Most advertising is pretty silly. Fundraising is pretty important.

Karin Weatherup | October 22nd, 2015

A quote I just read from George Smith:

‘I mean that most advertising is pretty silly and that all fundraising is pretty damned important. We would do well to dwell on the difference.’ 

George was a partner in Burnett Associates, the oak tree from which our offshoot sprang. He also owned a successful, sizeable agency called Smith Bundy that did tons of charity stuff as well as commercial.

He was a copywriter and a thinker. Quite terrifying if he was training you.

He chose words carefully, shrewdly, boldly – no charity direct marketing nonsense. He had a big fat, but very demanding, heart for social justice. And he believed in respecting donors.

I’m thinking of having this quote painted above our door, as a reminder to all who enter.

Because it feels as if the sector is placing more and more emphasis on slick, ‘clever’ advertising-style creative (which is great fun to produce!), and less on what is ‘pretty damned important’ (which is harder work because it requires substance).

And we would do well to dwell on the danger.

It would also perhaps be a nice nod to George who was a (very short!) giant among fundraisers and, you could say, a family ancestor.