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.
Below is a recent letter that I wrote to Kivi Leroux Miller about my experience in one of her online classes. My biggest take-away from Kivi’s class was that there are people out there that are struggling with the same issues that I am, and that we really should find ways to “share the space.”
Here are three suggestions for including peer-to-peer support in your daily work routine:
Pick up the phone and talk to a fellow fundraiser about a challenge you are having. Better yet, invite them out for lunch to talk in person;
Use a conference, or a learning opportunity to connect with a fellow fundraiser – someone with whom you would like to build a relationship. The fact that you like their energy, or their perspective is as good a reason as any to start a conversation;
Formalize any of the above-mentioned relationships into a bi-weekly or monthly call with your new colleague. Use skype, or google hangout - so that you can actually see each other – and create a peer-to-peer safe environment where you can articulate short-term tasks or professional goals that you want to accomplish before the next peer coaching session.
[caption id="attachment_94" align="alignright" width="232" caption="Jenny Mitchell - fundraising writer"][/caption]
Why hiring an outside communications writer is an investment in change
(This blog post is part two of Sarah Banks guest post.) Thanks Sarah. So…if you are the in-house special, does that make me the out-house special? Back to fundraising/communications writing outsourcing….
I work with some amazing clients. Seriously. And every day I am amazed at what they accomplish within a tight budget, sometimes through sheer will power and passion. My goal is to come into their organization and take tasks off their desk: if I’m not making their life easier, why the heck am I charging them for my services? Here’s my take on why you should outsource your communications and/or fundraising writing.