Whether you agree with everything he says or not, listening to Dan Pallotta is always an invigorating experience. The idea that we, and only we, can bear the responsibility for communicating what we do in a sometimes hostile environment, is not one that we should argue with.
And yet, in the twenty years that I've worked in the fundraising sector, our complaint that we are misrepresented and misunderstood by our communities has not changed.
I believe that we have only ourselves to blame. If we, our boards and volunteers are not prepared to say why we use a particular fundraising technique, the benefits it brings and the impact it helps us to achieve, then we should NOT be doing it.
If we need to invest, we need to consult with and speak to our key stakeholders, those people who desperately want to see the impact we provide but usually have no idea what it takes to secure it. Why not? Because we make little or no effort to help them understand what we need to do to keep the show on the road. The majority don't want spreadsheets, smoke and mirrors. They're mature, thinking adults, and they can grasp the issues we face if we share them with them.
Dan Pallotta spoke in Australia about the Charity Defence League that he's working to establish. It’s an organization that will address these issues head on. I don't dispute the need for it; the shame is that we are the ones who are responsible for creating that need.