Are Fundraisers Outgoing by Nature?
You've seen leaders with all types of personalities ... positive, negative, reserved and outgoing.
Some are very successful — and you want to learn all you can from them. Some, you wonder how they got there (or stay there) — and you work to minimize your interactions with them.
Is there a fundraising personality? I don't think so.
This hit home yesterday when a great mentor was describing the attributes he thought a university should look for in a vice president for advancement.
I do think that all successful fundraising professionals are leaders. Grounded in ethics, goal-driven, excellent communicators, professional in demeanor, caring, intelligent and enthusiastic. But whether you have a quiet enthusiasm or a gregarious enthusiasm, you need to be able to demonstrate a passion for your work!
Different points on the reserved-to-outgoing scale are appropriate in various organizations and circumstances.
You have to have a keen interest in people and understand your role. For someone more reserved, that may mean turning up the energy when you are engaging donors. For some who are more boisterous, it may mean turning it down.
As long as you understand your role and your goals, you can be more of an introvert or more of an extrovert and still succeed in relationship-building and fundraising.
Looking for Jeff? You'll find him either on the lake, laughing with good friends, or helping nonprofits develop to their full potential.
Jeff believes that successful fundraising is built on a bedrock of relevant, consistent messaging; sound practices; the nurturing of relationships; and impeccable stewardship. And that organizations that adhere to those standards serve as beacons to others that aspire to them. The Bedrocks & Beacons blog will provide strategic information to help nonprofits be both.
Jeff has more than 25 years of nonprofit leadership experience and is a member of the NonProfit PRO Editorial Advisory Board.