The Walking Dead Sabotage Nonprofits
Recently I've written about my personal epiphany regarding the expense-is-all-that-matters filter through which we/I have looked at nonprofits' effectiveness.
The new movement afoot to evaluate nonprofits with effectiveness as part of the measure is sabotaged by villains like the ones characterized in this NBC article.
Organizations like Children's Cancer Fund of America and the Breast Cancer Society are now in a settlement agreement, so I don't have to use the word "alleged" when I describe them as bottom-feeding, without remorse or social conscience, ego-centric ... What? Finding that appropriately disgust-conveying word is tough. "Pansy" or "Pudding Head" or "Daisy" or "Doofus" just doesn't do it.
I am going to use "Walker."
The Walking Dead is my current favorite show. With the beloved, I've binge watched it for weeks, every season available. I just got to the episode for which the series is entitled. That episode finally clarifies that it is not the zombies who are the walking dead, it is the people who gave up their humanity in exchange for survival.
These people not only stole a bunch of money—call it "misdirected" if you want to—but they sabotaged those working in nonprofits trying to do good work for the world. We didn't just lose the money they stole, we lost the confidence of a lot of people who gave, or who simply read the articles about them. From the good and true nonprofits and those they serve, the Walking Dead have taken many multiples of what they stole outright. They have taken food from babies, cures from patients and counsel from those who need it.
The people who led these organizations are even worse than the Walking Dead. They didn't give up their humanity for survival. They did it for money.
Katrina VanHuss is the CEO of Turnkey, a U.S.-based strategy and execution firm for nonprofit fundraising campaigns. Katrina has been instilling passion in volunteer fundraisers since 1989 when she founded the company. Turnkey’s clients include most of the top thirty U.S. peer-to-peer campaigns — Susan G. Komen, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the ALS Association, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, as well as some international organizations, like UNICEF.
Otis Fulton is a psychologist who joined Turnkey in 2013 as its consumer behavior expert. He works with clients to apply psychological principles to fundraising. He is a much-sought-after copywriter for nonprofit messaging. He has written campaigns for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, The March of Dimes, the USO and dozens of other organizations.
Now as a married couple, Katrina and Otis almost never stop talking about fundraising, volunteerism, and human decision-making – much to the chagrin of most dinner companions.
Katrina and Otis present regularly at clients’ national conferences, as well as at BBCon, NonProfit Pro P2P, Peer to Peer Forum, and others. They write a weekly column for NonProfit PRO and are the co-authors of the 2017 book, "Dollar Dash: The Behavioral Economics of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising." They live in Richmond, Virginia, USA.