Simone Uncensored

December 31, 2016

Hope dies last

10 minutes ago I posted a sad and angry blog: Lived experience isn’t what the law proclaims.

But there must be a partner to the sad and angry blog…

“La esperanza muere última.” Hope dies last. So said Jessie de la Cruz as she fought for the rights of farmworkers.

And “hope has two daughters, anger and courage. They are both lovely,” proclaimed Saint Augustine.

I will embrace what Father Dan Berrigan said: “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice. But there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”

I will continue my life in philanthropy because I know what Alfre Woodard knows: “Charity is good, but supporting and creating social change are about power. Power can infuse lives with purpose and dignity. That opens up the possibility of joy. The life of the giver, as well as that of the receiver, is transformed…No matter who we are, no matter how much money we have, whatever our color, gender, age, religion, or language, we can bring change to the world around us. We  can open our minds, roll up our sleeves, and reach out our hands.” (Alfre Woodard in the preface to the most marvelous book Robin Hood Was Right.)

I will continue taking risks. I will speak truth to power. Because social justice matters. As Woodard said, “Creating social change is exciting. It’s proof that we are alive and thinking. What could be beter than to work for a future where fairness is the bottom line?”

I end 2016 with deep sadness and anger. And I begin 2017 with deep sadness and anger — and a commitment to fight on and proclaim justice. Because my hope has not yet died.

Filed under: Social Commentary

December 31, 2016

Lived experience isn’t what the law proclaims

One last comment on social injustice for 2016. One more hope for future years.

We have laws about marriage equality. We have laws against racism and sexism. So everything is “fixed,” right?

No… Lived experience is different than law and regulation. Sure. The law is pro marriage equality and anti racist and pro women’s rights. Well, mostly the laws are kind of that way.

But the lived experience? People of color still experience racism. Daily. Women still experience sexism. Daily. If you’re homosexual or trans or… You still don’t feel safe and respected and …

Read this: Becoming Ugly. Sad. Grotesque. Truth. Anger. Can you imagine? Have you experienced? Do you deny? Do you understand yet? Will they understand? Ever?

 

Filed under: Social Commentary

December 12, 2016

Read research. Learn stuff. Help your NGO.

How frightening if you and your staff colleagues don’t read research. Really frightening.

I’m not just talking about fundraising research. It’s all research. Any research that might be relevant.

Read these articles. What are the implications for your nonprofit organization? How will you introduce this information to your boss and your board and your staff colleagues? How will you apply this research to your NGO?

Human Service Agencies’ Contributions Soar But Retention Rates Plummet for All Nonprofits. (Retention rates – loyalty – are the primary measure for effective fundraising – and any other business!)

Harvard Sciences and Sugar Industry Hook Up to Lead Public Down Dangerous Path.

Public Losing Faith in Higher Education as a Jumpstart to Work Lives

Fundraising Effectiveness Project

Are you reading any of the research at the Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy or at the Lilly School?

I read neuroscience marketing research about consumers. Written in a user-friendly way!

Read research! Explore implications of research! Apply research to your work!!!

Any research you suggest? I’ll post it!

Filed under: Research, Resources

December 5, 2016

Building the best organizations

What don’t we know?

How do we recognize that there’s stuff we don’t know — and we don’t know that we don’t know?

How do we confront that we don’t even know that we don’t know stuff?

How do we build into an NGO the concept of regularly exploring / discovering what we don’t know?

And this can happen in every or any part of our work anywhere.

[A conversation I had with Michael Campbell at HFPG‘s consultant workshop that I delivered in early December.]

November 29, 2016

If “they” fail the 20 questions….

Maybe you should find a better place to work.

Visit Tom Ahern’s new website. Pretty cool. I’m impressed.

Check out “The TEST Your Boss MUST Take!” 

Click here. Take it yourself first, of course. (I’m taking it shortly. Not sharing what I score but making darn sure that I learn the right answers if I fail questions!!!)

Share with your staff colleagues. (Maybe do it as a group in secret somewhere?)

Make sure your fundraising boss (and CEO) take it and learn this stuff and expect you to know the answers and make sure you know the answers. And teach the questions and the answers to your fundraising colleagues and your fundraising boss and your executive director / CEO person.

It’s kinda okay if your boss fails the test, but only if your boss is the ED/CEO. It’s only okay if your ED/CEO boss fails the test if that person says: “Well, of course I don’t know all the answers. But I expect you to know the answers and explain to me. And when you tell me to do stuff, I do it. Including that letter that I thought was kinda icky. But I sign it because you know the answers to these 20 questions. Thank you thank you. I was so smart to hire you!”

And if your ED/CEO doesn’t say what’s above…And continues fighting. You fight back. FIGHT BACK!!!!! No more whiny fundraisers. Your job is to fight back and explain and pass on your learnings. And if you fight for a couple years (yes…it can take that long) — and still no change in behavior from the bossies… THEN FIND ANOTHER JOB. YOU DESERVE BETTER!!!!

November 26, 2016

Men. Women. Female. Male. Glass ceilings. Better lives.

I found this draft in my blog folder. Somehow lost it. Never posted it. Or did I? Hmmmm….. I think not.

Obviously I drafted this before USA election day. Oh well. The articles are still good.

—-Here’s what I wrote and never posted. Title as is. Original blog text below—-

Read the articles below. Then stop telling me you don’t like Hillary.

Pay attention!

Women’s rights = human rights. Human rights = male rights = women’s rights.

What Women Owe Hillary Clinton

When Women Win, Men Win, Too

A Glass Ceiling Now Broken, Is U.S. Ready for a Madam President?

Filed under: Social Commentary

November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving is a U.S. holiday

Thankful for … friends and family and donors and business colleagues and employees and bosses and board members …

Thankful for the nonprofit sector and those willing to fight and risk speaking out and …

I said I wouldn’t talk about the U.S. election anymore. But I just read the single most marvelous summary of how I feel and how so many feel… the single most marvelous call-to-action for those who can take the risk to speak out … And yes, I can and will continue to do so.

Thank you Charles M. Blow. Brilliant and wonderful and deeply sad and galvanizing and kick-ass and…. “No, Trump, We Can’t Just Get Along.” 

Thank you New York Times. For keeping Charles M. Blow with you always.

Filed under: Social Commentary

November 21, 2016

More ethics in fundraising

Visit the Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy.

Read about Ian MacQuillin‘s  “foundational theory of normative ethics” for fundraising and fundraisers.

Visit Rogare, the think tank at the Centre, to learn more about the ethical theory to support the fundraising profession.

And read the Critical Thinking blog, too.

November 14, 2016

I will stop now…after this last one…

Very good LinkedIn comment from Kevin Feldman about following U.S. law. And being donor centered. I agree.

But I have additional comments. About silence is consent. About public policy and advocacy. About the ethical and moral role of the nonprofit sector.

First read Kevin’s remarks: Do Not Let Your Politics Ruin Your Fundraising. Then scroll down for my response.

Do read Waldemar Nielsen’s monograph “The Third Sector: Keystone of a Caring Society.” See Chapter 1 in my book Strategic Fund Development: Building Profitable Relationships That Last, 3rd edition, beginning on page 6, “Why does this sector matter?”

And always keep nearby John Gardner’s beautiful monograph, “Building Community,” also discussed in my book Strategic Fund Development.

Check the Independent Sector for the Gardner and Nielsen pieces. I read both of these more than 20 years ago– and they’re still favorites.

Okay. Enough.

 

Filed under: Social Commentary

November 14, 2016

Yes. There are ethics in fundraising.

If you’re a board member, ask if your organization subscribes to a code of ethics in fundraising. Your board should talk about the ethical code and be familiar with the general content and areas of compliance. All your staff should know, too, that your organization follows such codes.

Your fundraising staff and board fund development committee could present an annual report on your organization’s compliance with the code. (And, of course, your board should adopt the fundraising code of ethics as a policy – just like your board should adopt the Donor Bill of Rights as a policy.)

Review this Code of Ethical Standards. The code includes things like: Public trust, transparent and conflicts of interest. Solicitation and stewardship. Treatment of confidential and proprietary information. Compensation, bonuses, and finders fees.

Here are some of my favorite parts of the AFP Code of Ethical Standards for Fundraising:

#14: Ensure that contributions are used in accordance with donors’ intentions.

#16: Obtain explicit consent by donors before altering the conditions of financial transactions.

#21: Not accept compensation or enter into a contract that is based on a percentage of contributions; nor…accept finder’s fees or contingent fees.

#22: Be permitted to accept performance-based compensation, such as bonuses, only if such bonuses are in accord with prevailing practices within the..organization and are not based on a percentage of contributions.

Unethical performance harms all other NGOs and harms the nonprofit sector. Beware! Hold your own organization and its people accountable. And demand that other NGOs do the same. Call them out if need be.

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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