Your Inner Fundraising Voice

By Fundraising Yoda
On November 3, 2015 At 9:47 am

Category : Best posts Q4 2015, individuals, Latest posts, leadership, strategy

Responses : 19 Comments

Increase retention, you must.

~Numerous Jedi Masters have translated this post from Yoda’s unique way of speaking to improve reading ease.~

There is much Dark Side fundraising being done in our sector. Yet no one fundraiser is to blame. Yoda does not know of any fundraiser who is hurting the sector on purpose. Fundraisers are good people, ready to change the world. They believe that what they are doing will build relationships, and raise more money so they can help more people. But when the time comes for action, what fundraising voice are they listening to?

Where does your inner fundraising voice come from? It comes from your upbringing, the company you keep and the knowledge you gather. And from outside voices like these well-meaning ones that must be listened to, but carefully. They may not represent donors first, as you must:

  • Leadership of your organisation– Their intentions are not bad, but leadership must balance many things. They hired you to be the expert on donors, as they may not be. They might make suggestions or give directions which you will feel compelled to follow, because you respect them and their position – but which are not always good for donors. Your role is to enlighten and engage them.
  • Testing and research– Yoda is not critical of testing and fundraising research. Without testing, how will you know what works and how others will learn from your experience? But without context, research can steer you to the Dark Side, which can work in the short-term and is easier. This is why it lures fundraisers in. Just because something works, it does not mean it is right for donors. You might be hurting our galaxy in the future.
  • Fundraisers overcome by the Dark Side – They will tell you about something which worked to raise more money. It would be tempting to follow them blindly. But if they have been lured by the Dark Side, then you must listen carefully and ask questions to defend yourself and the donor. Other fundraisers may also shut down your creative ideas to build stronger donor relationships because they are scared of change, as many are. It is important that Yoda points out that this type of fundraiser is rare. They do not run rampant, but they exist.
  • Our Dark Side self – We are conflicted beings. Our Dark Side self thinks only of money, reputation, fundraising glory and fame and career movement. Ambition is not a bad thing in itself, as it drives us to succeed. But when the decision you make is more about you than your donors, then you have failed. Listen to your voice to catch the Dark Side before it takes over.

In the end, your donor’s voice is the one you must represent at the table. Your inner voice is deep inside you, but it can be influenced and made better. There is much that you can do to strengthen your inner fundraising voice:

  • Choose strong mentors– There are those who use the Fundraising Force for good. Seek them out. You must follow them and absorb their knowledge. They will challenge you, stretch you and make you question yourself. You might be surprised at who will embrace you as a Padawan learner if they know you seek the Fundraising Force. Just ask.
  • Talk to donors– Sit with them, invite them to a conversation, encourage them to tell you what they like and do not like, do a satisfaction survey. You will learn much from doing this. Imagine your donor is sitting in an empty chair at your decision-making table. What would they say about the decisions you are making and how it impacts them?
  • Hunger for knowledge – Seek the truth at every opportunity. Read books, articles, blogs, have interviews and conversations about the good and bad of fundraising. Expanding your mind expands the collective fundraising mind, friend.
  • Embrace our Light Side self – As Yoda said, we are conflicted beings. We have in us a Dark Side, but we also have a voice which speaks for good, for the donor, and for what is right. When decisions are made, you must listen for this voice. Yoda believes that we are all good people, and this voice exists in all of us. We only face trouble when we ignore it.
  • Use and share your voice– Your inner voice can be used to influence others, like your organisation’s leaders, other fundraisers, the body of research, and to weaken your Dark Side self. It is your duty to develop this voice to make it stronger, as you would a muscle. When you see something wrong, speak out, or you are accepting it with your silence.

In the end, wherever it came from, your voice is yours, so you must own it. Yoda seeks to help by voicing what he feels is right for donors, but Yoda will not be around forever. Yoda is beginning to feel weak with age. Soon, Yoda will disappear from this plane, as it will be his time.

“When nine hundred days old you reach, look as good you will not.”

Very soon, Yoda will ask you to share your voice with others in a special way. Yoda invites you to answer this call to action when you receive it. Watch the stars, for this call is coming.

Deep inside, you know what is right. Sometimes it will be a dark and lonely journey to use the Fundraising Force for good, but you must walk this path. Your inner voice will guide you to the Light Side. When it comes to being a champion for donors, do. Or do not…you know the rest. Yoda will not say it again. Already know the drill, you do.

Fight for donors. Your duty, it is.

——————————–

~ Original blog post below ~

In our sector, Dark Side fundraising is being done. Yet no one fundraiser is to blame. Yoda knows not of any fundraisers who on purpose are hurting the sector. Good people, fundraisers are, ready to change the world. Believe they do, that what they are doing will build relationships, raise more money, and then help more people, they can. But when time comes for action, what fundraising voice are they listening to, hrrm?

Comes from, where does it, your inner fundraising voice? From your upbringing, the company you keep, the knowledge you gather, it does. And from outside voices like these well-meaning ones, that must be listened to, but carefully. Donors first, they may not represent, as you must.
• Leadership of your organisation – Their intentions are not bad, but balance many things, leadership must. Hired you, they did, to be the expert on donors, as they may not be. Make suggestions or give directions, they might, which you will feel compelled to follow, because you respect them and their position – but which are not always good for donors. Your role, it is, to enlighten and engage them.
• Testing and research – Critical, Yoda is not, of testing and fundraising research. Without testing, how know, will you, what works and how will others learn from your experience, hrrm? But without context, research can steer you to the Dark Side, which can work in short-term and is easier. This is why it lures fundraisers in. Because something works, this alone does not mean it is right for donors. Hurting our galaxy in the future, you might be.
• Fundraisers overcome by the Dark Side – Tell you they will, about something which worked to raise more money. Tempting, it would be to follow them blindly. But if lured by the Dark Side, they have been, then listen carefully and ask questions you must to defend yourself and the donor. Other fundraisers may also shut down your creative ideas to build stronger donor relationships, because scared they are, of change, as many are. Important that Yoda points out that this type of fundraiser is rare. Run rampant they do not, but they exist.
• Our Dark Side self – Conflicted beings, we are. Our Dark Side self, thinks only of money, reputation, fundraising glory and fame, career movement, it does. Ambition, a bad thing in itself, it is not as it drives us to succeed. But when the decision you make is more about you than your donors, then fail, you have. Listen to your voice to catch the Dark Side before it takes over.

In the end, your donor’s voice is the one you must represent at the table. Deep inside you, your inner voice is, but influenced and made better, it can be. Much there is that you can do to strengthen your inner fundraising voice.

• Choose strong mentors – There are those who use the Fundraising Force for good. Seek them out. Follow them and absorb their knowledge, you must. Challenge you, stretch you and make you question yourself, they will. Surprised, you might be, at who will embrace you as a Padawan learner if they know you seek the Fundraising Force. Just ask.
• Talk to donors – Sit with them, invite them to a conversation, encourage them to tell you what they like and do not like, do a satisfaction survey. Much, you will learn, from this. Imagine your donor is sitting in an empty chair at your decision-making table. Say, what would they, about the decisions you are making and how it impacts them?
• Hunger for knowledge – Seek the truth at every opportunity. Read books, articles, blogs, have interviews and conversations about the good and bad of fundraising. Expanding your mind expands the collective fundraising mind, friend.
• Embrace our Light Side self – As Yoda said, conflicted beings we are. In us, as we have a Dark Side, we also have a voice which speaks for good, for the donor, and for what is right. When decisions are made, listen for this voice, you must. Believes, Yoda does, that good people, we all are and this voice exists in all of us. Trouble, we face, only when we ignore it.
• Use and share your voice – Influence others, like your organisation’s leaders, other fundraisers, the body of research, and weaken your Dark Side self, your inner voice can. It is your duty to develop this voice, as you would a muscle, to make it stronger. Speak out, when something wrong you see, or accepting it with your silence, you are.

In the end, wherever it came from, your voice is yours, so own it, you must. Yoda seeks to help by voicing what he feels is right for donors, but be around forever, Yoda will not. Yoda begins to feel weak with age. Very soon, Yoda will disappear from this plane, as it will be his time.

When nine hundred days old you reach, look as good you will not.

Very soon, ask you to share your voice with others in a special way, Yoda will. Yoda invites you to answer this call to action when you receive it. Watch the stars, friends, for this call is coming.

Deep inside, know you do, what is right. Sometimes a dark and lonely journey, it will be, to use the Fundraising Force for good, but walk this path, you must. Your inner voice will guide you to the Light Side. When it comes to being a champion for donors, do. Or do not…the rest, you know. Say it again, Yoda will not. Already know the drill, you do.

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Fundraising Yoda (2 blogs on 101fundraising)

Fundraising Yoda has traveled many galaxies and consulted with numerous Jedi Fundraising Masters to seek the truth about fundraising, and has learned an important lesson. There is no one truth - it is the continual pursuit to discover a better path to engage donors that will strengthen our sector. Fundraising Yoda exists to represent the inner voice in all of us that serves the donor first.


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Comments

  1. My word this is annoying to read

     — Reply
  2. Wise words oh wrinkled one but should you feel the force to write further, please drop the yodish. Did my head in, it did.

     — Reply
  3. Gave up after a couple of sentences. Sorry. I’m sure there’s a decent message in there, but it was taking too much effort.

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  4. This seems like it could be a really great article with wonderful insights but it was just simply too hard for me to read in Yoda’s voice! It would be a better option to do the first paragraph or intro in that kind of ‘language’ then change it up after that. Because I’m not taking the extra 5 minutes to translate your article. I’m just not going to meet it.

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  5. Yoda – I am such a fan of yours!

    As a huge fundraising and Star Wars fan, I loved this blog.

    Thank you for always reminding me of what matters in this sector.

     — Reply
  6. Glad you mentioned talking to donors. It’s easy to get wrapped up in your own world and forget the “end-user”, so to speak.
    Nice job!

     — Reply
  7. The message is strong from this one. Set your patience to stun and engage. Take a few extra minutes to decode the Yoda-ism and it’s great content.

    Live long and prosper and live in peace with bloggers who put themselves out there to benefit us all.

    Great post. Thanks Yoda.

    Na noo Na noo.

     — Reply
    • I believe you just committed a nerd felony, Simon.

       — Reply
  8. Great comments from @FundraisingYoda, who has been sharing his truths with us on Twitter (at least we see him in Canada and the US). Could be a “play book” for new fundraisers!
    – Choose strong mentors
    – Talk with donors
    – Get educated
    – Follow your gut instincts for good
    – Share with, speak with, and do good with other fundraisers

    Worth the effort!

     — Reply
  9. Numerous Jedi Masters have translated this post from Yoda’s unique way of speaking to improve reading ease.

    Thank you Yoda!

     — Reply
  10. I love the creativity of this post- a more interesting read…. With really good points!

     — Reply
  11. May the force be with you Yoda!

    Some great fundraising points, I think it would be great if you could do a few more posts!

    I’m a big believer in giving our sector some personality and you did that! Nice work!!!!!

     — Reply
  12. Donors voice must be the one we represent at the table…. Most important you say?? True I Think that is ….

    That’s my best impression-

    Great work! Hope you blog again.

     — Reply
  13. I cannot describe how much you have hit the nail on the head! yer again Yoda has given his blunt outlook on Fundraising and it’s perfect. Well done 🙂

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  14. As always, Yoda champions the donors!

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  15. The language of love is always easily translated. Thank you, kind Yoda, for your wisdom.

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  16. Great insight Yoda!

     — Reply
  17. Marry me, Yoda!

     — Reply
  18. Thanks for the translation. It’s well worth reading.

     — Reply