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Posts Tagged ‘fundraising’

Deep thoughts these days, about many things.

For one, I’ve been reading Dan Pallotta’s book, Uncharitable.: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential. I work for a nonprofit, so I find it especially thought-provoking. I’m just one chapter in, and so much is making me take a look at the whole paradigm anew. Even the way he defines terms by going back to their roots is revealing. If you have any interest in the nonprofit world, or causes, or social issues, just let these roll around in your head and see what you think:

Profit comes from the Latin profectus, meaning progress. What does that say about the meaning of nonprofit?

Charity comes from the Greek work charos, meaning love or grace . . .

The circles I travel in consider it inappropriate to talk about charity, yet we freely and even proudly identify ourselves as nonprofit — no progress. Go figure.

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I spent the last two days at a seminar on fundraising for small nonprofits. Dr. Tim Seiler taught it. He’s director of The Fund Raising School at The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.  World class. (By the way, I’m not surprised to find out his PhD is in English. He actually talked about infinitive phrases and 1st person pronouns, and doesn’t trust spell check. Loved it!) My mind is full and now I need to digest what I’ve heard so I can go back to work and put it to use.

That’s always the danger, isn’t it? Hearing wisdom and expertise — there is a difference — then saying, “That’s nice,” and going on with pre-seminar business as usual. I don’t want to do that. It wasn’t working all that well. It’s clear to me that I and our agency across the board need what Dr. Seiler was teaching. Where to begin?

Anne Lamott reminds writers that you tackle writing Bird by Bird. I guess that works for lots of big projects. Just start. Okay. I can do this. I will pray for wisdom and pick something basic, and begin to work smarter.

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