Simone Uncensored

February 23, 2017

Confession and …

I feel edgy and stressed.

I’m out of sorts (where did that phrase come from?). Worried and anxious.

You know why if you’re reading this blog labeled “social commentary.” It’s how so many of us feel. For example: The rescinding of the bathroom directive for transgender youth in schools. Yet another inconceivable – but inevitable I suggest – Trump action.

So I’m reading a James Rollins action novel. And the hero is ex-military with PTSD. One of the hero’s counselors used the term MORAL INJURY to refine the diagnosis of PTSD…. MORAL INJURY occurrs when “someone’s understanding of right and wrong was deeply violated.”

That’s what so many of us are feeling…. A violation of our basic values and beliefs. A violation of our vision of community and the good life and common cause … And our hopes for the United States of America. A violation of what we want this country to continue to aspire to and fight for.

What Papa Georges taught me and raised me to believe and how to act… The USA has always violated – to various degrees – my understanding of right and wrong. But never more so than this moment of my lifetime.

Sometimes I think about leaving. But then I realize the world violates my understanding of right and wrong to various degrees in every country and every community and … So I’ll stay here and fight.

I’m rambling. I’m on the road for 10 days and feeling tired anyway.

I just wanted to share the PTSD description for all of us who are feeling somewhat stressed and shakey and and and …. PTSD is a moral injury… when someone’s understnading of right and wrong is deeply violated.

[P.S. If you like action adventure etc. novels…. I’m liking Jim Rollins.]

 

 

Filed under: Social Commentary

February 15, 2017

Hope?

Thank you to Patti Saunders, Alaska pal.

“I love your rants, Simone. They so often mirror my own thoughts and feelings, but more articulately than I can usually manage.

“I want to offer one bit of hope: it seems to me that one of the things we may be seeing is a whole lot of nominally progressive people who have sat back and taken our progress for granted, as well as the idea that the progress would continue unabated into the future (albeit by fits and starts), have woken up out of their complacent stupor and realized that everything is at stake right now, including our souls if we just go quietly.
“I’m thrilled to see so many people in the streets and on the phone to their legislators (30,000 calls to AK Senator Murkowski about DeVos!!!). I’m thrilled to see so many people donating to good causes ($19 million to the ACLU in THREE DAYS to litigate the immigration/refugee order!). There’s a sea change in the air; I can smell it.
“We just have to keep it going, bank the coals so the flame stays lit for the long haul.”
YES. We just have to keep it going, bank the coals sos the flame stays lit for the long haul. Because it’s going to be a very very long haul. Full of ugliness and fear and anger and sadness and so much hurt to so many people.
Thank you, Patti.

Filed under: Social Commentary

February 13, 2017

Truth. Facts. Whatever.

Have you ever fought with your boss or board about the fundraising body of knowledge and research? Do you ever get frustrated when non-fundraisers tell you, the professional, that you’re wrong?

Your boss and board don’t do that to the accountant. Darn few people question the building contractor about the size of wall studs.

But in the nonprofit sector, opinions (especially from that really powerful board member or your boss) win too often over body of knowledge and research and expertise.

And this happens in the regular world, too. The world of climate change and evolution and….

One of my favorite articles of all times is Chris Mooney’s “The Science of Why We Don’t Believe Science.”  I know I’ve told you to read this before.

There are actually true truths in this world. And facts not opinions. Rembrandt did exist. That’s a fact. Evolution is true. It’s been proven.

We can’t disagree with these facts. We can’t claim that there are differences of opinion.

Then there are personal truths. He might believe in god. She doesn’t.

We get in big trouble by denying facts and truths. Sadly, we’re wired to do so. Just read Mooney’s article again.

If you’re a professional, then you learn the body of knowledge. You follow research. You distinguish between facts and professional opinion…facts and personal opinion… And you fight to make sure that the others learn and behave accordingly.

We’ve got lots of fighting to do, people. In the fundraising profession, in the nonprofit sector…and in our world. Don’t get confused about the distinctions. Check out this article, “Truth, truthiness, triangulation: A news literacy toolkit for a ‘post-truth’ world,” Joyce Valenza.

And here’s another thing to have at your side all the time, The Miniature Guide to Critical ThinkingIt costs $4. You can read it in 30 minutes or less. Get the whole real thing. Not just the short limited free version.

 

Filed under: Leadership, Research, Resources

February 9, 2017

Refuse to acknowledge…

Elizabeth Warren was told to be quiet. Women often are.

Boys are told not to ask questions and not to cry. Only women do that.

Sexism… Against women and, yes, against men, too.

Conscious and unconscious bias. Racism. Sexism. Homophobia. Bathroom laws. And on and on. Alive and well. And thriving now.

But we continue to deny. We continue to ignore research. We continue – as a society, as communities, as governments, as president – to acknowledge our own unearned privilege. We continue to deny all our “isms.”

“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” Senator Elizabeth Warren was certainly not the first – nor will she be the last.

An endless list of those fighting for basic human rights. Endless – both so sad (not enough progress) and so great (continuing to fight). Martin Luther King, Jr. Mahatma Gandhi. Black Lives Matter. Gloria Steinem. William Wilberforce. Hillary Clinton. Malala Yousafzai. Betty Friedan. Shirley Chisolm. Jessie de la Cruz. Just a few that I think of.

Feminism is not a female thing. Feminism is an equity thing. Civil rights isn’t a people of color thing. Civil rights is an equity thing. Same with homophobia and and and and and and…

I’m so tired and so sad and so angry and so disappointed. But not surprised, I guess.

Look in the mirror. Grab hold of your conscious mind. Fight to overcome your own unconscious bias. Make it conscious and fight it!

February 6, 2017

Periodic video postings

A new series… Videos that are particularly special to me. Compelling. Perhaps useful. Meaningful. Whatever.

I wept at this one. About trust and love and peace…

To help inspire you and me as we start a day, a week, a month. To help us understand the meaning of trust and its importance in life and work and fundraising and organizational development.

I weep a bit each time. As I think of the world.

Filed under: Leadership

February 1, 2017

Do you read 101fundraising?

You should. International crowdblog on fundraising.

Check out Matthew Sherrington’s “12 insights from the crystal ball: Get your fundraising ready for the future.” 

Share with your boss and your board.

I responded by saying that I particularly #6, #9, and #11. That was my feeling yesterday when I read the blog. Of course, I actually like them all.

But #6, #9, and #11 are particularly special to me. Because fundraising is not that icky thing shoved off into a corner… Fundraising is not a means to our organization’s so very important end. Fundraising – and the philanthropy it generates – is meaningful and special and essential in its own right. Fundraising – the resulting philanthropy – represent the donor’s aspirations. Your NGO is a means to fulfill that donor’s aspirations.

So read. Share. Think. And fix your organization!!

By the way, check out Monsieur Sherrington’s twitter feed… Sharing cool historical facts.

January 17, 2017

Prepping for 2017 Giving Tuesday

It’s never too late to start thinking about big actions, small meaningful activities, etc.

If you’re thinking about #GIVINGTUESDAY for 2017, read these blogs and research first. Because maybe #GivingTuesday isn’t so great. Maybe #GivingTuesday needs to change.

And probably for sure…. your organization needs to think long and hard about how you do fundraising and how you might do #GivingTuesday and………

Giving Tuesday and the when versus why of giving (Nick Ellinger, DonorVoice, November 30, 2016)

  • Starts with: “I like the idea of Giving Tuesday very much – there needs to be a day (actually, more than one) dedicated to giving. That’s why it frustrates me that we are killing it….Killing it in the sense of making it unable to survive.”

Losing Donors in the Sea of Sameness (Roger Craver, The Agitator, December 2, 2016)

  • Starts with: “…abandoning support of an organization is influenced and controlled by the actions the organization itself takes…. Perhaps nowhere are the sloppy, copycat practices of some fundraisers more pronounced that on #GivingTuesday.” READ IT!

Please think. Please review your practices. Please let’s make it better.

P.S. A board member asked me the other day about what I think about “donor fatigue.” And I responded: “Donor fatigue is something we fundraisers and organizations make ourselves. And not because we’re asking. But because we’re doing this work so poorly.”

P.P.S. Do you read the Whiny Donor on twitter. I’m always apologizing to @thewhinydonor. I asked if s/he was actually a fundraiser in disguise – “NO.” I asked if I had ever met him/her – “NO.” Check out @thewhinydonor. Ah tristesse.

January 10, 2017

New stuff that impressed me

Check out The Grow Report. Pam Grow’s stuff is sooo good. I was reading her January 5 new year hello. And the examples she gave. And the book about justice… And the blog roll. And how about your very own “Donor Love Crib Sheet?” Maybe you oughta subscribe?

Pam focuses on the small development office. BUT… I suggest that even the larger offices check out her stuff.

  ♦ 

That Tom Ahern guy has done some very interesting writing recently. I particularly appreciated the following: His newsletter article “HOAX!!!! Raising awareness unmasked.”

And his personal blog about Siegfried Vögele. And his personal blog of January 5, 2017 about communications:  It’s built backwards from your target audience.

January 8, 2017

Vietnam War and trust

New series begins in the New York Times… Revisiting the war in Vietnam and “its consequences for today.”

“Vietnam: The War That Killed Trust.”

We forget history too much. I suppose “everyone” knows WWI and WWII.

But Nam was seminal. The war in Vietnam “changed the way we looked at politics,” and race and so much.

Worth reading and reflecting upon. How the events of 1967 and early 1968 affected that country and this country – and our world.

Filed under: Social Commentary

January 4, 2017

Articles of meaning

Do you know the phrase “rest and rise”? It means not responding immediately…reflecting…then proposing.

I do that with readings. So a couple months later…I’m sharing some favorites from the Nonprofit Quarterly.

Surviving the Inclusion Delusion.” So much talk about inclusion. Now read Jill Barker’s article about her son.

New Research: American Dream is Mostly a Fantasy – Class Matters More.” How many more times must we hear that the American dream doesn’t work so well. When will we every change?

Do you ever host conversations with your staff and your board about these kinds of issues? Maybe this is the way to start the new year? Reading and talking together. And exploring the implications for your beneficiaries, your cause, your fundraising, your organization, your….

Filed under: Leadership, Resources

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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