Fundraising Touches Two Worlds
It starts with the lives we touch through the causes we support. But maybe more immediately, this web connects to the donors we call on to make a difference with us. Donors who are walking between the increasing number of floorless sections of their lives. Sometimes wondering how they can go on, but more often with hearts overflowing with love, yearning to make things right, hoping they can make the world — both worlds — a little better.
Like all of us, our donors are sleepwalking through the first world, but now and then waking into the real one. Making a charitable gift is one of those waking moments that reminds you where you are — and assures you that you can go on.
That's why working in fundraising is such a privilege and a responsibility. Every day we participate in the transformation and enlightenment of donors. We're like midwives at their repeated rebirths. If we could see it for what it is, we'd be overcome by the wonder. But we can't see it, so we think all we're doing is just a form of marketing, not meaningfully different from persuading strangers to choose one shampoo over another.
What's the practical application of this?
Nothing. And yet everything.
Whether you're aware of the two-world quality of your work or not — even if you only believe there's one world — you still have to work hard, pay attention, sweat the details, and keep up with changing demographics and technology.
And even when you're fully awake to the numinous quality of the work, fundraising is still a pain in the butt. You don't have the staff and resources you need. Things go stupidly wrong. Your boss, your board, your client, your consultants don't get it or get in the way. Great ideas somehow don't pan out. Those things happen.