Simone Uncensored

March 27, 2017

Marvelous Matthew & Feminism

Wonderful piece by Matthew Sherrington. “Men in Fundraising: We have a problem and its you.” From 101Fundraising crowd blog.

Matthew talks about:

  • Sexism in the NGO sector…alive and flourishing.
  • Imposter syndrome…and links to other articles and then Amanda “F…ing” Palmer’s 2011 speech at the IFC. I was there. She was great.
  • Tall poppy syndrome…just got off those heads.

And fighting this crap…Men who are not feminists. Women who are anti-feminist.

Remember: EQUITY is different than equality. EQUITY is the best.

P.S. Do you subscribe to 101Fundraising? I suggest that you do so. Especially if you live in the U.S. We U.S.ers need to read beyond the U.S.

 

March 14, 2017

Annual fund is sooo STUPID!!!!!!!!!!

I’ve been ranting about this for years and years. 

No emotional content. Meaningless. (And back in the 80s, I even had letterhead that said “Trinity Rep Annual Fund.” How dumb was I?)

I ask people what they mean by “annual fund.” Mostly the answer is: “Our annual direct mail letter.” WTF? One annual direct mail letter? For your DM segment, you ought to be sending multiple different “themed” letters.

I ask about the fundraising events the organization is doing to raise general operating support for the year. Mostly people kinda stare at me. Or say, “Oh.”

I ask fundraisers if they do personal face-to-face solicitation each year for annual operating support. Mostly fundraisers respond with, “Oh. That’s major gift solicitation.” (And I HATE the term “major gift solicitation.” And too many organizations don’t personally solicit face-to-face for a portion of their donors.)

STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT!!!!!!!!!!! Instead, segment the donor/prospect market via solicitation strategies. Is anything missing from the list below?

  • Personal face-to-face solicitation.
  • Direct mail (electronic and print).
  • Telephone (Yes, some organizations still do this!)
  • Proposals (grantwriting to foundations, corporations, whatever).
  • Special events (ticket sales, sponsorship requests)
  • Telethon…like on TV

THE ANNUAL FUND? STOP IT NOW!!!!!! NGOs raise charitable gifts for special projects outside of general operations. Your nonprofit raises money to support endowment…or a building. BUT MOSTLY, you raise money to support general operations, which includes program and the dread overhead. 

 

So the “annual fund” means all the solicitation strategies and all the sources of gifts and everything you do for that particular fiscal year…to operate… to do your important work… to help your beneficiaries… to fulfill the aspirations of your donors… And so forth.

STOP IT. JUST STOP IT. There is no such thing as “the annual fund.” It’s too silly and too dumb and and and ……….. And yes. I’m grumpy today.

March 13, 2017

What kind of consultant do you want to hire?

What kind of consultant do you want to hire? Think about this!

What is a consultant?

What’s the role of a consultant?

Here’s what I think a consultant is (and does):

Change agent. Teacher. Personal counselor. Trusted advisor. Truth teller.

Brutal truth teller telling brutal truths. (Michael Campbell used the phrase “brutal truths”. I like it!)

Hey consultants, read this great book: The Trusted Advisor

Hey nonprofits, read this 2-part article about choosing a consultant: “Should you hire a fundraising consultant…” And check this out, too: “Tips for using fund development consultants.”

Are we consultants willing and able to take the risks to be this kind of consultant? Do we even want to be this kind of consultant?

March 6, 2017

Periodic video postings: #2 in my new series

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

I’m always learning from Seth Godin. I subscribe to his daily blog. I’ve read tons of his books. Permission Marketing. The Big Moo. The Icarus Deception.

And TRIBES. I want donors to be a tribe… a tribe in the good sense. (Yes, there is a bad meaning to tribes… homogeneous, insular, etc.)

If you haven’t heard/seen Seth Godin speak, it’s time now. “The tribes we lead.” 

 

March 3, 2017

Post-mortem from the Oscars

My nephew Daniel Joyaux is a film critic. Visit Third Movies & CultureA blog about the best, most interesting, and most offensive works in film, music, & entertainment culture…. both current and classic.

Read Daniel’s Oscars post-mortem. You’ll have fun and appreciate films all the more.

He writes soooooo well. (And he’s not even biologically related to Tom Ahern!) Such great and informative insights in his blog.

Regularly, we ask Daniel about movies we’re considering: “Should we see this one? How much did you like it? Will it make me sad and today isn’t a good day for sad?”

And he explains why something is good and how it compares to other movies from long ago.

And and and and and …………

So follow Daniel on Twitter (@Thirdmanmovies)

Filed under: Just for fun

February 27, 2017

Check out some interesting resources. What do you think?

There’s interesting stuff out there in our fundraising and nonprofit world.

See what you think:

What would you like to share?

 

 

Filed under: Resources

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!

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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