Fundraiser or Faker?
Ah, the fakers. They're sort of like those sci-fi pod people: They look like real fundraisers. In fact, they often seem to be deluxe, better-than-usual fundraisers. But they're fake fundraisers. You know you've met one or two. They promise a lot but seldom deliver. Along they way, they do incalculable damage.
The problem is, as with pod people, the core competency of fakers is they can appear to be souped-up fundraisers — more visionary, more up-to-date, more likely to cause gazillions of dollars to suddenly pour down on your organization.
Here are some of the signs that give them away, so you can avoid the costly mistake of shackling yourself to a faker when you need a fundraiser.
To do that, we'll look at one of each: Felicia Fundraiser and Frankie Faker.
Felicia Fundraiser gets the job done, pays attention to details and continuously learns about her profession. She reads books, blogs and magazines. Goes to conferences. Finds mentors. She knows her stuff in a competent, quiet way.
The rap on Felicia? She's methodical. Some find her boring — although nobody gets bored counting the money that rolls in month after month because of her work.
Frankie Faker is another story. He's a spinning, effervescent ball of energy. People like that about him. He can talk persuasively about anything that's new. The newer, the better. If he's the only one in the room who's heard of something, he's deep in his area of strength. (The Irish name for this skill is "blarney." The American term for it also starts with a B.) Frankie doesn't raise very much money. That's beside the point for him. But he sure makes folks feel energized.
Fundraisers vs. fakers: donors
Felicia Fundraiser loves donors. She loves them for who they are: generous, special people who make everything we do possible. She studies donors, talks to them, reads what they read and knows their demographics down to a granular level.