Thank You For Your Support!

With this post, I want to thank you and share some practical information about plagiarism.

Last week, I revealed how I was the victim of plagiarism. Someone lifted a portion of one of my recent blog posts, altered the intention of my words, and purposely misattributed them to someone else in an article he wrote attacking the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Now, I would like to thank you and everyone who supported me with blog comments, tweets, emails, and phone calls. Professionally speaking, the support confirms that my confidence in our profession is well placed. Personally speaking, the support warmed my heart and let me know that I am not alone.

At times, such as in last week’s example, plagiarism is an intentional act. At other times, plagiarism is accidental.

When I spoke with a friend, a college faculty member and former fundraising professional, he confirmed that what I had experienced was clearly an act of plagiarism. He also told me about a website that provides the academic community with useful information for good people who want to better understand what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. The website says:

Plagiarism is a common (and often misunderstood) problem that is often the result of a lack of knowledge and skills.”

By creating a better understanding, the website seeks to reduce incidents of plagiarism in schools and throughout society. “What is Plagiarism?” an article at the website, tells us:

Many people think of plagiarism as copying another’s work or borrowing someone else’s original ideas. But terms like ‘copying’ and ‘borrowing’ can disguise the seriousness of the offense. … In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else’s work and lying about it afterward.”

In short, plagiarism is wrong. It is unethical, even illegal. As professionals, we should never plagiarize intentionally, and we should always strive to avoid even accidental plagiarism.

Whenever we want to quote a small portion of someone else’s text, we need to do so with proper, accurate attribution. If we want to quote a significant amount of someone else’s work, we need to first obtain permission.

In the past, a number of honest professionals have contacted me seeking permission to share my articles or to draw significantly from them. I have appreciated their commitment to ethics. If my memory serves me right, I granted my permission in every case. By the way, whenever I have sought similar permission from others, I have never been turned down.

Most authors are generous with their information. All we ask is the courtesy of a request, respect of the original intention of our words, and proper attribution. So, there’s no need to be afraid of seeking permission to use someone else’s work. While you might not always be granted permission, there’s a good chance you will if your request is reasonable, especially if it’s for educational purposes.

Once again, thank you for your support. And thank you for your commitment to ethics.

That’s what Michael Rosen says… What do you say?

11 Comments to “Thank You For Your Support!”

  1. I say, “you rock”!!!!

  2. Hi Michael. Thank you for another thoughtful and well considered blog.

    I agree, “Say’s who” is at the heart of the case for connecting a donor with the ask whether that be in quoting the beneficiary and helping their voice to be heard, the charity’s knowledge and evidence of what works or needs to change, or independent academic research offered as evidence.

    Just wanted to add that your blog is a highlight of my fundraising week.


    • Milton, thank you for your terrific point and kind words. You’re right. When working with prospects and donors, providing them with meaningful information is critically important to the appeal process. Properly citing that information lends credibility to it and builds trust.

  3. Well said! Thank you!!!

  4. Michael, I pray you are well. That person had no idea who they were messing with obviously, lol. Hugs and love to you and Lisa ❤

  5. We support you!

  6. I can’t imagine how angry I would get if this happened to me. You’re a strong man, Michael!

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