Grab Your Partner!
— Proof-less in Utah
Common problem. We've all seen it from both sides of the table. The old adage "the client is always right" certainly applies here, but at the same time, what happens when you run through vendors yourself and compromise your reputation?
There must be a middle ground! Be proactive in helping partner with the client on a tool kit that helps everybody in the long run: Develop a fundraising/editorial calendar before the end of the fiscal year.
Drop in all the core appeals like spring wrap, annual fund in March and the like. Fill in as many blanks as you can. It's OK to have a few TBDs, since things change. But working from a document like that, it helps your day to day as well as your client's leadership plan its year and be prepared for times of heavy approvals, new packages and the like. When there are things like the tax e-mail that will be evergreen for the most part, make sure everybody knows it will be an easy turnaround so you're helping be a partner in managing the work.
No matter how hard you try, there will always be last-minute things. And nothing ever goes as smoothly as we'd like. But providing a few tools in the end will help you both be better partners!
And a few of the one-offs I've heard to round out what you already know …
● Going to the agency side isn't always going to the dark side. Consultants are people too.
● Clients are smart — some smarter than their consultants — but both sides of the table have superstars and "not so super" stars.
● It isn't always personal when they don't like your copy or creative — on either side! Sometimes the best concepts come out of robust discussions and debates over messaging and branding.
So, I'm a fundraiser having a mid-life crisis. And that's perfectly fine with me.
I am taking time to look around, lift my head and find REAL people who really want to change the world. And people smart enough to do it. Join me in this fun journey. I have no idea where we will end up - and that is the beauty of it. I'm nonprofit passionate, a hopeful world changer, and always ready to share what I know, learn what I don't, admit when I can't, and ask the hard questions.
While you're looking around for other areas of inspiration, check out The Moth Project at themoth.org (the podcasts are AMAZING), TED talks (doesn't matter which ones - find topics that interest you) and Volunteer Voices (again - love the podcast) written by volunteers from the Peace Corps. Don't see the immediate connection to being a better fundraiser? Just listen, you'll hear the message ...