When Is Your Next Road Trip?
The simple point I'm trying to make is that on a career with travels by land, sea and air, it is never about the actual destination. All of us have jobs that must produce results, and a by-product is having no time to enjoy the sites.
The richness in the travel must be the relationships built with perfect strangers. One day you might be on LinkedIn, and the next day you are linking face to face with that person. The experience of entering a person's life is amazing because each one's story is different. No one knows how a road trip will turn out. For most of us, the hours of travel are forgotten when we dive in to a conversation about a mutual interest. I cannot think of anything more stimulating or engaging.
I had not thought about road trips until writing this blog from a restaurant in Chicago after a day on the road. Getting from point A to point B in Chicago takes time and patience plus good weather. I am energized from one particular meeting with a donor today. I especially enjoyed the visit because the subject matter spanned the globe of an organization's priorities and practices. You must plan each road trip to maximize your time and to move prospects and donors on a continuum to an eventual first-time close or an increased gift.
On this road trip, I benefited from meeting a donor who gives significant sums to several charities. I learned what fuels his interests in each charity, plus his likes and dislikes about professionals who engage him. The lessons learned will prepare me for future road trips and how I must adjust my listening skills to ask the right questions in order to obtain the right answers. Don't fear, but embrace your next and future road trips. We all must do them, so do them well. Here's hoping no one throws lettuce at you!
Duke Haddad, Ed.D., CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis. He also serves as president of Duke Haddad and Associates LLC and is a freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO since 2008.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration plus a dissertation on donor characteristics. He received a master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis on public administration plus a thesis on annual fund analysis. He secured a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) with an emphasis on marketing/management. He has done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
Duke has received the Fundraising Executive of the Year Award, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Indiana Chapter. He also was given the Outstanding West Virginian Award, Kentucky Colonel Award and Sagamore of the Wabash Award from the governors of West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, respectively, for his many career contributions in the field of philanthropy. He has maintained a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation for three decades.