Fundraisers: Don’t Have Any Regrets
Last week was a tough week. My father-in-law passed away after five days in hospice care and three weeks of going in and out of the hospital with an infection.
Before that, he was quite healthy and very much with us. He told the most amazing stories of his World War II fighter pilot flights in Germany and France, especially as a young airman.
He lived to be 95 — a very full and incredible life — serving our country for more than 40 years. And his sons did so as well.
While this was a very sad time for all of us and especially his four boys, we can absolutely, unequivocally say that we have no regrets of providing the care he received, especially over the past few years — the visits, the time we spent with him and the ways we tried to make him comfortable, feel loved and let him know he was such an important part of our lives.
Life is definitely going to be different, but he’s made a major impact on our lives because of his greatest generation values, experiences and learning.
Why am I telling you this? Because he had no regrets about what he did to serve his country. He had no regrets in how he raised his family and passed on his legacy to the next generation. And this became especially clear during the wake and funeral service.
As human beings, we don’t know how long we’re here, but it’s crucial to not have any regrets of what you’re doing. Your job as a fundraiser is an important one, and it’s vital to realize that you are making an impact on your organization but especially on those your organization serves every day.
Don’t you ever forget it!
So, if you have a bad day (and who doesn’t have a bad day?), just take it in stride and come back, full of hope, optimism and focus to make the next day a better one. Because you matter!
And if you’ve been raising funds for a while, look back and make sure you have no regrets of what you’re doing, what you’ve done or what you’re planning to do.
Don’t let a stone become unturned. Make that call. Send that thank-you note. Because even if you just make a difference to one person, it matters. And remember, that’s how your donor feels as well. As a donor, all you want to do is make a difference! One person, one story, one organization at a time!
And if you’re still in doubt about the importance of what you’re doing as a fundraiser or what you’re doing as a donor, read this story.
Erica Waasdorp is one of the leading experts on monthly giving. She is author of the book "Monthly Giving. The Sleeping Giant." She is the president of A Direct Solution, a company serving nonprofit organizations with fundraising and direct marketing needs, with a focus on monthly giving and appeals.
She just co-authored the "Monthly Giving Starter and Marketing Kit" with Donor Perfect, and she’s working on her next book called "Monthly Giving Made Easy." She regularly blogs and presents on fundraising, appeals and monthly giving—in person and through webinars. She is happy to answer any questions you may have about this great way of improving retention rates for your donors.
Erica has over 30 years of experience in nonprofits and direct response. She helped the nonprofits she works with raise millions of dollars through monthly giving programs. She is also very actively supports organizations with annual fund planning and execution, ranging from copywriting, creative, lists, print and mail execution.
When she’s not working or writing, Erica can be found on the golf course (she’s a straight shooter) or quietly reading a book. And if there’s an event with a live band, she and her husband, Patrick, can be found on the dance floor. She also loves watching British drama on PBS. Erica and Patrick have two step sons and cat, Mientje.