Eyes on the Fundraising Prize
Check this out (yes, it's a funny video, but it's OK. This is for work):
So spot on it's almost painful, right? Especially the very end.
And the fact that it's a stop sign, a vital public service, makes this video particularly relevant to fundraisers.
These guys start out with a perfectly good, simple, workable idea. But there's nothing like a "proactive, hands-on committee" to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
As true as this video is, the thing that gets me most is not the inanity of The Process. It's the glibness with which all the corporate people toss out their ideas.
How many times have you seen this dynamic in action? Too many stakeholders who want or need input. They may not know a lot about fundraising, but they know what they like. And they want to make sure everything that might be relevant to the message (or their department) gets included.
The real tragedy in this comedy is that everyone is so determined to have involvement, and keep tinkering with a perfectly good message, they forget that the end goal of the project really matters.
In the nonprofit world, a lot is at stake. People's well-being often depends on how much a caring organization can do to help them. And the organization's ability to help depends on its resources. And raising those resources — that's our job.
It can be a pretty uncomfortable thing to do, but if our organizations are going to be as effective as they can be, we have to ask ourselves a tough question: When a mail package, website, email, tweet or post delivers a compelling message, makes an emotional ask and motivates a donor to give … do we know when to say stop?
Willis Turner believes great writing has the power to change minds, save lives, and make people want to dance and sing. Willis is the creative director at Huntsinger & Jeffer. He worked as a lead writer and creative director in the traditional advertising world for more than 15 years before making the switch to fundraising 20 years ago. In his work with nonprofit organizations and associations, he has written thousands of appeals, renewals and acquisition communications for every medium. He creates direct-response campaigns, and collateral communications materials that get attention, tell powerful stories and persuade people to take action or make a donation.