Regular Agitator readers know the high value we place on trust as the essential core attribute of any brand, including your nonprofit.

And the doorway to trust is transparency. For wherever a donor, a customer, a constituent sees or senses a veil or a curtain, their visceral reaction is suspicion, distrust.

If you doubt the importance of trust, just reflect on the recent self-destruction of GiveWell, the folks who were advocating transparency — indeed nakedness — in foundation decision-making and evaluation. Whether they can regain trust and be viable remains to be seen.

From a different perspective, here is a piece from a consultant and blogger who specializes in “trust,” on the transparency of John McCain, at least as that author sees it, and the benefits of this trait to his candidacy.

To be sure, McCain is not the favorite cup of tea for many (most?) Agitator readers, but it's hard to deny his unique accessibility and straightforwardness.

And it's impossible to deny that trust isn't at the bottom of successful selling, whether you're selling a cause, a candidate, or a product.

Tom

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