How Dare You Sir! How…Dare…You.

Vu Le posted another one of his highly entertaining articles at Nonprofit With Balls on 8/3/2015 that examines the highly competitive nature of donor hoarding and donor poaching, otherwise known as fear incarnate.

Adaptistration People 065In the style that’s rocketed him to popularity among the nonprofit blogging world, Le disarms explosive topics by way of satire, which is what makes this a refreshing entry into such a well-worn topic. In fact, if anyone with a few decades or more experience in this field had a nickel for every time s/he has dealt with insane behavior related to donor poaching, we probably wouldn’t need the donors in the first place.

Even though all of Le’s suggestions for ending what he dubs the Nonprofit Hunger Games have merit, don’t hold your breath on them toppling the system any time soon.

Having said that, make sure you read his section on calling out Funders for being a big part of the problem because even though none of what Le proposes is particularly original, it’s crucial that we don’t let these ideals stray too far from our reality. It might seem like an impossible task but if satire helps make inroads, then let loose with the witty snark.

If nothing else, Le’s story about how one of his fellow nonprofit execs branded him a donor poacher is classic; and yes, something as simple as inviting a one percenter to lunch is still considered fighting words.

“Lunch?!? How dare you sir! How…dare…you.”

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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