No really, working for nonprofits only sometimes feels like death.

What I’m talking about here though is A Band called Death, a documentary film about music, family, and the price we pay when we refuse to compromise our personal vision.

CopyBlogger recently did an amazing post about the true story of the band, the film, and the haunting questions that come along for the ride.

By refusing to compromise on the name of their band, the Hackney brothers sacrificed what would have been a hugely successful music career. Which prompted copyblogger to ask:

“where is your line between artistic integrity and finding a bigger audience?”

Our work as fundraisers and consultants is fundamentally commerce and not art. And yet the same kinds of questions hover over our work:

  • What is the price of only working with people and causes we like?
  • What is the price of giving in to a client’s copy edits that will almost certainly lead to less money raised?
  • What are the costs to an organization of watering down its message in search of an elusive new donor audience?
  • What price do we pay when we resort to gimmicks to squeeze more dollars from an email list (when the gimmicks are the only things that seem to work).

Hard choices like these are the ones that keep us up at night.