Welcome to my WGP debut as a guest blogger! For today’s post, and in the spirit of V-Day, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to jump on the love train with… a fundraising love-fest!
If you have ever dabbled with the thought of pursuing a career in fundraising, or even volunteering in a fundraising capacity for a cause that is important to you, I’m going to highlight some of the wonders and glories that await you should you decide to test the waters.
Here are 3 reasons why I think fundraising rocks:
(1) Meeting awesome people. So often in the working world, exchanges between people are brief, to-the-point and business-oriented. While there’s certainly some of that involved in fundraising, you often get the chance to delve a little deeper into the souls of inspiring people and talk about the interesting parts of their lives; namely, their passions, what they truly care about and really, what makes them human. You get to ask thought-provoking questions like “if money were no object, how would you contribute to a cause you feel strongly about?” You get to form relationships with people who care about specific issues (often the same ones that you do) and who want to do more than the status quo, and it’s awesome! If you’re really lucky, they might even introduce you to some more awesome people.
(2) Thanking. You get to say “thank you” a lot as a fundraiser, which is always a warm and fuzzy feeling. Whether you pick up the phone to thank someone for a recent gift they made, hand-write (yes, HAND-write) a card following a donor meeting, or you drop your donor off a coffee while you’re in their area, stewardship and simply saying “thanks” is an important part of your role as a fundraiser. Sometimes you might be saying thank you for a large gift which could mean great things for your organization, but some of the best thanks I’ve given have been to donors who made gifts of $200 or even $50, which may have been a stretch for them, but they believe so deeply in the cause that they are happy to give what they can. They might even be apologetic that it’s “not much” – and those are the sweetest people to thank. Part of my current role is actually dedicated to thanking people. How cool is that? Also, thank you cards are really fun to buy.
(3) Making a difference. When you’re fundraising and advocating for a cause that will help to (insert impact here), you are helping to open the door for those who have the ability to make a significant difference. Often times this is monetary by way of large gifts that allow charities the resources to carry out their work, but this can also mean tapping into peoples’ networks and getting connected to others who may also be capable of larger-scale contributions. The point is that there are generous people out there, but they may or may not even know how to contribute towards the greater good of the causes they’re passionate about… and that’s where you come swooping in to facilitate that act of giving, therefore making a difference! Doesn’t that feel good?
Generally, we’re not born with the “when I grow up I want to be a fundraiser” instinct. We’re introduced to the industry in a variety of ways such as starting in a call centre (holla!) and before you know it, you can’t stop and you won’t stop.
I don’t agree with the old-time quote “those who can’t do, teach” but it makes me think of how I feel about those with a burning passion for a cause…”those with passion, fundraise.” If you feel so strongly about a certain cause to the point that you feel a commitment to be the advocate for the change you want to see, and you’re a likeable enough human, consider fundraising! It can be a most rewarding career, and you get to meet some amazing people along the journey.
Fundraisers… what are some of the reasons you enjoy your job???
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Written by Brittney Dudar
Brittney is currently an Alumni Advancement Manger at the University of Guelph where she manages the annual giving call centre and parent program. Formerly a paid search specialist at Search Engine People, Brittney is a Google Adwords certified marketer and is passionate about digital media. Brittney is also a lover of music, fashion, travel and philanthropy!