Looking for Inspiration in All the Wrong Places
Check out the present
You can't always get to a project location (trust me, I could hardly run to Bangladesh anytime I needed to be re-inspired), but maybe you can somewhat replicate that experience while sitting at your desk.
First, put away the budget reports and statistical reporting from your program sites. They are full of great information but might not inspire a fundraiser to greatness. Instead, call someone (or Skype, chat on Facebook, however you want to connect) who is working at the program level and ask what really has her excited right now. Push for details. What does the student like to eat for lunch? When the bear cub was reunited with its mother, what was the reunion like? How did the program person feel right then? What flowers are blooming in the prairie that is being restored?
Look, as well, at the websites of other nonprofits doing similar work to yours. What are they excited about? That just could jump-start your own inspiration.
Visualize the future
What is going to be different because of the money you raise from this project? Think specifically, not the generic "the world will be a better place" difference.
If possible, go for a walk or at least go breathe fresh air for a few minutes. Change your location. And then let the fantastic future you are helping make possible re-inspire you. For just a few minutes, forget about budgets and production calendars. Instead, focus on why you are doing the work you do.
It's hard to be always "up," so when you need inspiration, look to the past, present and future. Like a jolt of caffeine, sometimes that is all you need to dream up the next great fundraising idea — or maybe a new doughnut flavor.
Pamela consults with nonprofits, helping them develop their fundraising strategy and writing copy to achieve their goals. Additionally, she teaches fundraising at two universities, hoping to inspire the next generation of fundraisers to be passionate about the profession. Previously, Pamela led the fundraising programs for nonprofit organizations. Pamela is a member of the Advisory Panel for Rogare, the fundraising think tank at Plymouth University’s Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, a CFRE, a graduate of Wheaton College (IL) and Dominican University, and holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from California Southern University. Contact Pamela at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter at @pjbarden.