I have been working with a client who has many divisions or chapters. Like most organizations with this type of structure, all the chapters are not the same just as I have seen with APRA. I have been connected with APRA on some level or another for the past 16 years. There are currently over 25 chapters and they are at all different levels of size and level of involvement. The one basic common denominator with all chapters is the sense of passion for the mission of the organization. This is the key ingredient for success.
I remember when I first started out in fundraising and the excitement and the desire to expand my knowledge. I also remember the fear of feeling like I don’t know anything or what I should be doing next. One of the greatest lessons I have learned through life coaching has been about not judging oneself on the size of the step you take but rather that you have taken a step forward. Celebrate all of your accomplishments not just the big ones.
I think as we continue to become those seasoned professionals that we need to remember what it was like to step into the world of fundraising for the first time. I am entirely grateful for those individuals who helped me along my path and were never in judgment of the questions I asked. I encourage you all to reach out to those “newbies” at your organizations and provide that helping hand. Even better would be to also to volunteer at organizations that you feel strongly about and are maybe in the infancy of their fundraising background. Get them to the next level with that thoughtful and caring hand. Remind them that yes, once I was in your shoes. I guarantee you that not only will you feel great about lending a helping hand but you will learn as well. That is why I have been so engaged in APRA’s New Researchers Symposium. I have been a faculty member for a number of years now and there has never been a time that I did not learn from the attendees! Also, there is nothing more exciting than seeing someone who you took by the hand and now are leaders in their own right. For those of you who know me know that I wear my heart on my sleeve. There is nothing more gratifying than seeing someone who you mentored and now are leaders in the profession. The same can be said for your involvement with those fledgling organizations that are just starting out and looking to expand their constituency but their message to the world. The return on your investment or as we call it the ROI is out of this world and something that I hope you all will experience more than once!
*Michael Quevli is a consultant for Target Analytics. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.