My VP casually said something the other day that I haven’t been able to shake. It’s that slowly but increasingly, charity seems to have been relegated to the same “no-go” zone status as politics and religion when it comes to conversation.
Is this true? Does talking about your charity of choice with a new acquaintance really invoke as much awkwardness as probing about their religious beliefs or salary? Is it really that impolite to share your thoughts on charity, even if they don’t intersect with politics or religion?
I think yes. Why? Because charity is polarizing, personal and revealing. Simply saying you donate to a charity at all can launch you into a debate about accountability, overhead, or transparency in the blink of an eye.
Does a revelation like this change the way we approach fundraising? Not likely. I’ve never looked at fundraisers as needing to change people’s minds. I see my job as having to find people that want to support the work we do, to give them as much detail as they’d like about it, and to let them know how they can support it.
But if you’re the type that wants to shout about your favourite charity – whether you work for them or not – from the mountaintops, it might be worth toning it down a bit unless you know you’re amongst entirely like-minded company.