How to Love Fundraising
Imagine a baseball team full of players who don’t like baseball. To them, baseball is distasteful. A shady exercise that’s necessary to fill the stadium. The rules annoy them. They play with gritted teeth, resentful every minute. When they sit in the dugout, they complain about the fans who put them through this degrading spectacle. They dream of better fans — ones who will show up without demanding baseball.
Far-fetched? Not really. The fundraising world is full of teams like that: professional fundraisers who don’t like fundraising. Anti-fundraising fundraisers seem to dislike fundraising for one or more of these reasons:
- It’s emotional, not intellectual. Not a venue for showing off your smarts and education.
- It tends to be simplistic and repetitive.
- It’s often corny, not cool.
- It requires you to humble yourself and admit you need other people (your donors). Embarrassing.
- It sometimes annoys people. And those people might call and complain.
These things are not untrue. Effective fundraising tends to be that way. Embrace it, and you’re on your way to career satisfaction and, ahem, fundraising success.
If you don’t like fundraising, please — leave the profession. Life is too short to waste your time doing something that bugs you. Anyway, you’re probably not doing a very good job.
But maybe it’s not that serious. Maybe fundraising just doesn’t sit quite right with you. In that case, here are some facts that can help you make it work.
The good news
- Donors like to give. Research shows that giving stimulates reward centers in the brain — the same areas stimulated by money, drugs and sex. Really.
- Giving makes you more evolved, more connected emotionally and spiritually. Part of what it is to be human is to freely give away some of what you have.
- Giving raises consciousness. When you give to something, you care more about it. That leads to other kinds of involvement — like volunteering, advocacy, passing on the values to children and more.
- Giving makes you happier. Donors are 43 percent more likely to say they’re very happy than non-donors.
- Giving improves your health. Donors are 25 percent more likely to say their health is excellent or very good than non-donors.
- Giving is good for society. A dollar given to charity stimulates better than $19 for the economy. And what about the impact of millions of healthier, happier, more involved donor-citizens? Priceless!
Call it karma. Call it reaping what you sow. Giving is very good for givers. It’s good for society. It’s good in every possible way.