with apologies to my colleague Ligia who got this post rattling around in my brain, i wanted to share part of our conversation.
she said to me – and i will paraphrase – a lot of executive director’s and development staff are terribly afraid of innovation and creativity but that’s exactly why i want to work with you.
this isn’t the first time I’ve heard this – and it really – truly is a humbling compliment.
however this also is terribly worrying and frightening.
to be innovative in this sector – in this day – it means to many to be risky.
it means trying things never tried before.
it means being outside the box.
it means being expensive.
it means being challenging.
it means no guarantee of reward.
being innovative is something to steer clear of.
what troubles me more is that we are being associated with being innovative.
telling amazing and moving stories, sometimes funny, sometimes heart wrenchingly sad.
loving donors and putting their needs above that of the charity.
finding creative (and tested) ways of getting envelopes opened or links clicked.
these things that we do, somehow are being represented as innovative.
think about that for a moment.
how scary is it that doing a proper job of this thing we call “donor centred fundraising” is now considered innovative.
and that the people in charge of “fundraising” are threatened by this. scared of this.
i’ve never claimed we are innovative.
but if you find the way we approach our work with our clients as innovative – I’ve got really bad news for you – you are in deep shit.
tell amazing and moving stories, sometimes funny, sometimes heart wrenchingly sad.
love donors and put their needs above that of yours.
find creative (and tested) ways to get envelopes opened or links clicked.
If this is innovative – then BE innovative.
but if doing these things scare you, then you’ve got bigger problems my friend.