I’ve always wanted to help create a world where every person has the opportunity to achieve their full potential. Today, I do that by applying my training and experience to help nonprofits to build stronger relationships with their donors and raise more money for their missions.
Early in my career, I crossed the line from program work to fundraising, mostly out of necessity. My employer no longer had funds to sustain my administrative position, but they did have an open job for a grantwriter. Seeing an opportunity not only to make that months’ rent, but to ensure greater job security for myself in the future, I threw myself into grantwriting. Soon, I expanded into other areas of development, including direct mail and in-person solicitation for major gifts.
It wasn’t easy at first. Grantwriting was okay because it was a lot like writing papers for college—something I was very comfortable with. However, asking for money directly was harder. As an introverted person, I found it terrifying to pick up the phone and call someone I didn’t know to ask them for money, or even for a meeting.
Over the years, as my knowledge of fundraising deepened and my confidence rose, I found that I actually enjoyed raising money. People think fundraisers spend all of our time talking about money and haggling with donors over gifts, as if we were car salesmen. To the contrary, in fundraising, we spend a lot of time communicating with people about their hopes and passions and showing them how they are making a difference in this world.
I’m thrilled to be able to use my writing skills to help nonprofit tell their stories in ways that motivate people to give more and do more for the cause. While I hope that each organization raises more money as a result, it’s not ultimately about dollar figures. This is how we build a better world.