Since I kicked off  the yeasty, comment-filled week with the Fundraising Firing Squad Forms A Circle post, I think it appropriate to end the week with Ken Burnett’s brilliant What Is A Fundraiser?  just to be sure your blood pressure is properly book-ended.

If you’ve followed the ‘Comments’ section on The Agitator about the dustup on the now-cancelled ‘Summit’ in the UK, you no doubt noted that Ken and the other participants were variously described as ‘old farts’,  ‘dinosaurs’, ‘hands-off’ and ‘irrelevant’.

All of these labels strike me as immensely unfair. But what apparently hurt Ken most was the charge about not being a practicing, hands-on fundraiser. Thus his post raising questions that should get us all thinking. Questions like:

  • Is Professor Adrian Sargeant, who’s done so much to advance the cause of donor loyalty and retention, really a ‘fundraiser’?
  • Clearly, according to the commentary, 41 year-old Kevin Schulman and 43 year-old Alan Clayton are ‘dinosaurs’. Both are also consultants heavily engaged with causes. But are they really ‘fundraisers’?
  • And what about the Face2Face solicitors … the telemarketing specialists … the donor service agents … copywriters … and agency heads? Are they really ‘fundraisers’?

It’s a question worth thinking about. Because the way it’s answered leads to inclusion or exclusion. I hope you answered an enthusiastic “YES!” to all of the above. At a time when our sector desperately needs all hands, all skills on deck, there’s no room for exclusion or resentment.

So … how would you define a ‘Fundraiser’?




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