Where my girls at?*

*Ahem – women

Let me start by saying, this is not a new topic to address in a blog. But I feel that the issue of female leadership in fundraising is something we need to keep talking about.

So talking is exactly what I’ve been doing. I spent a few days discussing this topic with some of the female fundraisers that I most admire and respect, and it was an eye-opening experience. (more…)

Relationships vs. Results

handshake2 This is a tough one.

Since I’ve been working in fundraising, and especially over the past year, I’ve been noticing the similarities and the differences between fundraisers that I really admire.

They all live by the principles of Relationship Fundraising, but some really take donor-love to the next level, while others simply use the building of donor relationships as another tool to achieving great results. (more…)

Why I Love (And Feel Uncomfortable About Loving) Legacy Fundraising

I’m writing this on the one-year anniversary of my move from Toronto to London, so you’re reading this one year after I started my career as a professional fundraiser, and what a lot has changed during that time. I’ve gone from fundraiser in theory, to fundraiser in practice; blogger, to paid writer (ha!).

But there’s another difference that has been developing more recently and at the IoF National Convention last week, it finally hit me – I’ve fallen madly, deeply, head-over-heels in love with legacy gifts.

This may come as a surprise to those who knew me in Toronto because I used to be quite vocal about my distaste for this field of fundraising. I thought it was dull, cold, and frankly it bored me half to death when we studied it in school (pun intended). (more…)

The 7 Bad Habits of Insanely Productive People

Exactly one year ago, I read a blog post that hit me like a punch in the gut. It was Austin Kleon’s How to Steal Like an Artist, and it got right down and spoke directly to everything I was struggling with at the time. I was about to finish grad school and was terrified that I didn’t have what it would take to make it out in the ‘real’ world. Simply reading Kleon’s words changed my whole outlook. I immediately wrote in my own blog about how it made me feel. That post then turned into my first TEDx talk two months later. The reaction from nearly everyone was one of complete understanding. It turned out I wasn’t the only one with those fears and insecurities – I was just finally saying it out loud. (more…)

Get Away From Your Desk And Remind Yourself WHY

In my role at a fundraising agency, I don’t have much chance to speak to anyone aside from my co-workers and the fundraising departments of our charity clients. I get to read nice case studies and hear my accounts department talk about the clients’ work, but I rarely get to see this work for myself. And it’s just not the same.

That’s why last week, I was excited to get out of the office for a few hours and head south of the Thames to do a couple of interviews. I got to speak to two women who work for one of the UK’s leading medical charities, helping people to pick up the pieces and move on after being suddenly struck with a serious medical condition. By acting as a support system to their patients, aiding them with almost every aspect of their lives – sometimes for years as they recover, they are heroes to those they help.

I can’t get into the specifics of their work due to confidentiality, but I can tell you that while speaking to these women and seeing their eyes well up with tears as they told the stories of the people they work with, I felt injected with a shot of inspiration. (more…)

I Am The Comms Devil

This week, I’m in the midst of my very first International Fundraising Conference in Holland. 2011 has been a whirlwind of a year and being here feels like a dream, rubbing shoulders with the best of the best.

I’m volunteering as a session leader, which means I was also able to attend the Masterclass sessions on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning. Luckily, I was assigned to my first choice session: The Joy Of Storytelling with Sean Triner. As a brand new copywriter, I felt I could use all the writing advice I could get. (more…)