What About Your Job Makes You Happy?

Are you passionate about your job?  No?  That’s okay.  Passion is an overused word.

Do you love your job?  No?  That’s okay, too.  Love is a pretty strong word.

Can you represent your organization to donors with pride and enthusiasm?


Houston, we have a problem.

It begs the question, what about your job makes you happy?

Is it the money?  Or is your job just a place to go, something to do?

I get that.  We do need to keep busy and we do need to earn a living.

But donors can sense that right away and are not inspired to support our organization if they think that’s the only skin you have in the game.

When I was a young fundraiser, staff and donors alike told me I was enthusiastic.  I didn’t like it.  I felt it was a pat on the head.

I was wrong.  Showing enthusiasm for your organization is a tremendously important trait in successful fundraisers.

Enthusiasm is akin to being happy about what you represent.  Donors want to see that in us.

If we’re happy about our prospect portfolio, or our direct mail results, again, that is not the happiness donors want to see.

This summer, take a trip.  For a whole day, if you can.  Leave your laptop and cell phone behind.

Go rediscover your organization.  Shadow the nurses in the Emergency Room.  Even if school’s not in session, help with a summer camp.  Show up somewhere that is all about what your organization exists to do.

And say, “can I hang out with you today?”

At the end of the day one of two things will happen, and it’s a little scary.

You might find yourself on the way home thinking, “Eh.  That’s it?  That’s what we do?”  If you think that, you know your days at the organization should be numbered.

But what I think will really happen is this: You’ll go home happy.  With a full tank of gas.  Energized, proud, enthusiastic.

You will be dying to tell your donors what you saw and how it made you feel.

And you’ll want them to experience it, too.

You are the mirror of your organization to your donors.

What do they see?

Have a good day, my friends.

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