His title, This Is Not the Time to Ask for Money, kind of says it all.
We’ve embarked on a scary fundraising arms race — fuelled by “experts” who have counseled that we get in early with our asks before everything goes south. And we are tripping over one another to ask ask ask. You can smell the panic in the development departments. My worry is that even if it works, just like lending money to people who can’t affordt to pay it back, there are inevitable downstream consequences.
Anyway, Seth says it better than I, so here he is in full:
I don’t know about you, but I’m getting plenty of emails asking for more money for various political campaigns.
That’s because the systems in place are good at asking for money, and that’s what they measure. They’re willing to burn out permission, person by person, just to squeeze out the last few bucks.
What a shame. What a waste.
Businesses do this all the time. So do non-profits. They get in a habit of doing one thing (pay, pay, pay!) and they forget that this has a real cost. Ask enough times and people will shut you out. And once they shut you out, you’re out forever.
My local radio station is once again drilling us with their pledge drive. Hey, if five days are good, why not twenty or fifty? Sooner or later, you just move on.
If I ran a campaign, I would immediately stop asking for money. I’d ask for ideas for what to do if I got elected. I’d ask for a house party to listen in on a conference call. I’d ask for names of possible voters or I’d look for volunteers to drive to the polls. I’d get petitions signed or ask people to prioritize six ideas for the rest of the campaign or for things to work on after I got elected.
Attention can be worth more than money. Enthusiasm is priceless.