If I Had to Do It All Over Again ...
Yes, I would. I have had some remarkable experiences as a fundraiser and have seen more of the country — and the world — than I ever would have on my own. I have met amazing people and forged some lifelong friendships. I have never stopped learning.
And most importantly, I have, in some small way, made the world a better place. I haven't fixed it all, but somewhere there is a young adult in Africa who is alive because I helped raise money to teach his mom how to grow crops. There is a high schooler who has a great future ahead because I helped raise money so she could attend a private school for at-risk students. There is an elderly person who has enough to eat, medicine and warm clothing to wear because I helped raise money to provide these necessities.
And you, too, are making a difference. Yes, it's a cliché, but it really is true. We may not always see the end results, but someone or something is better because we threw our hearts and our energies into the practice of fundraising. And for this old dog, that makes looking back on the years a joy — and looking forward to the next however many years — a reason to get up every morning and get to work. We fundraisers are so blessed!
Pamela Barden is an independent fundraising consultant focused on direct response. You can read more of her fundraising columns here.