Leadership

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 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?

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 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

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 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

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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