Fundraising: The Beauty & The Pain

Dec 14, 2018

This week, I've been reminded of the beauty and the pain of fundraising.


Variety - In fundraising, every day is different. You decide who to call, where to go and what to say. You're constantly trying new things, meeting new people & traveling to new places (even if a lot of those places are Starbucks!).

Learning - Every new conversation yields a new idea, life lesson or new aspiration. Donors share their secrets to retiring at 50, their dreams for how they'll be remembered and their family recipes for chocolate chip cookies.

Generosity -You see the very best in humans. You sit with someone as they decide to give their money away. They could do absolutely anything else with that money, but they choose your org. That's magical.


Paralysis - When you don't know who to call, where to go or what to ask for, your office can feel like prison. You have those brutal days - where you just stare at a list of names for hours, but never actually send an email or pick up the phone.

Loneliness - No one tells you what to do every day. No one sits with you in donor meetings to prompt you, critique you or tell you how to do it better next time.

Uncertainty - Am I doing this right? Am I cut out for this? Is it just me? What does everyone else do? Why won't people respond to my damn emails? Why can't I get more donor meetings? When will I get a gift that big? How can I get a gift that big?


Make time today to reflect on the beauty.

Humans are amazing and the world is generous. Sometimes we need reminders. 

Here are a few of my favorites:

The podcast This Is Love is full of quirky, whimsical, even mind-blowing stories of love and connection. Check out Episode 10: Blue. I listened as I walked my dog Millie and truly saw the sky in a new way.

Watch Soul Pancake's video on The Science of Happiness. It's a fantastic reminder of how much a "thank you" can mean - to giver and the receiver. You'll want a Kleenex or two nearby!

Make the most of this beautiful day! See Won't You Be My Neighbor, the Mr. Rogers documentary. It's a phenomenal reminder that everyone wants & deserves to be truly seen & loved. More Kleenex will be needed.

Give yourself some tools to ease the pain.

If you haven't downloaded our daily Productivity Plan, get it here. It'll help you focus on what matters most in fundraising: outreach to new donors, follow up with those donors you're already working with and a little celebration.

Check out our blog post for 3 reasons we're inspired by you.

You've got this.

Thank you for raising money. You change the world!

Wishing you so much success,