I've just returned from an otherwise excellent training conference of world-changers with a nagging, haunting word echoing in my head that I just can't shake.
It's the word "donor."
I'm apparently the only one in the nonprofit and fundraising world that has a problem with the "D" word, but I'm not ready to give up my fight.
When otherwise good people talk 'about' those who give generously - give away their hard-earned money and receive nothing tangible in return... give away their future wealth because the trust and want to be part of something good happening in the world... why do we label them as if they're organ donors?
If you're looking for blood, I understand.
But the "D" word? Is that the best we can do?
I realize it's shorthand - because otherwise we actually have to say how wonderful these people are and that might be too much for insecure, narcissistic nonprofits and their leadership to stomach.
And it's really more than a label or shorthand - it's dismissive. A generic category that keeps them in their place - the place of wannabes who aren't really doing anything because it's the nonprofit that's awesome, sacrificial, and virtuous - it's the nonprofit that's actually doing good, and not those who are entirely responsible for making everything good possible.
You know - those people.
So I renew my plea - find a better name if you're into name-calling... like their real names... or at least a complimentary title like 'hero' or 'world-changer' - just anything other than the "D" word.