Having passion has a price. That price is the inability to accept the status quo, or to just “go along to get along.” Mediocrity is the enemy and that is a heavy burden.
We talk a lot about how we need to have passion for life and work but, in reality, people with passion are usually thought of as “odd” or “different” in our society. It’s much easier to put your head down, do your job and get along…in fact that’s the way most of the world works.
I’m going to say something that may irk you: To be a great fundraiser you have to be passionate about two things—fundraising and the mission of the organization. I’ve never known a great fundraiser who is not passionate about both.
Sadly, I’ve met too many fundraisers who don’t have passion for either.
Fundraising is hard work. It’s draining. When you make a mistake it could be disastrous. There is a lot of stress involved. That is why if you are not passionate about it, you will burn out quickly and become miserable.
I’ve encountered many miserable fundraisers.
Instead of leaving and finding their passion elsewhere, they sit in their tiny cubicles of fear, bitterness and sadness. They disdain donors, fight with program people and figure out ways to get by without having to do too much. Have you met these people?
Are you one of them?
It’s painful to witness. Our response should be compassion because these are good people who just haven’t found their life’s work.
If you are passionate about fundraising, then you know the joy of helping people give away their money and the excitement when you help connect the donor and the need. The donor feels like she got more than she gave. You are aware of that great moment when the gulf between the giver and the recipient is bridged.
I encourage all of you to live and work from your passion whether that is in fundraising or not. Open yourself up to it and say, “YES!”
Note to readers of Passionate Giving: Speaking of passion, I think the more the better. Therefore, you will notice that my good friend and business partner Richard Perry is joining me in authoring this blog. I’m exciting he’s joining me because he’s so gifted and cares deeply about changing the world. He is a true man of passion!