WP Remix


I’ve been in a bit of a funk at work lately. . . not the kind where you update your resume and start shotgunning it to every open position in the Chronicle, but the kind where a bunch of never-ending projects have started to get the best of me.  In my mind, nothing is worse than working on multiple projects that are so big they seem to have no end in sight!

My usual advice to folks in this situation is to get out and see the results of the good work they do.  In my business, that means heading to campus to see students or tour a new lab or building.  For others, it may mean taking an afternoon away from the fundraising grind to work the front lines distributing services to those in need.  Few things are more rejuvenating than seeing the actual fruits of your fundraising labor.

Last week, a little kick in the pants sought me out.  I happened to attend an event that featured a happy graduate talking to a group of students.  I had no idea the event would be so powerful.

Turns out, this gentleman took the opportunity to tell a detailed story about his philanthropic journey.  We had asked him to make a reference to giving in his remarks, but he delivered so much more.  By the end, everyone in the room was in tears and he challenged each and every student to support the university in the future.  This was no subtle challenge, and it came from a man who obviously understands that every gift makes a difference.  The atmosphere was perfect and I know the young men and women in that room will remember his story and challenge when they are asked to give in the future.

Few things are more powerful than a passionate story from an invested donor.  All the well-written collateral materials, videos and Facebook pages in the world can’t reproduce that single storytelling moment when somebody who ‘gets it’ tells their tale.  It’s truly inspirational.

Thank you, sir, for telling your story.  Your words were perfect for that student audience.  And for the rest of us as well!

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