January 2, 2012

It’s about me, not you. In other words, “It’s not what you’re selling that matters. It’s what I’m buying that counts.”

I wrote that back in 1997, in the first edition of Strategic Fund Development. Read more about it – and lots of other stuff – in my 3rd edition, released in March 2011 by John Wiley & Sons.

Check out Jeff Brooks’ blog of 12-29-11, “The first (and second, and third) lesson in fundraising.” And what’s the lesson? It’s not about you. Fundraising (and most of life) is not about you. It’s not about you and your organization, it’s about them…the donor and prospective donor.

That’s what Dale Carnegie, 1930s self-help guru meant when he said: “You’ll have more fun and success when you stop trying to get what you want and start helping other people get what they want.” Post that over your desk. Recite that mantra regularly – to yourself, for your board and boss.

Jeff’s 12-29-11 blog cites this learning from a posting on SOFII. A new fundraiser talks about writing something that had “never been said before”. The new fundraiser wanted to be original, didn’t want to copy anyone else’s style. And following that path too often makes you avoid the rules that work. Read Jeff’s blog. Read SOFII.

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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