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Fifty Shades of Fundraising

50 Shades of FundraisingIt all started innocently enough. I was having a running series of craptastic days where I was constantly fending off internal threats to my integrity, capability, and autonomy as a digital fundraiser. Where departmental politics was bound and determined to win out over what – at least in my mind – was best for our donor relationships.

So I floated a comment to what has become my go-to community of fellow nonprofiteers: the Nonprofit Happy Hour group on Facebook:

Ever feel like you’re being ask to fundraise while blindfolded, having both arms tied behind your back, and shoved in a small box? I’m…uh…asking for a friend.

What came out of this was an outpouring of similar stories of frustration and countless reactions that indicated I wasn’t alone. Which is what we all need sometimes. We need the validation that comes when another person sees us and empathizes with our experience.

What also came out of it was some good ole bawdy humor. I put my comment out there not sensing the delightfully devilish sadomasochism that floats just below the surface of the nonprofit sector. But there it was and it was surfaced by a group member who asked, “Hmm, are you sure someone hasn’t been reading ‘Fifty Shades of Fundraising’?” Well, that’s just gold right there and even though it looks like some folks tried to cash in on the idea around the time the book and movie came out, they didn’t really follow through on the concept.

That’s all the opening I need. So, without further ado, I present some snippets from Fifty Shades of Fundraising:

I’ll start with Elaine’s as she is the muse who has inspired this work:
“Your mission statement,” she panted. “It’s so…biiiig…it will never fit into 50 words!”

My riff off of that:
“OMG, your CTA! It’s so long…I can’t believe how it all fits in your email.”

And some others:
Breathlessly, she told him, “I love the way you use your exclamation point to punctuate my donor appeal.”

With a stern look on her face and a twinkle in her eye, she told him, “I think it’s time to introduce you to my Board.”

They noticed they were alone. It was late at night in the conference room before the annual fundraising drive. He looked longingly into her bloodshot eyes and said, “I love how you stuff that envelope.”

Okay, your turn. If you have a gift for subtle innuendo and a predilection for softcore copywriting, show us what you got. Don’t be shy.

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