Are We Not Men?

A couple entries in the recent past on Donor Power Blog about interaction with one’s constituents caught my eye.

The first, Do Your Donors Think You’re Indifferent, links to Customers Are Always blog which notes a recent study found that perceived indifference by a company causes far more people to sever their relationship with a company than cost and quality issues.

Donor Power points out that indifference is in the eye of the beholder. “It’s important to note here that indifference only be perceived. People cannot know other people’s motives; they can only deduce them from the actions they see. So you can care passionately and still be perceived as indifferent.”

It was hard for the second entry titled, How to position yourself as human, not to catch my eye. Especially since the first sentence was “What are you doing to persuade your donors that you aren’t human?”

The entry links to another blog, What’s Your Brand Mantra. Like Jeff Brooks at Donor Power, I too focused in on the point about writing to appeal to your audience rather than using language which only has relevance to insiders and alienates or confounds your target audiences.

This is a point I have made in the past about press releases and marketing material. But I figure now that organizations are gearing up to announce their new seasons in the next few months, the concept bears repeating.

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker ( website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


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