Commenting on a recent Agitator post, Claire Axelrad noted: “…transformational fundraising is about igniting the spark of passion that brings human beings joy. That’s why fundraisers (the good ones) are to be treasured, not castigated. The good ones are guides and leaders, not paparazzi.”

What a vivid (negative) image that gave me … fundraisers as paparazzi! I love it!

Wikipedia explains the word “paparazzi” as “an eponym originating in the 1960 film La Dolce Vita directed by Federico Fellini. One of the characters in the film is a news photographer named Paparazzo. In his book Word and Phrase, Robert Hendrickson writes that Fellini took the name from an Italian dialect word that describes a particularly annoying noise, that of a buzzing mosquito.”

Paparazzi are such a pain in the butt that California has just passed a law that limits taking photos of children of parents in the public eye without the parents’ consent. Some countries have antistalking laws that are used to discourage paparazzi.

So, fundraiser, what are you?

A guide, helping your donor find joy? What’s your evidence of that?

Or a paparazzi, a stalker, a buzzing insect … in short, a bloody biting nuisance to your donors?


P.S. Claire, you get an Agitator raise! We haven’t given one in months.

This article was posted in: Donor retention / loyalty / commitment, Nonprofit management.
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