#26 | Are we demonstrating an eagerness to identify and confront the brutal facts?

My conversation with Ellen Bristol as the last in this podcast series could not have landed closer than where I believed it should. The consensus is that fundraising counsel in the near future needs to be increasingly adaptive rather than formulaic, able to ask better questions rather than give answers, and inclined to lean into rather than avoid the messiness of our maturing profession. These most trusted advisors cannot maintain an arms-length.

Despite our many differences, Ellen and I could not be more aligned in our understanding of both the challenges and opportunities in professional fundraising. Ellen’s critique of fundraising counsel is in large part that the profession is unwilling or unable to address the more fundamental and often messy problems that interfere with fundraising effectiveness. Her mid-career transition from corporate sales and marketing to nonprofit fundraising has afforded her an opportunity to impart wisdom that has ensured profitability and success for major corporations in the private sector.

Coincidently, similar to one of the earlier interviews, Ellen included some of the wisdom of Jim Collins’ Good to Great. Collins taught us that excellence comes from a willingness to confront the brutal facts. Ellen concludes with the passionate observation that our great leaders should not only demonstrate a willingness to face the brutal facts but an eagerness to identify them.

If you'd like connect with Ellen, I would encourage you to visit her website at www.bristolstrategygroup.com/

If you'd like to be a guest on The Fundraising Talent Podcast, please go to www.lewisfundraising.com/signup

Jason Lewis