On Being the Best Fundraiser Possible

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA

“When we treat a person as he is, we make him worse than he is; when we treat him as if he already were what he potentially could be, we make him capable of becoming what he could be.” — Goethe, d. 1832
 
I write many challenging weekly blog posts railing against our fundraising profession’s lack of innovation, how executive directors don’t understand fundraising, how undercapitalized the development function is, to name a few of my frequent themes. That you don’t quit me is amazing, and, even more beautiful, is that our collective audience has grown to 20,000! Wow.

What I’d like you to know, though, on the heels of celebrating Labor Day, is why I write these weekly challenges calling for higher fundraising performance. Why do I care? Why do I want you to be the best fundraiser you can possibly be, perhaps more than even you want it!

I care because what you do as a fundraiser will bring quality education to inner-city students that need it most. It will improve a local animal shelter, where pet adoptions give animals a second chance and make families whole. It will help a homeless shelter, perhaps one dedicated to creating a safe environment for homeless LGBTQ youth.

When you are the best fundraiser possible, you fight for racial justice, addiction treatment, affordable housing, better nutrition, historical preservation, improved recycling systems, and universal health care.

As fundraisers, we are motivated to create safer, healthier, and more equitable communities overall.

These are the reasons that our labor as fundraisers is so necessary, so urgent, dare I say it, sacred.

And that’s why I write to you each week.

Thank you for your labor. Happy Labor Day.

We welcome your comments about this post on the LAPA blog.

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