Order or convincing

July 17, 2017

From Tom Ahern:

I (Tom) was attempting to teach the Domain Formula for lucrative print donor newsletters. And a fundraiser asked “How do I convince marcomms to shrink our existing newsletter from 8 pages to 4 pages?”

Tom’s response: “IN TRUTH – This is a work order, not a persuasion exercise.”

Yes. The knowledgeable fundraiser directs marcomms.

Too often, fundraisers are in the position of trying to “persuade” the boss or board or board member … or marketing/communications … to do the right thing.

YES! THE RIGHT THING! The thing based on research. Like scientific research! The thing that has demonstrated success over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and ….

Sometimes these fundraisers are:

  • Scared and can’t risk losing their jobs. That’s understandable. Find another job where they respect you and your knowledge.
  • Don’t actually know the body of knowledge. Don’t follow research. Don’t embrace continuous learning. Shame on you. Learn the right stuff or go away and let true fundraisers push the right stuff.
  • Regularly explain to the boss, board, board members, and marc/com … and continually lose to these annoyingly silly (even dumb, perhaps) people who don’t listen to the research and body of knowledge you keep explaining. Why don’t they listen? Because they’re arrogant? Believe personal opinion trumps research and and … I don’t know. You probably don’t know either. But if you’ve tried and tried and tried and tried… Then find another job where you will receive the respect you deserve.

This is difficult work. I know. But don’t confuse your role. You are (should be) the expert. Explain. Then direct. Or find another job. You deserve so much better than this ignorant dynamic.

About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

Simone Joyaux, ACFRE, Adv Dip, is an internationally recognized expert in fund development, board and organizational development, strategic planning, and management.

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