I was reminded yesterday that fundraising, marketing and leading nonprofits requires extraordinary courage. It seemed like in every conversation, every email and every meeting there was a moment when a courageous choice had to be made.
A good grip on analytics is helpful. A good understanding of marketing principles makes a difference. Strong people skills make things better. Loving the work of your organization is crucial.
But today I’m here to remind you that this work you’re doing takes courage.
Or as the great Winston Churchill said it: “Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities… because it is the quality which guarantees all others.”
- It takes courage to go see that Major Donor who hasn’t given recently.
- It takes courage to call that long-time donor who is upset about your new program.
- It takes courage to decide to lead your Board in what you know is right.
- It takes courage to not mail your entire mailing list for every appeal.
- It takes courage to not cover up a mistake you’ve made…and fix it.
- It takes courage to focus on your donors not your budget.
- It takes courage to ignore the critics who’ve never done your job but know exactly what you should do.
- It takes courage to honestly and candidly evaluate your past results.
I could go on and on, but for now, let me say to you: I admire you for the work you’re doing.
There are people reading this post who feel like they’re in the fight of their career (and they are). You know you need to take your organization to the next level, but everything is working against you. Some of you are clocking tons of hours and no one but your family is noticing. Some of you are deciding that the “old ways” won’t be the rule any more.
And that takes guts.
Thank you for your courage.
The orphans you are saving are grateful for your courage. The homeless mother is grateful for your courage. The formerly incarcerated man is grateful for your courage. The child drinking clean water is thankful for your courage. Those whose lives you are changing through your organization’s work are thankful. And your donors are thankful, even if they don’t always say it.
Bless you as you reach into that deep part of you and faithfully to do your job.
So tell me about your day. Do you find that courage makes a difference? How do you find the guts to fight the fight? It’s an honor sharing the journey with you.
(photo credit: cambodia4kidsorg)