Tag Archives: motivation

Will Fear Stop You Before You Start?

What’s the greatest obstacle to taking on a major challenge to support a worthy cause according to adventure fundraiser Jamie McDonald?

“Publicly announcing that you’re about to take on a challenge that you don’t know is possible. Once it’s out there, the fear will get to you if you let it.”

Michael Nilsen, Vice President, Public Affairs of the Association of Fundraising Professionals has some advice that might help us face down that fear.

“I would say remember WHY you’re doing it, and connect it back to your cause and mission,” Nilsen stated. “The people who are supporting you and the cause WANT you to succeed—they’re on your side. You’re not going to let them down because the attempt – and bringing awareness to the cause—is the main part of what you’re doing.”

The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) represents more than 30,000 members in 235 chapters throughout the world, working to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education and certification programs.  The association fosters development and growth of fundraising professionals and promotes high ethical standards in the fundraising profession.

Even for people who love adventure, fundraising can be more intimidating than an expedition. Where to start?

Arming ourselves with knowledge can help us face this fear, just like with any other challenge. There is a code of ethical principles and standards that fundraisers use.  According to Nilsen, all fundraisers should be aware of them, though some apply specifically to professional fundraisers.

“The Donor Bill of Rights is probably where fundraisers should start. This list spells out explicitly what donors should expect when making a gift and what charities should provide. I think it will help fundraisers to let their supporters know they’re following this Donor Bill of Rights.”

Photo credit: Andrew_D_Hurley via photopin cc


Do You Know Your “Why”?

Inspired by Jamie McDonald’s unsupported run across Canada? Thinking of taking on a personal challenge fundraiser yourself?

Remember that fundraising targets, a shot at a world-record, and the big finish line may not give you the juice you need when times get tough. Here’s what Jamie said helped him:

My motivation came from the children and families that spent time in hospitals that I was raising money for. Seeing and hearing from the people whose lives I could potentially impact will always motivate me more than figures on a screen.

Photo courtesy of jamiemcdonald.org
Photo courtesy of jamiemcdonald.org

That is his “why”. So, what is yours? Not sure? Don’t feel overwhelmed; I rounded up a couple inspirational resources.

In his famous TED talk, Simon Sinek explains why your “why” is so important when it comes to inspiring others. (Filmed at TEDxPugetSound)

Amy Jo Martin’s blog post called Finding Your Why was inspired by Sinek’s video. In it, she gives a very honest and personal account of her reaction to it. Toward the end, her post includes a couple of thought-provoking questions that Sinek asked her during a lunch date. They might help you, too.

Did I miss a TED Talk that you love? Is there a blog about finding your “why” that I should read? What has helped you find your why? Share it with me in the comments.

Question mark photo credit: wonderferret via photopin cc