Today’s post is a little different: it’s the text of an email I sent out yesterday. It made a number of Fundraisers like you “feel seen and encouraged” — and I hope it does the same for you.
If there’s one thing I know right now, it’s that Fundraisers are tired.
Most of us aren’t “about to quit” tired. But there are a lot of us who are second-week-of-December-tired even though it’s only February.
There are a lot of us who used to push hard until 5:00 or 6:00 each day… and are now finding themselves (finding myself) kind of… losing steam around 3:30.
One day last week I had three meaningful, unprompted conversations with Fundraisers who were tired. A high-powered V.P. An experienced leader with a long track record of success. The founder of a growing organization.
Then the next day I spoke to a young woman who’s been in fundraising for two years. She can’t decide if working in fundraising is the best thing ever, or it’s going to burn her out before she’s 30.
I won’t get into comparisons – most of us haven’t been in PPE on the front lines this last year – but I will say that fundraising is more emotionally draining than many jobs because of the amount of empathy required.
But I’m not a motivational speaker. Nor am I a counsellor. So why am I writing you today?
First, if you haven’t recently, I encourage you to talk about the tiredness at your organization or team. And if you aren’t more tired than normal, thank your lucky stars – and then ask if other people are. Because chances are, they are.
Naming what’s going on will help us all have a little more grace for each other.
Second, I just want to say thank you for being a Fundraiser.
Thanks for all the good you’ve done for your beneficiaries or cause, especially over the last year. Thanks for all the times you’ve shown #donorlove and let donors know the difference they’ve made. And for all the times you’ve shown #donortoughlove by reminding donors about real needs and injustices, and asking donors to help meet those needs and right those wrongs.
Your fundraising makes a meaningful difference for your cause or beneficiaries. Your fundraising makes a meaningful difference for your organization. Your fundraising makes a meaningful difference in the lives of your donors.
That’s pretty good news for Fundraisers to hear. All of us Fundraisers should hear it more often. Not because we’re more virtuous or heroic than anyone. But because we’re part of the solution. And that should occasionally be called out and honored.
I love the MLK quote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
In this “inescapable network of mutuality,” you are making everyone’s world better.
Steven & the Better Fundraising team