Talk, Share and Collaborate With Fellow Fundraisers
In our January cover story — "Sleepless in 2013?" — we highlighted the closing session of the 2012 FundRaising Success Virtual Conference and Expo. Members of the FS Editorial Advisory Board had a lively discussion around the toughest challenges facing the fundraising industry and how to overcome them.
The entire session was tremendous, and the story is certainly worth a full read. One of the statements that really stood out for me came from Dane Grams, national director of direct response at Amnesty International USA and FS Editorial Advisory Board co-chair, in his closing remarks:
"I would recommend everyone to have these conversations with people in your network. You don’t have to come to a closing session like this to talk about these topics and find out what’s going on at other organizations. Look to your colleagues, your friends, your co-workers, people at other organizations that you aspire to be, and throw out topics and have conversations with them. It could be a really helpful experience."
I think that it is absolutely some of the best advice out there. What I've found in my five years since joining the FS team is that fundraisers generally are incredibly supportive of one another and eager to share ideas, strategies and successes with one another. It is an industry in which people work together to make the world a better place, and that includes helping each other achieve their missions.
Having these conversations can truly make a difference for you personally and for your organization professionally. And most importantly, it can help you and your colleagues raise more money and do more of the great work that your organizations do.
As a newcomer to the industry five years ago, I can attest to that. The fundraisers I've interviewed, met, worked with and become friends with have all imparted on me countless lessons, ideas, help and understanding. It's in their nature, in your nature.
So go out and have those conversations, share and collaborate with your colleagues and peers. It is an invaluable resource that the fundraising industry is truly special to have and embrace.