'Cheerfully Aggressive' Fundraisers?
What's this? Aggressive fundraisers? We are not supposed to be aggressive, are we? Well, just listen to my story:
Years ago, I was sitting in an Association of Fundraising Professionals meeting listening to a panel of grant funders. There were a bunch of us in the room, soaking up everything important foundation funders had to say, hanging on every word!
One of the VIPs on the panel — representing the largest foundation in North Carolina — gave us some advice that I will never, ever forget. In fact, I could have fallen right out of my chair when he said: "Listen, you fundraisers out there! You need to be cheerfully aggressive in promoting your cause to us. Don't be afraid, and don't hold back. If you don't promote yourselves and tell us why you are so great, who will?"
Wow. What amazing — and interesting — advice.
So, my fundraising friend, where do you rate on the "cheerfully aggressive" scale? Are you hugging your computer in your office, finding lots of reasons to stick by your desk?
Or are you getting out there, meeting and greeting, talking and listening, networking your way around your community?
Guess who raises more money? Guess who develops the interest of community leaders in what you are up to? Guess who piles tons of people on your organization's bandwagon? Guess who is more successful?
Don't be afraid to be cheerfully aggressive, my friend. In fact, let that be your new mantra.
Take heart. The world needs us to be active, connecting with people while we cheerfully, aggressively promote our causes. The world is just waiting for the good news you can spread about your organization!