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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Tuesday 15 September 2015

Call me a cynic, Christine, but...

So happy to see all the names on this list – a lot of familiar ones!
5:15 PM
Definitely! I’m going to be emailing Craig and a few others later tonight, just to check in
5:17 PM

Hi Craig,
See above. I just wanted to share the conversation I had with Justin Trudeau with you. He wanted me to check in with you. If you're having difficulty donating online, you can always give us a call at 1-888-LIBERAL. We're open until midnight EST tonight!

Really, Christine?  Justin Trudeau's on a plane, asking about me and my donations - sorry, my preparedness to "step up?"
I don't think so.  I don't think Trudeau, or Christine for that matter, have the slightest idea who I am.  I think they've got  Nationbuilder or whatever outreach platform working hard to fill in the blanks for mass e-mails that are disingenuously attempting to create the impression that the people on your list count as people, not numbers and donor profiles.
Bottom line - I don't feel part of that team.  A human resource to be mined, perhaps - but that's hardly empowered engagement.  
Contrast this with another fundraising ask I received recently; Erin Kang, founder and community-builder for Stories of Ours sent me a direct message asking if I could help out, and told me exactly what it was the money would go for.  I know Erin - she's not connecting with me because I'm a name on a list, but because we're friends, she knows me and she knows I believe in what she does.
And what Erin does - what Stories of Ours represents - is more than one party, tribe, or fundraising drive.  It's about building community.
Also, don't worry about it! You've been an infinite help with this project in many other ways. thanks
smile emoticon

No everyone-else-has numbers pressure tactics (that kinda backfire when they're that low).  No "can I count on you?" condescension.  For Erin, it's about the vision and the values - many roads to the top of the mountain, etc.  I'm giving her some money anyway, but it is nice to be recognized for other value-added contributions.

Of course, stories of ours puts the people and their experiences first; Erin, a gifted story teller, works with presenters to help maximize their ability to tell their story with impact and then creates the space where they, not she, builds the narrative.  She's the facilitator.
Could you imagine getting a message like this from a political party?  
"Craig, if you can donate, great, but I know you're working hard on projects that tie into the core things we all believe in - maximizing personal potential and nurturing strong, resilient societies.  Whether you can donate to us or not, your work is recognized and appreciated. If we can in any way, let us know."
Even that could be a canned letter sent out to people on the list.
Maybe the kind of trite messaging above works on some.  It would be pretty unfortunate if it does.
It is not and should not be about him, and whether we are making him happy.  It's about the people, the spaces we inhabit.  The vision, and the role people have to play in it.  Otherwise you're replicating the same top-down mentality that Stephen Harper embodies, whatever else your rhetoric says.
But hey - if JT really wants to talk policy and change-making, I'm pretty easy to reach.  
'Til then, my next donation is going to Erin and Stories of Ours.  I know it's money well spent.

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