publication date: Jan 4, 2012
author/source: Jonathon Grapsas
particularly humble bunch, we fundraisers, charity staff, volunteers and the
like. And I have found Canadians as a nation to be full of humility and at
times uncomfortable singing from the rafters about how good you are.
reminded of this a number of times recently during conversations
with clients, board members and other charity folks.
seem to like to blow our trumpets and tell people how amazingly good we are, what
problems we've solved, and how - whether it's in collaboration with others or
on our own - we've changed a few lives along the way.
This is not
a criticism as such, more an observation. I'm not for a moment suggesting we
should overtly show off or mislead, but why can't we blow our own trumpet from
time to time and claim we did X, are the best at Y, were at the heart of A and
B and are leading C.
language we seem uncomfortable, perhaps even a little shy about using.
Learning from commercial claims
in the commercial world certainly don't bat an eyelid when it comes to boasting
that their product is the greatest, regardless of how insignificant or
unnecessary it may be. We're in the business of making the lives of people,
plants and animal better, so why do we shy away from fair and reasonable claims
that we should be downright proud of - claims that would help us raise more
money and do even more good?
How to brag with class
I stumbled across this example from Cancer Research UK
What I love about this is they haven't
shied away from claiming what they can rightly can - that they have been at
the heart of progress when it comes to cancer treatments. No backing
away, or hiding behind complex and ambiguous statements. This is what's been
done, we've played a part in it. But there's more to do.
is certainly not taking the
credit for every advancement in cancer research, but it's proud to say it's
played an important role.
How to blow your trumpet
Jonathon Grapsas is the founder and director at flat
earth direct, an agency dedicated to fundraising and campaigning for good
causes. Jonathon spends his time working with charities around the world
focused on digital, direct response and campaigning stuff.
If you'd like to chat to Jonathon you can email him, follow him on
twitter @jonathongrapsas or check out www.flatearthdirect.com
There's no shame in claiming what's
rightfully yours to claim, whether that's the whole of accomplishment A or even
some of B. Don't water it down.
There's a time and a place - when
you're feeding back and thanking (including on a personal level), but also when
building a case for why you need further support right now.
Blowing your trumpet shouldn't be
presented in a boastful way. You can remain humble whilst still being proud of
what you've done.