Delighting in the Weird

icn.seths.headDontcha just love getting Seth Godin’s posts via email? Sunday was Delight in the Weird. Well he had me at “weird”. I always considered myself an outlier or weirdo…

I read his blog and usually find a way to apply it to my fundraising, nonprofit work. This post is no exception.

I think so much of what he writes applies to our work…Nonprofits don’t necessarily like the “weird” or as Case Foundation has urged us to #befearless – but I believe we have to keep pushing for outliers and weird. Too many donors/prospects and too much good work going on – we need to learn to be flexible to meet them where they are. As fundraisers, we need to be nimble to respond to or even create the weird.

We have prospects or donors who push our buttons or limits. From minute quick requests to ongoing “But if only you could explain this and then that I’ll give you a gift.” Internally we may roll our eyes, back at the office we are complaining about their “weird” requests. When in reality – our work is and should be donor (weird) focused.
So why not embrace the weird – be present – step up to the challenge – let’s not waste time talking about their “weird” requests. Maybe provide more than they asked for. “I know you want this information – and since you were interested in that I also found this and thought you’d like to know…..” Create, preempt, anticipate, embrace the weird.
My favorite group Board members – the heart of our inner circle. And  maybe weirdest of all? So now weird is starting to sound like a bad thing – NOT my intention! This is a great and important group to practice on creating the weird through mission moments at Board meetings:
  • “Bet you didn’t know mission moments” Why we do this? How we do this? What would make it better?
  • “A day in the life of (insert staff/volunteer)” The weirdest and best part of the work/volunteering is…….
  • Mission moment preparedness Be ready when the time comes to talk about the organization. Interactive weirdness. How many places/people can we interject a 15 second elevator speech into a conversation? Role play it, make it funny. See next blog post tomorrow for ideas on this one. See my blog post here.
  • “Our work – What the heck do we do anyway?” Come and find out!
We need to lead the weird through our donor/prospect outreach. We have to adapt to the weird and should do so willingly – if donor focused. Humor and weird go together for me. Sort of like making fun of yourself but sharing at the same time.
Thanks Seth. Here’s to a weird 2014!

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