Glee is an amazing show. It’s the story of a high school Glee Club filled with misfits and “losers” and their journey to wholeness, friendship and (in some cases) success/stardom. I love it because it seems to be the closest thing to bringing musical theatre back to television these days. But, I also love the values and lessons built into the bones of the show.
For FUNdraising Friday, I’d like to pull a few of those lessons out and hold them up as relevant for fundraisers.
The lesson for fundraisers is that you need to believe in your mission, have a passion for it and let that shine through your work in the stories you tell. No amount of flash and trick lighting can make up for not having that.
The New Directions welcomes all races, geeks, those with a stutter, nerds, football players, cheerleaders, bullies, gays, lesbians, transgender students, the disabled and even those that can’t sing. I can’t think of a group that isn’t represented at some point in some way in the New Directions. All of these different kinds of people together make their group quirky and creative and strong. Hard to beat. The friendship formed across social groups ends up helping all of the students to survive their various life challenges.
This lesson is true for getting things done with your colleagues as well as including more folks in your volunteer efforts and fundraising/marketing materials. You need to listen to all groups of your constituency. And remember, when you are dealing with that particularly difficult donor, that all of the bullies in Glee eventually came around.
One of the early theme songs of Glee is “Loser Like Me”, a song about how those who don’t fit in during high school have success later. Success comes to the misfits usually because of (not in spite of) what made them an outcast.
This is important for fundraisers because we cannot predict who will have success later. Consider this fellow, Robert Morin, a frugal librarian who recently left his entire estate (worth $4 million) to the University of New Hampshire. The old adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover” is a good reminder that we should treat all donors (and all people) with the same respect.
Jessica Cloud, CFRE
I've been called the Tasmanian Devil of fundraising and I'm here to talk shop with you.