Fundraising Hell, Level 5: The Wrathful

Inferno

If Dante had been a fundraiser, his Inferno might have been slightly different, featuring the evils specific to fundraisers. I have corrected Dante’s oversight. This is part five of a nine-part tour of the levels of Fundraising Hell.

After we leave the Greedy and Wasteful Fundraisers, we descend to a level inhabited by some who were not unlike them — Wrathful Fundraisers.

They disliked their donors.

Disliking your donors is a grave and terrible sin. For living that way the Wrathful face eternity in the black, marshy waters of the River Styx. Some of them furiously fight one another, while others lie gurgling at the bottom, unable to see or hear anything but their sullen, unpleasant thoughts.

Donors are your source of life: they make everything from your cause to your health insurance happen. Fundraisers who dislike those donors — usually because they have different taste, knowledge, or expectations than the fundraisers — cut themselves off from the one thing that matters in their world.

Escape this fate by remembering always what your donors give you. They aren’t you, and that can be frustrating, but the mature, well-rounded fundraiser can embrace that difference and serve those donors, despite the differences.

Next Monday — Level 6: The Heretics

Previous levels:


Comments

2 responses to “Fundraising Hell, Level 5: The Wrathful”

  1. I know this is a little cheeky but so very true, especially about finding the positive in your donors! Great series and I cannot wait for next weeks.

  2. I know this is a little cheeky but so very true, especially about finding the positive in your donors! Great series and I cannot wait for next weeks.

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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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About the blogger

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.