Here's one of the worst pieces of news you can get if you're a fundraiser: The new boss is a writer!
Really, I have nothing against writers. I like most of them. But when the executive director, CEO, or president of a nonprofit is a writer, your fundraising is in danger. You can expect trouble and failure.
Why is that?
It's because being a writer confers no fundraising ability. Writing ability is a great skill to have, but it correlates with being a fundraiser no more than does being left-handed or a great handball player.
But being a writer can bring some serious problems:
As a writer, the boss probably understands the concept of "voice." So he wants to make sure the fundraising captures his voice -- something he has cultivated and developed to a fine point; something he's proud of. But his voice is probably not appropriate for the simple, repetitive, quick-hit needs of fundraising.
Further, the boss-writer is most likely a writer of a different genre than fundraising. Something more lofty and intellectual -- less commercial and popular. Fundraising that uses his genre's conventions will fail miserably.
If your boss is a writer, you may be in a rough place. Your best route to persuading him not to destroy your fundraising: Your excellence is at odds with fundraising excellence.