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4 things to stop doing once you discover your fundraising career strengths

10 April 2017

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 April 10, 2017
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go put your strengths to work marcus buckingham

Are you tired of certain aspects of your fundraising work?

Do you wish, for example, that your weekly staff meetings could be shortened to a 5 minute standing meeting?

Or perhaps you’d like to take that latest state grant proposal and throw it out the window?

At our online nonprofit fundraising career conference in April 17, 19 and 21st, we are going to cover how to manage up, and help your boss understand your strengths so that you can TRULY shine in your job.

When you’ve discovered your fundraising strengths, and your workplace encourages you to use them, then here are 4 things you no longer have to do. 

1. Make excuses for how bad you are at something.  Once you know what you’re REALLY good at, you’ve got to tell the world! So now you know that because of your strength of “Woo” for example, that you are NOT supposed to be shut up in the closet with the dusty donor records, entering old donations until your eyes cross and your fingers fall off. Nope. You’re supposed to be out there, pressing the flesh at networking events, chamber of commerce meetings, giving presentations about your cause to employee groups at big corporations, and chatting with the neighboring businesses in your town about what your nonprofit does and how it benefits them.

2. Pretend to like something you really can’t stand. This happens when we first get our jobs, and hopefully for not too long afterwards. But if you know your strengths, and you’re still gritting your teeth and stuffing envelopes and sucking your paper cuts, then now is the time to say, “I can’t stand this, my strength is STRATEGY. So let’s get volunteers to do this next time, or a mailhouse. I need to be working our fundraising plan, supporting board members in making the ask, and helping them get the training they need to create a culture of philanthropy.”

3. Procrastinate endlessly by refreshing your email and rolling in 30 minutes late to work. This is a symptom of NOT WANTING TO DO THE WORK, but now that you know what you do best, and can focus (MOSTLY) on that at work, you’ll want to bound into work, make your calls, or research that grant, and come in with a whistle on your lips. When you are allowed to do what you love, all day, work becomes much easier.

4. Try to get somebody, ANYBODY to volunteer to do this task instead of you.  This doesn’t always work out- but it’s now part of your past. Hopefully you’ve got some good volunteer engagement already, and you can choose volunteers based on what THEIR strengths are, and what THEY love to do.

Here are more posts about how to discover your fundraising strengths

Using your strengths to manage others

And CASE STUDY with Kishshana Palmer on how she used people’s strengths in fundraising and helped people go $100K over goal for a big event!

Join us for the 3rd annual online Fundraising Career Conference April 17th, 19th and 21st 2017. Since 2015 over 900 people have attended this online conference, resulting in more successful job interviews, 42% salary increases, new jobs, better workplace environments, and more! This year we’re going deep, with sessions on how to build trust with your boss (and not get fired), how to be a better mentor and manager, creativity and play at work, and more! Learn more

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