Who or What Inspires You?
We spend a great deal of time trying to process ways to ask for time, talent and treasure. From the use of direct mail to social media, it is all about process. Each day as you drink coffee you are driven by the need to determine how is the best way to achieve success. The steps, and the art and science of what we do can make us dizzy. Have you ever taken a deep breath and stepped out of your daily robotic trance?
When you get tired and need an infusion of energy, ask yourself who or what inspires you? The overwhelming feeling of making a difference and personal need for helping others should drive us each day. I am certain each one of us strives to improve the human condition. If this is not the case, why in the world would anyone desire to work in the nonprofit arena?
Who is responsible for this action? Can you pinpoint one person or situation that encouraged you to help others? If these individuals changed your life, have you ever stopped to thank them? Every question has an answer. We are complex creatures that continually seek a balance with our body, mind and spirit.
When I talk to someone, I strive to look at their needs first. I try to establish a scenario in my mind that is win-win for them and for me. I create a mental picture of how this exchange can change someone's life. For example, the mental picture of the child in need inspires me to take action. I want a child to smile, not cry! I think about the successful end game that is satisfying to all.
I am inspired each day by the fact that I have the opportunity to change someone's life for the better through the generosity of others. It is like connecting two wires that make electricity flow. I also have been inspired by my late parents, my football coaches, my priest, my family, friends, colleagues and even the 7-year-olds on the baseball team that I coach today.
Duke has extensive experience as a nonprofit practitioner, author, lecturer and consultant. He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the last 11 years. He has been a long-standing member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals where he was previously named the AFP Indiana Chapter Fundraising Executive of the Year and has held the CFRE designation for many years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in education administration, master's degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also completed post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
He is currently executive director of development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. Contact Duke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-224-1029.