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Asking for help

Asking for help

help!I have had the most amazing week!

I received a book in the mail from a friend from far away. Do you know Brené Brown the author and sociologist? The book I received was Daring Greatly. Haven’t heard of her? Stop what you’re doing and watch this video NOW.

Brene’s work is all about letting yourself be vulnerable-  to let yourself “be seen” by others, messy parts and all. (Here’s my blog post about providing board members with a space so they can be vulnerable with each other.) I think as fundraisers – especially in isolated, small shops – we think we can figure things out, get to the end of the appeal letter, the to do list, and the board retreat documents if we just work harder, put in more hours and cram one more thing onto our already busy work week.

Fundraisers are not good at letting themselves be vulnerable (and I am including myself in this bucket!) We are crappy at saying “I need help.” And if we get to the point of needing help, we have no idea who to turn to because by then we’ve cut ourselves off from the very community that might be able to help…because we’ve been too busy.

We need to change this.

So this week I asked for help. I formalized a business mastermind group with two colleagues from my Women’s Business Network here in Ottawa. We’ve only met once, and already it’s changing the way I am thinking about my business, my marketing, and how I can bring value to my clients. They will also hold me accountable for the goals and objectives I want to achieve.

My fundraising mastermind participants talk about the importance of creating community as we learn. .

“It was great to feel community throughout the process. I felt like I was talking to work friends, rather than strangers, and it helped open up the conversation for constructive feedback and discussion.”

“The Mastermind sessions combined the best of learning and community-building.”

Small charity success stems from the ability to “make connections to other organizations and other individuals. Get out of your status quo comfort zone and get connected to your community.” Read my #TweetCottage blog about this.

Does having a strong community bring in more fundraising revenue? Yes.

Does community keep employees healthier and happier because they have a place to turn when things aren’t going so well? Yes. 

Does peer coaching help you find what you need faster than if you searched for it on your own? Yes.

Does working smarter mean you’re raising more money? Yes.

Find your tribe; connect with people that can help you. If my fundraising mastermind group is one of your tools, then great – send me an email at [email protected]. Or start your own group– reach out to some colleagues and get vulnerable!

So now I need to get vulnerable and send a shout out to the community builders that I am so lucky to have in my life. Hopefully this will inspire you to think about your community, too.

Maureen Carruthers – the woman who got me on twitter…a single act that changed my life.

Lisa MacDonald – my skype buddy, personal bullshit detector, and twin sister in another city.

My WBNbiz team who I am just getting to know, and am ALREADY totally inspired by.

My CFRE Study Buddy group – I could NEVER get through these readings without our meetings.

My Chavender clients – Your passion for your causes is what gets me up in the morning and makes me try harder, work harder to raise more money for you. Motivate Canada – I hope you see reflected in my comments above your  ideas around peer-to-peer coaching.

My fundraising idols  – Pamela Grow, Paul Nazareth, Jacqueline Belsito, Leah Eustace, Kivi Leroux Miller… there are many others.

Thank you all for being a part of my community!