Easier Said Than Done: Fundraising Urban Legends Debunked
More cooks, better broth
Many fundraisers swear by the belief that large numbers of people working in committees are the path to excellence. They assemble platoons of reviewers and commenters on their fundraising projects. The more difficult, unusual or innovative the project, the more people they put on the committee. It's estimated that the entire city of Atlanta is composed of people who review fundraising projects.
This unfortunate belief results from bad math: Many fundraisers think that the IQ of a group is the total of the IQs of all its members. In reality, the correct way to calculate the IQ of a group is to take the IQ of the least intelligent member of the group and divide it by the number of people in the group.
So that guy — you know, the one who's not terribly bright, who insists that no sentence should be less than 25 words because "people don't respect simplistic language." Adding him to the committee will not add 87 more points to the committee's IQ. You're far better off without him. And nearly everyone else on the committee, as well.
The part about Atlanta is true.
Who wrote the Bible?
A popular Internet rumor has it that fundraising guru Mal Warwick is the actual author of the Holy Bible, in addition to his other popular books about fundraising.
Status: Unclassifiable veracity
We have not been able to disprove Mr. Warwick's authorship of Holy Scripture. Since he wrote more than one book that could be called "the Bible of Fundraising," how much harder would it have been for him just to write the Bible?
Escape from experience
For several years, a story has been spreading among nonprofit HR circles that if you hire someone from the business world with no nonprofit experience, she automatically brings special, magic "Success Dust" that she can sprinkle everywhere, making everything wonderful.