I get really frustrated when people talk about how much they dislike being asked for money and dislike fundraisers. Many times I hear people alluding to “those awful development officers” that are always harassing people. That actually hurts to hear, I didn’t get into development to piss people off and annoy them. And from the experience I’ve had almost everyone I talk to is not offended or frustrated by our conversations.
I see development as providing people with opportunities not soliciting for funds. Is that just semantics or is it really a different model? I can talk about a “brilliant new idea” of All Donors as Major Donors but in practicality am I really changing my philosophy? In the end of the day we are all accountable to how we work with and treat those that partner with us in our work… the donor.
How do you feel about being on the other side of giving? I have been surprised when I’ve had someone call me with a request for money. Sometimes I’m totally supportive of it and excited and other times it makes me frustrated too. Is that because I’m seeing my own fundraising styles and evaluating against another person’s fundraising styles? Maybe I have too many insights into the process and I’m thinking too hard.
Have you had a similar experience? Does it ever bother you when people express frustration with fundraising professionals?