Who’s wrecking your fundraising?

I’ve noticed that on nearly every fundraising direct mail copy-approval committee there’s at least one person who thinks direct mail is stupid, lame, annoying.

That person makes it his mission to single-handedly reform the conventions of direct mail. That is to say, to completely ruin the direct mail at hand.

Why do we listen to people who aren’t on board with the work we’re doing?

Seth Godin weighs in on this question at Unanimous is not an option:

Trying to please everyone will water down your efforts, frustrate your forward motion and ultimately fail.

Shun the non-believers.

The non-believers are everywhere. Maybe more so in fundraising than other places. They are a sort of anti-Midas, turning everything they touch into something decidedly unlike gold.

I’m with Seth: Shun! If you can.

More on destructive approval processes.


Comments

4 responses to “Who’s wrecking your fundraising?”

  1. But what if it’s Seth doing the nay saying, which he is often the one doing it? How do we know when the tide is truly turning and the disruptive voice is the one to heed? I get what you are saying — negativity to be negative is toxic. Sometimes the wolf really is there, though.

  2. But what if it’s Seth doing the nay saying, which he is often the one doing it? How do we know when the tide is truly turning and the disruptive voice is the one to heed? I get what you are saying — negativity to be negative is toxic. Sometimes the wolf really is there, though.

  3. Jim, you’re right that sometimes the person saying things aren’t right is correct. I think there’s a clear and discernible difference between a believer and a nonbeliever. For direct mail, if the person saying the project is going off the rails is someone who believes direct mail can be and should be good, they are a believer, and their opinions are probably valuable. The person who wants change because they think direct mail is a dumb medium will give you harmful opinions that will make your direct mail bad (or worse).

  4. Jim, you’re right that sometimes the person saying things aren’t right is correct. I think there’s a clear and discernible difference between a believer and a nonbeliever. For direct mail, if the person saying the project is going off the rails is someone who believes direct mail can be and should be good, they are a believer, and their opinions are probably valuable. The person who wants change because they think direct mail is a dumb medium will give you harmful opinions that will make your direct mail bad (or worse).

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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