Week after week, as I look through my mother-in-law’s mail box of direct mail, wading through the commercialized, overly-branded, perfectly-typeset in Gotham, full of boasting and praise for itself, “charitable” appeals, I shake my head and think, there’s no room for me here. There’s no room for me, the donor.
I read tweet after tweet about the next big SCORE of a major gift for your new wing at your hospital, with a giant, perfectly-lit photograph of another old white guy, beaming ear to ear holding a big cheque with your major gifts officer, handshakes all around, and I get a crease in my brow and think, there’s no room for me here. There’s no room for me, the donor.
I see website after website, talking about this new campaign, this new problem, this latest thing we totally fixed, or the latest anniversary and celebration, with beautiful stock photos, reversed out type and oh! hey! look! a tiny “donate” button… ruining another otherwise gorgeous wordpress template, and you know, I stretch my hand off my mouse and I think, there’s no room for me here. There’s no room for me, the donor.
I wonder what your donor did to make parts of your team loathe them so much. I wonder why I never hear about a fundraiser getting to approve all the “churn” that comes out of the marketing department. I wonder why people find it so hard to be emotive in their language, and loving in their actions with their donors. I wonder what makes YOU so much more important than THEM?
I look at you and think there’s no room for me here.
And I don’t stop giving.
I just stop giving to you.
And you still don’t accept the blame.
Agent John is a long time marketer, designer and ranter. Agent Jen calls him “authentic”. Others may not be so kind. The truth is, John wears his heart on his sleeve and when provoked will wave his hands and raise his voice an octave as he voices his frustration and opinions. And a blog post may even come of it.
Find him on Twitter @johnlepp
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