August 14, 2009

I’m just back from Memphis where I presented at the local AFP Chapter conference. I had fun sharing some pet peeves, pitiful problems and my own personal rants about troublesome trends. Here are just a few:

1. Body of knowledge pitted against personal opinion (especially the personal opinion of your really powerful board members!)

It’s your job to make yourself credible – and then promote the body of knowledge and fight against irrelevant personal opinion. Yes, that’s your job. Do it!

2. Problematic vocabulary used by fundraisers. Words like:

— Suspect. How tacky is that? Use my term “predisposed.”

— Major Gifts Officer. Tacky, too. Is there a minor gifts officer?

— Should. Like that donor should give more.

— Educate. Education people in your community about how important your mission is and why they should give.

3. Bad fundraising behaviors. Things like: turf wars and competition and silos.

4. Trespassing on personal and professional relationships instead of finding those who care.

5. Insufficient volunteer participation in fund development – like nurturing relationships and soliciting gifts. And sometimes it’s the staff who keep volunteers out.

What do you think? What are your biggest pet peeves and pitiful problems? What do you rant about? How are you going to fix this? Because that’s your job. Fix it!

Filed under: Leadership

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.

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