”Why fundraisers should passionately believe in the cause, is it necessary? We are professionals doing the ‘job’, which is raising funds, as long as we are good at it, that’s all it matters? Also, as we move between the causes during the course of our career, thus it’s difficult to have a ‘passionate belief’ in a cause we work for.”
That’s the conversation I had with one of the young fundraisers last week:
This narrative is missing the bigger picture in our sector. It’s not only about becoming professional, I think it’s about our integrity as a fundraisers, that we actually mean what we say. We cannot ask someone to donate their hard earned money for something which we personally don’t care for or believe in. Also, integrity is the foundation stone everything we do as a fundraisers and that is critical ingredient to form a trust with our donors, especially for major giving fundraisers. Passionate belief is a commitment to your cause and profession, you might hate picking up the phone and talking to the donors but you know you need to do it not because you want to get paid but you need to save or build lives.
Thus, passionate belief to me means that we 100% believe that our efforts are changing lives and what we do it actually works then putting our maximum effort, energy, focus, enthusiasm to get in deeply connected with our ‘cause’ and doing maximum justice to it. We don’t just talk the talk we talk from the heart.
A passionate belief in your “cause” doesn’t mean you are now legally, morally, socially bounded to one cause, charity, organisation and you should not move between the causes during your fundraising career.
Belief in your cause is reassuring to our donors that you are genuinely concerned for the ‘cause’ you work for and you care about the ‘beneficiaries’. Most importantly your belief in a cause also means that what you are trying to resolve in the world it actually works, so now you are qualified going out there and asking more people to connect to your cause and finally you can also ask them for money.
If you do not believe in your work as a fundraiser you might struggle helping others to believe in what you do and most of all you will struggle asking others to open their hearts and pockets for your organisation. Passionate belief in cause gives you self-regard and confidence in what you do, and that provides you motivation and courage to approach people in a right manner to join your hand for making the world better place, not in the manner that you need to hit your financial targets.
Once my mentor said to me that ‘’people don’t care how much you know about your cause/organisation, until they are assured that how much you ‘care’ about your cause and what you do to resolve that actually works and it has impact’. That is very true. Fundraising has never been about hitting my annual financial targets it’s about inspiring people to join our hands to solve world’s problems. It is lot easier to develop rapport and trust with your perspective donors if you are someone who is passionately believe in your cause and what you do as a fundraiser. Here are the three more reasons why I think that ‘passionate belief’ in our cause can help to raise more and feel more fulfilled with your role….
1. In my personal experience ‘passionate belief in my cause’ helps me to connect with people and build trust and rapport quickly as people are more comfortable to connect with those whom believe what they believe. ‘Passionate belief’ helps me to ask people for money more confidently, but it also helps me to open peoples’ hearts too and develop true partnerships and transformational relationship with them rather than just superficial and transactional relationships. True partnership with donors goes long way, people are happy to get involved and support, and happy to reach out to their networks and help to raise more money.
2. Raising money is not a solo flight, as fundraiser we always have to work with the team and volunteers to get things done for example launching new campaign you need support from marketing team, call centre volunteers, admin and support staff to help you to send thank you letters. People are the main and the most important resource for any fundraising team to be successful. So if you believe in your cause passionately yourself, it will be lot easier to motivate your teams and volunteers to connect to your cause and stay motivated and enthusiastic and raise more money.
3. The connectivity with cause has a direct correlation in keeping me motivated to go through difficult times smoothly and seamlessly when pressure is on during difficult times in my role. Which not only helps me to stay focused, work hard but it helps me to remind myself ‘why I do what I do in the first place. A belief that I am making the world a better place for orphan children provides me more personal satisfaction with my role as a fundraiser, to feel more fulfilled…
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