Show Some Love
February is just about my favorite month. My daughter and I celebrate our birthdays in February. As did my mom. And there's Valentine's Day — that manufactured, super-sappy/sweet "holiday" that I nonetheless no longer feel too cool to celebrate. (Insert love-struck grin here.)
And right up there among my top reasons for enjoying the month is the Fundraising Professionals of the Year issue. Every year, I am so deeply touched to read about nominees' selfless dedication, their vision, their passion, their perseverance and their steadfast devotion to making the world a better, more livable place — whether they work for huge, venerable organizations or startups or the myriad companies that partner with them; whether they're saving animals or the planet, feeding the poor, maintaining museums, eradicating diseases or tending to those who suffer from them, educating children, empowering women … the list goes on; whether their jobs are dedicated solely to development, or fundraising is just one of many hats they wear.
Is every fundraiser, personally, a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize? Of course not. But most of you are more in tune with humanity — your own and that of the people you work so hard to help — than most folks. After more than eight years as editor of FundRaising Success, I'm still awed and humbled by the people who work for nonprofit organizations, especially the fundraisers who more often than not do their work out of the limelight.
Once all the deliberation is done comes the really great part. I get to let the winners and their nominators know that they've won, and I'm immediately inundated with a second wave of messages that lift and delight me. Not only are the winners thrilled, but the people who nominate them are equally as excited. Because that's just the kind of folks fundraisers and other nonprofit staffers are.
When I was first hired as the editor of the not-yet-in-existence FundRaising Success, editors of some of the sister publications in our parent company warned me that it would be very difficult to get people to open up about strategy and numbers, etc. But that has never been the case. In the hundreds of stories over the 90 print issues and countless e-letters we've produced since November 2003, only one person declined my request to write for us because he felt he shouldn't be "giving away" advice he thought fundraisers should pay him for. Everyone else has been happy to share his or her experiences and expertise. That speaks to the kind of folks this industry attracts.
That's why I love this issue. It pains me not to be able to honor every person who was nominated. And for every winner, there are hundreds of others who could just as easily qualify. I hope you enjoy reading about our winners as much as we did. I also hope you'll take a moment to pat yourself on the back and maybe do the same for some of your colleagues. The work you all do can be gruelling. But it's so important. From the FS staff … thank you.