I’ve been very topical in this blog so far, which was my intent, but I’d like to write a quick post about one aspect of why I love what I do.
As a fundraiser and/or alumni relations officer, you get to meet a lot of people. Sometimes you’re meeting them to ask them for a lot of money, but sometimes you’re meeting them simply to meet them; to engage them, to get to know them, and to find out what they’re passionate about.
Remember what James Fleck said?
Philanthropy is balancing your passion and your resources.
If you do your research, you might know that the individual that you’re meeting with has the resources to make a significant and meaningful contribution to your institution/organization. However, meeting and conversing with them is how you research their passion. Passion and resources; without the former, the latter will never be realized.
So that means that part of our job as fundraisers is to find out what our prospects are passionate about. That means that when you have a conversation with them, you try to get them talking about their passions. That is one reason why I love what I do; hearing people talk about their passions. Why? Because no one speaks more passionately than when they are talking about their passions. They have this energy coming out of them that is absolutely thrilling to experience as a listener; they’re emphatic and excited and happy!
It’s a wonderful thing to watch the transformation that someone goes through when they go from having a conversation with you about the weather, to talking about what they’re passionate about.
Written by Maeve Strathy
Maeve is the Founder of What Gives Philanthropy and has been working in educational fundraising for the past 6 years. Click here to learn more about Maeve.