What is a Fundraising SME?

April 8, 2019 at 1:29 am Leave a comment

“A subject-matter expert (SME) or domain expert is a person who is an authority in a particular area or topic. An expert is a person with special knowledge or skills in a particular area of endeavor.”

Paraphrased from Wikipedia

There was a bit of angst at #AFPICON this year. Frustration about the state of fundraising in their organizations and with leadership.

If you are a fundraiser at your nonprofit organization – you are a SME.

You’ve been hired to do a fundraising job – in a particular area of endeavor – annual giving, major gifts, foundation, corporate you get the idea.

Here’s the bet – Compared to anyone not working in fundraising in your organization –

YOU are the SME. You know more and have more experience than they do.

You know what else SMEs are? They are teachers. You know why? Cause they have to share their knowledge to get anything done with non-SME people.

  • Unfundraisers MAY think they know better.
  • Nonfundraisers may have heard a fundraising idea from someplace else totally different than your organization and suggest strongly you should do it.
  • Antifundraisers think you wiggle your nose, money falls from the trees and the budget deficit will disappear because they told you to “handle it”.

These are teachable moments fundraising people.

Our friend and colleague Peter Drury recently posted a video with Chris Davenport from the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference. Peter refers to those “helpful” suggestions as a ball of fire. And the key to thriving as a fundraisers is not to accept the ball of fire. It is a teachable moment. Peter is talking about avoiding anxiety – but it comes from those nonfundraising people.

The solution lies within us. We choose how we react. We cannot control the other person.

Mantra: I am the fundraising SME and teacher.

Entry filed under: #nonprofit videos, Fundraising, Nonprofit fundraising, Storytelling. Tags: , , , , .

Do we have to accept that gift? Fundraiser & Steward

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