How fundraisers get played

Are you getting played?

A lot of fundraising professionals are.

It’s usually consultants or salespeople offering something that’s going to make everything easy for you. It’s often technology. Sometimes it’s branding catnip from the commercial world.

How can you tell then you’re being played? Listen to Seth Godin: Chump (Don’t get played).

Seth’s example is Bernie Madoff, but he’s clearly also talking about Trump. But mostly, he’s talking about the “chumps” who get played:

For lots of reasons, people are open to looking for shortcuts and a new reality, even if no shortcuts are available….

Frustration in the face of the way things are makes us open to the big lie. Frustration and fear and anger can suspend our ability to ask difficult questions, to listen to thoughtful critics, to do our homework.

Don’t get played. Promises that sound too good to be true are. Anyone who tells you his product will save you from the heavy lifting of understanding donors and describing your work so it appeals to them is lying.

You can avoid getting played. But it takes some thought and eyes-open analysis of the situation.


Comments

2 responses to “How fundraisers get played”

  1. I’ve been reading FFN for quite some time and have really learned a lot from the posts, links and articles. Until, today.
    The information was good, but the reference to Trump was completely uncalled for. It was a slam. No, I’m not a Trump supporter. I’m undecided. However, your insinuation was tainted, biased and clearly trying to incite one person as the “VILLAIN”.
    And after reading the article several times, I don’t see how the writer was clearly talking about anyone.
    For the future, stop trying to “play” your readers and leave politics out of fundraising.

  2. I’ve been reading FFN for quite some time and have really learned a lot from the posts, links and articles. Until, today.
    The information was good, but the reference to Trump was completely uncalled for. It was a slam. No, I’m not a Trump supporter. I’m undecided. However, your insinuation was tainted, biased and clearly trying to incite one person as the “VILLAIN”.
    And after reading the article several times, I don’t see how the writer was clearly talking about anyone.
    For the future, stop trying to “play” your readers and leave politics out of fundraising.

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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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