Sunday, October 30, 2011

Loving Humanity

Everyone in the field of fundraising knows that philanthropy comes from the Greek words philos (loving) and anthropos (human being or humanity). This love for humanity is expressed tangibly when those who care provide for those who are in need. What we often forget is how we fundraisers are the yeast that rises the dough, the facilitators that ensure that the caring and the needy connect.

And how often have we heard “I could never do that! I could never ask people for money!” Well, if that is all we did I couldn’t do that either. Practiced properly, charitable giving is in itself an incredible gift – as much for the donor as for the recipient. Even neurologically, scans have revealed the act of giving greatly enhancing the pleasure centers in the brain. Giving feels great!

No, fundraising is not about extracting money. It is about fulfilling dreams, changing lives, and the rewards of selflessness. At its best it is a spiritual experience hinting at the divine. And we are the shepherds. Truly, is there a better job out there?

This blog will explore how we can keep our eye on this higher mission. It will also explore how we can be highly effective. Frankly, keeping these higher goals in mind will ensure greater success. Nevertheless, good intentions alone are not enough. We must be superb at what we do. Too much is at stake to be mediocre.

Stay tuned as we explore the tried-and-true and the cutting edge. We’ll have some fun. And just maybe, we won’t drop our voice and mumble fundraising (cough, cough) the next time we’re asked what we do for a living.