Do you have any idea how important your work is as a nonprofit leader?
You are making it happen day after day, my friend.
All fundraisers are stalwart nonprofit leaders.
Whatever your role in your organization, you are doing such important work!
You may not have the support you need — or enough resources to do good fundraising. . . .
But you are still plugging away, creating such good in the world.
I just have to tell you how much I personally appreciate what you are doing.
There are plenty of people out there in the world who you touch. You are appreciated more than you know!
Here are my encouraging words for you:
Go for it!
You are probably one of the most dedicated people you know.
You’ve been wearing the monkey on your back for a long time, and you know it.
As a nonprofit leader, you have one of the most important jobs on earth – bringing in the resources to make the world a better place.
Never forget that!
Take a stand.
Draw a line in the sand about what you are willing to do and what you won’t do.
Confront people who block you, who mock you, or who try to hold you back.
Create risk. And accept risk. What do you really have to lose?
Why not tell people that they can’t have it both ways.
They can’t have this new sexy fundraising strategy that they have just thought up, and still get the major gifts you need in the door.
Never be satisfied with the status quo.
You know and I both know that status quo is not acceptable. It’s deadly and deadening.
Status quo is much loved by those who want to make everyone comfortable.
But it subverts the change we need to bring to the world.
Be part of the solution.
Neutrality is not an option. You are either a part of the solution or a part of the problem.
Take a minute and watch this moving and remarkably inspirational closing plenary address.
Know that you are not alone. Remember the ethical responsibility we all share to work for the common good.
Work the big ideas.
Find donors who only want big ideas.
This is where the energy and power is – in the big ideas that shift everything.
Smart nonprofit leaders get out to the field, recharge, and see those big ideas in action!
Create positive energy.
Be a source of optimism for those around you.
Your donors will feel your positive attitude.
Your colleagues will appreciate it. And you’ll change the world faster.
You’ll be operating from spirit . . . not ego.
Have some fun.
People want to have fun.
Your donors, your staff, and your family – all want to have some fun.
Remember my #1 fundraising motto: “When in doubt throw a party!”
When you are having fun, you attract more people and donors to your cause. Everything becomes easier.
Take excellent care of yourself.
The better your self-care – the more good energy you can share with everyone.
Insist on taking your vacation. Close up your computer on the weekends.
Read Beth Kanter’s book: The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit!
Set an example for others. (Call me if you have second thoughts about this!)
Create a team.
You can’t do it by yourself.
Keeping the monkey only on your own back won’t change the world. (Neither will working yourself to death.)
Pull your team together and set shared goals so you can create shared successes.
Build a support community for yourself.
Fundraising can be a lonely job.
You need the support of your colleagues and friends in our field – whether they are on the other side of the world or next door.
Remember that’s what AFP is for!
Find the nonprofit leader in the mirror.
Let’s not wait for leaders to change. The world needs YOU right now!
Philanthropy and fundraising really need more leaders. And that means you.
WE really are the safety net of society. Perhaps WE are the heroes.
This is your moment.
We fundraisers have the priviledge of doing our work. We have the knowledge and we have the skills.
Sure, there are days when we all have self doubt.
But the world would be an incredibly worse place — a much more pessimistic place — without you, my friend.
This entire post is my call to action to you.
I’m here to support you, you fabulous nonprofit leader!
I’m here to help you in any way I possibly can. I’m your colleague, your partner in crime, your teammate.
I’ve got your back. Email me if you ever need me.
I’m here to remind you that you already know the answers.
And you know what to do. The world needs you – really!
Rock on, my friend!
Life’s short and the world is calling to us!