits have such poor retention rates. It explains why so many lack donor-centricity. You can’t be donor-centric if you don’t know how it feels to be a donor, can you? The absence of donor-centricity leads to poor treatment of donors. I think that isn’t right and isn’t nice.
I believe nonprofit staff needs to treat their donors the same way they’d want to be treated! I guess that makes me a bit abrasive.
Remember, I got into this because I was a pissed off donor. I wanted to figure out how to ensure that donors, like me, were treated better.
Less spray and pray marketing.
Less show up and throw up fundraising.
Less abuse of major donors and others.
I beg you, please don’t misconstrue my frustration.
What some perceive as abrasive others perceive as passion.
I’m on a mission. My train is moving. Will you get aboard? I hope so!
If not, please get out of the way because this sector must change for the good of donors everywhere, for the good of the beneficiaries of your donors’ gifts, for the good of the staff at your organization, and for the good of millions of organizations around the world.
Whew! Maybe I should switch to decaf.
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