Be Not Overwhelmed
Development is a demanding job, and it can be emotionally taxing.
Successful fundraising requires you to put yourself out there in a vulnerable way. If you are doing development right you are likely to find yourself in some uncomfortable or awkward situations. Fundraising also inherently requires some level of failure. No matter how you approach it, some percentage of your mailing list will ask to be removed each year. A percentage of people whom you ask for money will say “no” immediately, sometimes rudely. Some people may even start avoiding you, thinking that you are simply out to shake them down for money.
Most, if not all people who embark in development efforts experience moments of discouragement because of this.
However long that you have served in a development role now, you have dealt with some of these experiences. On top of that, you might be feeling the weight of all that needs to be done to carry the development program and even the ministry forward. Even on top of that, you might be feeling some pressure of not seeing immediate, dramatic fundraising results quite yet.
At this point, with all of these factors in play, it is common to feel some self doubt. “I’m not the right person for this. There must be somebody else who is better equipped/more experienced/more talented to do this job.”
Do not believe this. Fight this lie.
You can build this development program, and build it well. As you work at it you will continually improve. The results will come. Trust in the development process. This is a long game – the work you are doing now will bear fruit for the ministry for years to come, and it will affect many lives in ways that you will never know on this side of eternity. Know that God brought you to this position, at this time, for a reason. You have specific talents and gifts that will benefit your ministry in ways that nobody else can.
There is no doubt that you will feel moments of overwhelm in fundraising. The only question is how you will handle it.
Here are a few concrete ways to fight your way through moments of difficulty:
- Spend time in quiet prayer each and every day. If you are not doing this, add it to your schedule. If you are already doing this, consider increasing your daily prayer time.
- Call a member of the Petrus team. They have been through this personally before, and they are happy to help walk you through it.
- Spend some time on your ministry’s front line. Participate in or help out with some ministry events. Interact with the students being impacted by the ministry. This will help to remind you why you do what you do. Sometimes it is easy to forget our underlying purpose when we spend our days in an office working on raising money.
- Lean on the development community. Connect with other development professionals to share stories, motivate one another, and provide support to each other. This might be a regular meetup with others locally, or it might take the form of a phone call or video chat.
- Read or listen to some motivational materials. Start with the books “Imagining Abundance” by Kerry Alys Robinson and “Go for No!” by Andrea Waltz and Richard Fenton.
Key Task of the Week
Take at least one of the steps mentioned above to keep your motivation high and to fight off the feeling of overwhelm.
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”
Since 2005, Petrus Development has worked with over 100 faith-based organizations to recruit and train development officers and build sustainable development programs. If your organization wants to learn more about working with Petrus Development, please schedule a 30-minute phone call at contact us at petrusdevelopment.com/lets-connect
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