by guest blogger Andrew Rogers
Author Alain de Botton (I recommend his The Art of Travel and The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work) puts a lot of time into being aphoristic on Twitter. My favorite tweet of his, from a couple of years back, is "Writing: A field where the consequences of mediocrity are considerably more serious than in banking or the law."
Here's one he tweeted recently:
Writing: if I've properly studied what's going on in me, there's a good chance it'll read as if it's about you.— Alain de Botton (@alaindebotton) January 8, 2013
Is it stretching a point to see an application for fundraisers here? We're always in danger of making our work about ourselves -- our cause, our organization, our process.
If we've "properly studied what's going on," though, we've placed the donor at the center of our organization and of our thinking. Then, there's a good chance that what we say will "read as if" -- and actually be -- about her.
Speaking to a donor that way isn't an artificial "technique." It's an honest and human interaction. It builds and strengthens relationships. To use de Botton's word, it's "proper."