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 Thinking. It costs $4. You can read it in 30 minutes or less. Get the whole real thing. Not just the short limited free version.